Vol. 5, No. 1



Hear ye, hear ye! Colleagues, friends, and former PDI-participants, First Hand Learning is excited to be offering our day-long professional development institute – Outdoor Learning: A Path to Science and Literacy – on Wednesday, March 17th as part of the NSTA’s National Conference in Philadelphia. We invite you to join us there.

Participants will practice naturalists’ techniques to record observations and communicate findings, identify and use different genres of science writing, and learn how to structure outdoor investigations to create on-going and varied opportunities for firsthand learning that promote skill development.

The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia will provide the natural surroundings for our investigations. Check out this great resource at:

To learn more about, and to register for, First Hand Learning’s Professional Development Institute, visit

As PDI presenters, First Hand Learning has put together a selection of presentations for NSTA that complement the focus of the PDI. If you will be at the conference, please consider attending some of these great “pathway sessions” – all held at the Philadelphia Marriot Hotel in Room 407/408.

Consider the Evidence—Using Student Journals to Drive Instruction
Thursday 9:30 am
Presenter: Therese Arsenault
Daily journal assessment in middle school science classes provides direction for science instruction. We'll analyze student journal entries, noticing what students know about science process skills and content. We'll discuss strategies for using journals to drive instruction.

Active Literacy Learning in Science
Thursday 12:30 pm
Presenter: E. Wendy Saul
Promote literacy by using trade books as exemplars and descriptive writing as a source for reflection. Observation and critical thinking build here from live experiences.

Nature Journals and Field Guides: Tools for Linking Science and Literacy
Thursday 3:30 pm
Presenter: Mark Baldwin
Learn how to link nature journals as tools to propel inquiry with making field guides as tools to promote literacy.

Louisville is Engaging Children Outdoors (Louisville ECHO)
Friday 8:00 am
Presenter: Bennett Knox
Presentation and discussion of Metro Parks’ signature inquiry-based environmental education initiative focused on urban 4th and 5th grade students with multiple meaningful outdoor experiences.

Mapping the Schoolyard
Friday 9:30 am
Presenter: Patricia McGlashan
Learn how to evaluate the educational potential of a site by mapping its resources, both natural and human made and by making cross-curricular links to math, measurement, scaling, and drawing explicit.

Out Doors After School
Friday 12:30 pm
Presenter: William Rogers
Science Firsthand - Partners in Discovery is a project that gives urban youth an adult mentor and time after school for exploring scientifically.

Local Knowledge—Addressing the gap between what students already know and what gets taught
Friday 3:30 pm
Presenters: David Hartney, Leanne Avery
Discuss with colleagues your experiences and ideas to address the gap between student conceptions of natural phenomena, based on their local knowledge, and scientific descriptions presented in formal academic settings and language.

Get your students to practice recording their observations of the world around them with an assortment of fun, bite-sized activities. Use First Hand Learning’s cool collection of miniature nature journals to spark interest and practice skills. Download these diminutive notebooks for free!

The First Hand Learning Catalog offers nature journals, hands-on science kits, posters, and more. Go to
We hope you found this edition of the FIRST HAND LEARNING E-NEWSLETTER informative. Please contact us with any comments, suggestions, or questions you may have by emailing us at:

This e-newsletter is a product of First Hand Learning, Inc.
Subscribe for free at

Unsubscribe by sending an email to with the subject "unsubscribe."

Contact us at: (716) 831-8722 or

First Hand Learning, Inc. is committed to protecting the privacy of its colleagues and customers. FHL does not sell or rent email addresses to other organizations.

© 2010 First Hand Learning, Inc.


E-Newsletter Vol. 4 No. 9

E-Newsletter Vol. 4 No. 8

E-Newsletter Vol. 4 No. 7

E-Newsletter Vol. 4 No. 6

E-Newsletter Vol. 4 No. 5

E-Newsletter Vol. 4 No. 4

E-Newsletter Vol. 4 No. 3

E-Newsletter Vol. 4 No. 2

E-Newsletter Vol. 4 No. 1

E-Newsletter Vol. 3 No. 5

E-Newsletter Vol. 3 No. 4

E-Newsletter Vol. 3 No. 3

E-Newsletter Vol. 3 No. 2

E-Newsletter Vol. 3 No. 1

E-Newsletter Vol. 2 No. 7

E-Newsletter Vol. 2 No. 6

E-Newsletter Vol. 2 No. 5

E-Newsletter Vol. 2 No. 4

E-Newsletter Vol. 2 No. 3

E-Newsletter Vol. 2 No. 2

E-Newsletter Vol. 2 No. 1

E-Newsletter Vol. 1 No. 3

E-Newsletter Vol. 1 No. 2

E-Newsletter Vol. 1 No. 1