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Contact Info:

jwalden-gray@woodscharter.org

https://www.instagram.com/frogsandgrubs/

I am on campus Mondays and Wednesdays

Schoolyard Ecology  - 3nd period  (room 225)
Into the Wild - 6th period (room 229)

We go outside every class

My heart is always outdoors. I bring my students outside to have nature spark their curiosity and challenge their understanding of the world. I believe that science is best learned when learning is student-driven and applied to one's own surroundings. We can do real science at all ages in our own backyards. My teaching is inspired by the place-based education philosophy. I use our own environment as a classroom and integrate arts and humanities into my STEM-based classes. Ultimately, my goal is to help students become better educated citizens who are actively engaged in their own community. We also have a ton of fun! 

I grew up playing outside in the Finger Lakes region of Central NY. I studied Entomology and Neurobiology and Animal Behavior at Cornell University for my undergraduate education, worked on (but didn't finish) a PhD for a bit studying behavioral ecology, and then earned my M.A.T. in Secondary Science Education from NC State. I fell in love with teaching as a teacher/naturalist at Mass Audubon's Habitat Sanctuary in Belmont, MA. I am forever grateful for my experience working with extraordinary people in that extraordinary place. 

5th/6th Grade Elective: Schoolyard Ecology 

Nature is our classroom as we discover the living things that call Woods Charter School home. We ask questions and get our hands dirty to learn about the lifestyles of creatures great and small. No log goes unturned as we answer important questions like, “Why don’t spiders get caught in their webs?” and “How does a bumble bee find her way home?”

7th/8th Grade Elective: Into the Wild 

Channel your inner National Geographic explorer to head outside and use nature as your science lab. Prepare to get dirty as we design experiments and use field science methods to explore the world around us. Ask and learn how to answer questions like “How does sap get from the roots to the top of a giant tulip tree?”, “Are we standing on an ancient volcano?”, and “How are cicadas so loud?!” No question or discovery is too big or too small! Dress for the weather because we will go outside rain or shine, hot or cold. We will go on an outdoors overnight trip to fully experience a life as a field scientist.

Homework Policy

I do not assign homework for my electives. I expect my students to observe the natural world outside of class and report a "Nature WHOA! moment" at the beginning of each class in their class notebook. 

Grading

Students will be graded with cumulated points.

Whoa moment - 1 pt each
Question of the Day - 2 pt each
In-class assignment - 5 pt each
In-class project - 10 pt each

Year-end grade is:

33% Trimester 1
33% Trimester 2
33% Trimester 3