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Sky School

March 2 2008 at 4:40 PM
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Gini  (Login giniheadinair)
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Calling all Sky Teachers:

Now Gavin has kindly dedicated a corner of the Forum to cloud education and related topics, let's start talking!

I've already had a couple of good sky-watching sessions with my present Year 6 class outside in the playground - they are interested in what they see, inquisitive and appreciative. It's something they can engage with from whatever angle interests them: some want to know the names of clouds, some see shapes in them, some are interested in the weather, some just like being out in the air and away from pen-and-pencil stuff. I will attempt to attach some photos -

I am intending to do a whole lot more cloud/sky-watching next term, once we have satisfied the government's thirst for testing for another year. I hope to develop a short unit of work and, once I've got something down on paper, I'll post it here (complete with whatever lesson plans go with it) for comments/additions/suggestions. In the meantime, if there is anyone doing anything cloud/sky-related with children of any age, do please share it here -

Looking forward to some good ideas........

Gini


Using NASA's Cloud Puzzle site - great for cloud identification!


Something boys AND girls can access equally....


...and not an excuse for a quick kip!


Responding to what we could see in the sky: drawing and writing a personal response/thoughts about the clouds.


 
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Cumulus Mediocris
(Login cumulusmediocris)
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Sky School

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March 5 2008, 11:59 PM 

Hi Gini, great work and great photos. You are asking if there is anyone doing anything cloud/sky-related with children of any age? Well yes I am, and I would like to ask if it is OK for me to contact you via email to forward you some detail that might benefit both of us?

I need the help of year 6 age pupils for a little exercise which they might find great fun, especially regarding cloud identification.

C.M.

 
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Gini
(Login giniheadinair)
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Contact

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March 6 2008, 10:16 PM 

Hi C.M.
Thanks for responding!
Yes, by all means email me - the link at the top of this message should work - and I'll do whatever I can to help with your exercise: my lot are always up for something different!

We had a great morning today making Cloud Books for World Book Day. The classes were all mixed up and I had 28 children, ranging in age from 5 to 11, in groups of 5 or 6, making big books about different types of cloud. I just wonder if any of the younger ones will have gone home today and said to their parents, "Guess what - I was a cumulonimbus cloud today!" - hmmm.

Picture attached - if I can find one that's in focus.....

Gini


 
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Mimi
(Login mimising)

hello

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March 22 2008, 1:38 PM 

Hi,

I'm a trainee teacher and I am so happy that this site exists!! I joined the CAS because so many people have told me that I'm a bit out there, and the school I've just done my placement in told me I needed to put more of a "sense of urgency" into my teaching - but I think you can learn just as much by just looking up there and wondering.

best wishes,

Mimi

 
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Gini
(Login giniheadinair)
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Hello and welcome!

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March 22 2008, 3:43 PM 

Hi Mimi!
Welcome to CAS - nice to know there are trainee teachers out there who are a little 'out there'! And really good to know that you want to enable the children you teach to access their imaginations and creativity through sky studies. The challenge, however, is to do that within the constraints of the curriculum and to find a way of integrating the philosophy of cloud gazing into a way of teaching. A 'sense of urgency' seems out of step with sky-gazing but it is possible to combine the two, believe me! Check out Jack Borden's site for some good teaching ideas and materials: http://www.forspaciousskies.com/

Are you doing a BEd degree or a PGCE? And where?

Happy teaching!

Gini

 
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Mimi
(Login mimising)

my training

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March 22 2008, 7:04 PM 

Hi Gini,

I'm doing a PGCE at the Institute of Education in London. Whereabouts are you?

Mimi

 
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Gini
(Login giniheadinair)
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Re: my training

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March 24 2008, 12:22 AM 

I trained here in Devon some 21 years ago! I am still teaching in Devon, in only my second school since qualifying - inertia can grab you like a giant hand in this lovely part of the world!

I am now ITE co-ordinator for my school and so see many prospective teachers take their first steps towards a career in the classroom. It's a daunting prospect in many ways and I am always so encouraged by the energy and enthusiasm of those wanting to teach.

Presumably, you will be preparing for your long teaching practice next term by now - good luck, give it your best shot and keep looking up at the clouds, they will sustain you if the going gets tough nearer the earth!

Gini

 
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mimi
(Login mimising)

summer term

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March 27 2008, 12:27 AM 

Mmm, there will be plenty of opportunities to get children to look at clouds in the summer term: my specialist subject is Science, so no problem with building that in, or maybe doing a series of lessons on Geography: The Weather - and of course there's also the argument that inner city London kids need to get in touch with nature, which should be more than just growing a few carrots in the Y6 windowbox. And yes, for my own sanity...

mimi

 
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Gini
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Summer placement

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March 27 2008, 8:33 AM 

What year group will you be teaching next term, Mimi?

Art and English are my specialisms and Science an interest (although my own education in Science was/is virtually non-existant). If you are stuck for cloud-related ideas in the Arts, I may be able to help out - just post a plea here!

I envy you your proximity to Tate Britain - all those Constable and Turner skies to look at. Reproductions are not quite the same......

Gini

 
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mimi
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teaching clouds

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April 6 2008, 4:49 PM 

Hello,

I was distracted for a few days by the visit of my father and stepmother, over from America for a few days, and indeed we went to see those amazing Constables in the Tate (among other things)! It really is astonishing how much sky and cloud Constable put into his paintings - at least half the canvas in each landscape picture seemed to by skyscape. But then there's also some Magrittes that have good clouds in them.

