From the Classroom

Watershed Classroom Meets the BEETLES

Each year, the Watershed Classroom aims to provide our community's educators with unique and relevant Professional Development opportunities. This year we hooked up with the Berkeley Lawrence Hall of Science's BEETLES program to offer two full days of education in best practices for outdoor education and field journaling.

The training, which took place on August 4th and 5th at Casa Grande High School and was led by exceptional BEETLES educators Kevin Beals and Emilie Lygren, was as engaging and enjoyable as it was constructive. Teachers were led in activities that often felt more like games than academic exercises as they explored first hand how to introduce their students to the outdoors.  

 McNear Elementary teacher Eric Norstad plays a field journaling game, matching leaves to peers' drawings and descriptions. 

McNear Elementary teacher Eric Norstad plays a field journaling game, matching leaves to peers' drawings and descriptions. 

 Down at Adobe Creek, teachers are reminded of the joys of critter catching. 

Down at Adobe Creek, teachers are reminded of the joys of critter catching. 

Day 1, teachers explored the Casa Grande High School campus in a new way as they were introduced to the basics of engaging youth in observing nature through inquiry and field journaling. On Day 2, participants took a trip over to nearby Adobe Creek where they deepened and expanded this knowledge. 

All signs say the training was a great success. Teachers had rave reviews for Kevin and Emilie and all seemed to walk away with a better vision of how they would like to move forward with their outdoor curriculum. All of us at Friends of the Petaluma River are equally excited to begin applying our new understanding to our youth education practices.

Thank you to all who attended, to Casa Grande for hosting this opportunity, and to Kevin, Emilie, and the whole BEETLES team for their exceptional work. Here's to another year of creative and inspired watershed education!