From the Classroom

What is Watershed Classroom Teacher?

What is Watershed Classroom Teacher?

A Watershed Classroom teacher is supported with funds, field trips, materials, and resources, as they incorporate the local environment into their curriculum and classroom. 

When Eric Backman, Principal at Casa Grande and board member of Friends of the Petaluma River, first envisioned the program he very much wanted it to be teacher driven. Teachers know their strengths and what they do best; they know how they best build curriculum, modify it and adjust to fit their current students; and they know how to best facilitate a rich learning environment. 

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Friends of the Petaluma River's Professional Development Workshop

Friends of the Petaluma River's Professional Development Workshop

Our recent Professional Development workshop was so enjoyable, not only due to the great presenters, but because of the teachers’ participation, collaboration and discussions. The two-day workshop began with Neal Ramus's introduction to Sonoma Land Trust and their restoration of the San Pablo wetlands. He also discussed the importance of wetlands in light of climate change and sea level rise. As Director of Community Programs at Sonoma Land Trust, Neal is excited for Sonoma educators to bring field trips out to explore, investigate and learn more about the wetlands and the restoration process. 

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Center for Community and Citizen Science Reflects on Recent Workshop

Center for Community and Citizen Science Reflects on Recent Workshop

REFLECTING ON THE WOOLMAN CENTER WORKSHOP

Named after a mythical land from a novela when the Spanish first arrived, California was said to be paradise on Earth. However, times have changed since the Spanish first laid their eyes on the place we now call home. Social activists have spoken openly about the disasters of environmental change and many, from the top of California’s government to grassroots organizations are beginning to create much more systematic and widespread awareness and change with initiatives. The California Department of Education’s Blueprint for Environmental Literacy is one such initiative that puts forward the ambitious goal of educating all students about the environment. The initiative’s focus on not just basic environmental knowledge but also how to to make rational decisions to help preserve our ecosystem.  

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One Teachers Experience in the Watershed Classroom

One Teachers Experience in the Watershed Classroom

This has been my second year taking part in the Friends of the Petaluma River Watershed Classroom, and I could not speak more highly of the program. While there are many meaningful components to the Watershed Classroom, what my students enjoy most are the walking field trips to local points along the watershed to perform water quality testing. At the beginning of the unit, students are trained in the classroom in how to conduct each test, along with being taught the significance of each test as it relates to the health of the river. Friends of the Petaluma River provides kits that enable the students to test for turbidity, salinity, ammonia, phosphorous, nitrates, dissolved oxygen, and pH. It is amazing to see the students out in the field, using the skills they have learned to test the water and make connections related to the health of the watershed. The Watershed Classroom has been an incredible component of my science classroom the past two years, and I look forward to many more years in the future!

Matt Jackson
7th Grade Teacher, PACS at McKinley School

Review Matt Jackson's Watershed Classroom Project Flush and the Curriculum

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