Mmmm, I haven't got a Science background either, just a Biology O-level, but I've become more and more interested over the years. I don't see a division between the arts and the sciences, and I think clouds are fabulous for that because you can look at them from from so many different points of view. But I may well take you up on your offer of suggestions for art work, because although I don't mind mucking in, I'm not particularly creative when it comes to having ideas in the first place. And I really don't want to be the kind of teacher who just makes every art lesson an exercise in drawing something on an A4 piece of scrap paper.

I'll be teaching in KS1, but I don't know what year yet.

bw, mimi

 
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Gini
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Art lessons

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April 8 2008, 11:14 PM 

Hi Mimi,

Glad you saw the Constables in the Tate - did you get to the Turners too?

Once you know which year group you will be teaching and what your topic(s)'s likely to be, let me know and I'll see what I can come up with re. some art lesson ideas or links to sites that might be useful to you. Rest assured, I'll get cloud study into just about anything!

Gini

 
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Anonymous
(Login mimising)

Tate

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April 9 2008, 2:58 PM 

yes, I saw the Turners too - but I've looked at them loads of times, whereas I'd never really appreciated Constable's paintings. It's funny, we went there because my dad really wanted to see the Turners, and then he ended up wanting to look at everything, so we did (well, not everything, but certainly a lot more than just Turner's work). If he hadn't been so stubborn I'd have missed out!

But while there's all this art here, I do envy you for living in Devon. Are you close to the sea? I think eventually I will end up pottering around in a little cottage by the seaside, watching the water and the sky all day.

mimi

 
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Gini
(Login giniheadinair)
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'Devon, glorious Devon...'

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April 10 2008, 11:38 AM 

....as the old song goes! I'm not far from the sea - Exeter is about 8 miles up the estuary of the River Exe. A friend of mine has a boat moored down near the river mouth and for many years I sailed with him around the south-west coast and over to northern France - now that's a way to feel very in touch with the sky! But I'm land-bound now - I decided I'd had enough of being wet, cold and scared for too much of what were supposed to be my relaxing summer holidays!!

But sailing makes you very weather-aware, and it was probabaly learning to look at clouds, to try and predict how wet and miserable I was likely to be in the near future, that first got me hooked on cloud-spotting. Could be why days like today, with fairly unthreatening cumulus moving quite sedately across the sky, are among my favourite! I took this photo, overlooking my part of Exeter, one evening earlier this week:



Gini

 
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Gini
(Login giniheadinair)
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and another one...

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April 10 2008, 11:43 AM 

This is the Exe estuary, looking towards Exmouth and the sea. Being a wide and open estuary, the skies are always a feature, unlike some of the more enclosed, chocolate-box-pretty estuaries further west.



Gini

 
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mimi
(Login mimising)

hiya

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April 22 2008, 11:44 AM 

been a bit absent over the past few days, had to write a presentation for my Science specialism and other exciting stuff. Those pictures look amazing and made me want to jump up and get on a train down to Devon immediately!! It also reminded me of my trip to New Zealand, which is cloud appreciators' heaven.

But right now it's about buckling under and charging through the next three months to become a qualified teacher. A great reason for cloudwatching to make me calm down.

mimi

 
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Gini
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Summer placement

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April 25 2008, 7:17 AM 

Good luck with the term, Mimi. I have a final-practice PGCE student with me this term, in year six, so I can appreciate how you are feeling. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help, especially with English and Art (and general crowd control!). Don't forget - when in doubt, LOOK UP!!

Gini

 
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mimi
(Login mimising)

thank you

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April 28 2008, 12:44 PM 

Hello Gini,

thanks for being so encouraging - if I have any queries or panic attacks you'll be one of the first people I'll get in touch with for sane advice! The worst thing is right now having to write all these Masters-level essays, as if it's really necessary to write academic guff in order to become a primary school teacher?

But I'm looking forward to my placement: I'm with a Y1 class in a school pretty much in the centre of London - but we can admire the clouds drifting over the old gasometer behind King's Cross, because there's this open space for all the train tracks, so very few high buildings blocking views of the sky. I've seen really amazing sunsets from the top deck of a bus going past there, the kinds where the sky is streaked with orange and pink and purple clouds.

mimi

 
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Jack Borden
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Evoking a Sense of Wonder

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May 11 2008, 9:03 PM 

Having been a TV news reporter for some 3 decades
one of my greatest pleasures was working with
men and women who were/are
saturated with wonder aka
curiosity with a large measure of awe.
Parents, teachers--citizens
in general--I urge you to
read a small book by a great lady--"A Sense of Wonder" by Rachel Carson.
Once you have identified its presence (or absence) in your own life you can do something about its increase/nourishment or when needed--it's revival.
The Massachusetts Audubon
Society's quarterly "Sanct-
uary"--Spring '07 is devoted entirely to Wonder
and ways to evoke it.
Email address for MAS--
sancmag@massaudubon.org More Light !!

JackBorden ForSpaciousSkies.Com

 
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Anonymous
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The Sense of Wonder

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June 3 2008, 2:24 AM 

Thank you Jack, for recommending Rachel Carson's book The Sense of Wonder.
I read her Silent Spring years ago and was unaware of her other writings.
Yesterday I collected the copy of Sense of Wonder I had ordered and was delighted to find it is supported with the most wonderful photography by Nick Kelsh. Quite a treasure.
Thank you - should be read by all young parents and not-so-young grandparents!
Diane

 
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Anonymous
(Login peter_weeden)

Re: hello

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November 5 2009, 3:05 PM 

yeah. i love you

 
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