Introducing my third grade class

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by awesomesquad, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. awesomesquad

    awesomesquad

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    Hello Reefing Community,


    My name is Brandon Rutherford and I teach in a third grade classroom at Garden Hill Elementary School in Champaign Illinois. One of my goals is to connect my students to the reef community and give the encouragement they need to learn new skills.


    As a class, my students and I built a tank from scratch and installed all of the support systems needed to maintain it. They are really into all of the different pieces of equipment and how it works.


    The marine biology, chemistry, and environmental ethics learned by building and maintaining the reef system are integrated into most areas of my curriculum. We use expository writing to document what we are learning. We read books about chemistry, marine biology, and ecology. Students have already taken over most of the detailed tasks necessary to cater to the chemical and physiological needs of the reef ecosystem. They can do all of the water tests, clean the skimmer, mix salt water and do water changes, frag coral and many of the other complex things reefers have to learn to move up to the master level.


    Every classroom/student in the school, and several community groups, are allowed to access it. My students and the children who come in to help, take the responsibility of keeping the reef system healthy very seriously. Many live in extreme poverty and some are homeless or in the foster care system. They have never been trusted to oversee a project this magnitude and all have risen to the occasion.


    Many stay after school or give up their recess time to care for it. The reef system exposes students to an ecosystem many of them will otherwise never see. It provides a hands-on contextual platform for complex science instruction. It also is a source of wonder for the entire school.


    I have documented much of work we have done on the aquarium on my classes website. Please check it out for more information: http://mrrutherfordisawesome.weebly.com/reef-system.html


    I will show this post to my class everyday. Please respond with well wishes or questions.
    2986859_orig (1).jpg 1275744_orig.jpg photo (3).JPG
     
    awesomesquad, Oct 20, 2013
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  2. awesomesquad

    Aquarian

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    What a awesome job they have done!!! And to you as well that's how you get kids interested and involved. I'm sure some will have a life long love for science and nature thanks to your teaching.
     
    Aquarian, Oct 20, 2013
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  3. awesomesquad

    awesomesquad

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    Thanks for your support.It's been a hard sell educationally and i've had to do a lot of documentation to prove its pedagogical value but I am very glad that we started this project. It was kind of a leap of faith but it's getting more and more momentum and the kids love it. I teach children who live in poverty and many don't see science or education in general as something valuable. Having a project that requires them to learn science has been a major motivation and even people who aren't interested in reef keeping have acknowledged the power of what we're doing. It's more than just a fish tank.
     
    awesomesquad, Oct 21, 2013
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  4. awesomesquad

    ErinCahir Sausage Wrangler

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    It looks awesome!!

    You guys have all done an amazing job!
     
    ErinCahir, Oct 21, 2013
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  5. awesomesquad

    Civicdemon Go Big Or Go Home !

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    Hey you might want to go on the Aquatic log web site and see if they might sponsor your class for a year. It would be a good place to keep track of parameters and water changes and all your equipment. You can clink my signature to get to there site.
     
    Civicdemon, Oct 21, 2013
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  6. awesomesquad

    Civicdemon Go Big Or Go Home !

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    Oh and I seen you guys are going for a MP60 for circulation,, that might be a tad bit overkill for those tanks. I have 2 mp40s and there only at 50% y tank is 6 feet long 125gl so you might want to shoot a little lower for the mp 40s trust me these things move water like crazy.

    Great work to you guys and your class keep it up and feel free to ask any questions.
     
    Civicdemon, Oct 21, 2013
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  7. awesomesquad

    awesomesquad

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    You're right that the MP 40 would be sufficient but my display tank has abnormally thick glass and Ecotech recommends the MP60, it's much more expensive unfortunately. Right now we're trying to get donations of pumps.
     
    awesomesquad, Oct 21, 2013
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  8. awesomesquad

    Sakura2282 Reef lover!!!

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    Teachers like you are the ones who can change a kid's life forever in a positive way. Please say the kids for me that they are doing an amazing job! :)

    Good luck with the project! :thumbsup:
     
    Sakura2282, Oct 21, 2013
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  9. awesomesquad

    Waddi Shenanigans? VIP Member

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    Respect for you my friend. Wish this happened in my childhood! Looks amazing!
     
    Waddi, Oct 21, 2013
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  10. awesomesquad

    awesomesquad

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    Thanks guys, my website got a lot of hits over the last two days. Do you think I could somehow harness the web traffic to get revenue for our classroom project? Maybe advertisements? Somehow I want industry support, I've been trying to apply for grants but have only gotten a few here or there for under 100$. Does anyone know of a manufacture that is super nice?
     
    awesomesquad, Oct 22, 2013
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  11. awesomesquad

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Wonderful jobs to you and your students!
     
    wontonflip, Oct 22, 2013
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  12. awesomesquad

    Becky Administrator

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    What a fantastic project! They are certainly very lucky to have you as a teacher, it sounds like they are learning so much :)
     
    Becky, Oct 22, 2013
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  13. awesomesquad

    appleton

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    I applaude you and your kids.Simply marvelous. Well done.
     
    appleton, Oct 24, 2013
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  14. awesomesquad

    jahel318

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    Cool!!! Great work you've done for the kids!!!
     
    jahel318, Oct 24, 2013
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