Sue Teyan at Green Farms Academy is using the biology text and curriculum in the regular biology section. At this time she has not reported back much in detail except to say that it is going well through the first term and students enjoy the curriculum and are enjoying reading the book. Continuing from the previous year, Terri Dineen and Leah Inman are continuing to use the curriculum at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, MN.
A revised draft has been completed that increases the running theme throughout the book of ecological identity (see article link below). I am in the process of completing book proposal for the publishing wing of the National Science Teacher’s Association. I am still seeking feedback from the teachers as to the physical format that would be most utilized by students. My original vision was a book that looked and read like a standard trade paperback science book. This is based on my observation that students readily read and recall information and ideas from that kind of source rather than a traditional textbook with the distractions of call-out boxes, bolded words, etc. However, one of the teachers reports that she thinks students utilize the book well in the current format of a spiral bound notebook size edition in which they feel comfortable writing in it, highlighting, and can lay it open flat when using it during in-class activities and work. Therefore, I am still investigating the best physical format.
I have distributed copies of the text to Dr. Brian Hiller from the biology department and Dr. Linda Colburn from the education department as content and reading specialist consultants. Additionally Dr. Hiller is reviewing the contents of the Teacher’s Edition Resource Book.
The First Draft of Teacher’s Edition Resource Book (password protected page) has been distributed to the three piloting teachers and is being used this academic year. They are actively providing feedback as they complete each activity/assignment.
This curriculum, and the story of this curriculum is used in ED 3410: Middle School Science Methods as an example of how to write a curriculum in science that is more holistic, thematic and inquiry-based in design than a traditional lecture-based, reductionist model of curriculum design. I presented this topic on December 3rd to the Honor’s program.
Here is a link to the page students have access to that includes links to tutorial videos and the audio book. Biology Text Student Resources
Here is a link to the Teacher Resource Page (Password Protected)
I have completed drafts of the following articles and am in process of final revisions before seeking publication: Article – Educating for Ecological Identity, Thematic Curriculum Design, It’s about Learning not earning, and an outline for a fourth article for which I am currently working with the charter school directors of Arcadia Charter School and Prairie Creek Community School called Alternative Methods of Measuring and Reporting Student Performance Data.
This book will be published this spring/summer through Riverfeet Press of Bemidji. Here is a link to the Within These Woods Manuscript. The CD of (mostly) original music is completed and is available for streaming, download or purchase.