K-12 PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS TRANSLATE THEIR OCEANOGRAPHY FIELD EXPERIENCE FOR USE IN THEIR FUTURE CLASSROOMS
Example 1: The benefits of a hands-on experience that the field trip provided led to the idea of creating a similar situation for children in a classroom. Information from The Project Learning Tree was adapted to create a lesson for the kindergarten or 1st grade classroom. By using shells from organisms found on the field trip, a hands-on activity was formed that gives children practice in using their sense of touch to make observations and identify objects found at the coast. Investigating the natural world by using the senses is a VA SOL. In addition, by sharing stories about where these objects were collected by the teacher, she can increase the interest of the students.
Example 2: Unusually high water during the field trip was the inspiration for this high school Earth science activity which addresses VA SOLs on patterns and causes of tides. The water covering the streets was a powerful experience for the pre-service teachers on the trip, and a potentially engaging story to tell students as they learn about tides. In the lesson students use lunar phase data and tide data recorded at the Wachapreague Tide Gauge Station to discover relationships between tidal ranges and lunar phases. Because students interpret the data before the teacher lectures about tides, they, like real scientists, are given an opportunity to grapple with data and attempt to construct a meaningful understanding of it.