Saturday, September 22, 2012

3c: Engaging Students in Learning with outdoor labs

   There are few things that my students love more than going outside. The weather was nice, we had some iPods so we went outside to our school's Memorial Grove. Each tree has been planted in memory of a student or employee who has passed away.  The iPods were on loan from our local Boces but some of my students downloaded the app onto their own iPods at home and brought them in the next day. This worked for us because they did not need the internet to do this lab. (our school does not allow personal devices on the district's wifi)
     You can buy an iPod Touch here
or you could use an iPhone or an iPad

Here are some screen shots from the app on the iPod:
The Tree ID App
Identify a Tree
Search by different characteristics

Images to assist you
Choose the correct one
add more
Your results
locations in US


Two days before I had to charge the iPods, reset the date and time on the device, log Boces out of the iTunes store, log myself in, and download the app: Tree ID over 14 times.


In class I had the students break into groups of 2, one holds the clipboard and writes down the information for the lab; the other uses the iPod to identify the tree. They must work together to decide which characteristics match their tree. After they identified a tree, they switched role.  They loved it. It isn't too often that our students get to go outside and do some actual science.
     If the weather cooperates I hope to get them outside next week to identify some of the biodiversity and wild plants in the field next to the school.

 This post originally featured on

No comments:

Post a Comment