Jennifer Rahn

My background is in environmental studies, and I did field research for several years. I also have a strong background in information technology, and developed computer-mediated training programs for staff and clients. My objective is to manage and teach at a field station or arboretum, using computer-mediated instruction to support hands-on and project-based learning.



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Recent Posts by Jennifer

Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:57 PM in Combatting Burnout?
Chris, I feel your pain. Teaching is for me a third act as well. I came in from industry, from one of those STEM fields that we keep saying we need more teachers. Before that, I was on the faculty of a state university. I have never, in almost four decades of work, seen the lack of respect for any kind of workers, but especially teachers. Yet the demands continue to pile on, and the attitudes f...

Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:39 PM in Rethinking Homework
Deep down, I don't think that students should have to do a lot of homework outside of class. But I do see a lot of students who are not understanding, yet are afraid to ask questions. I have noticed that many of the students are lacking a "work ethic" so often instead of focusing in the classroom, doing the homework I have given them time for, they are socializing or playing video games on school...

Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:18 PM in Retaking Tests
You sound incredibly frustrated, and understandably so. Our district policy is to allow test retakes with completed homework (in my case, that is daily homework), completed review packet before the test, another completed (different) review after the initial test, an individual session with me, and test corrections on the original test. Talk about insane levels of record-keeping, in addition to mu...

Recent Reviews by Jennifer

Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:39 PM
5 Authentic research foundation
As a former groundwater researcher, I found this activity exceptional in its use of high-quality digital resources and their application in teaching analytical skills very applicable to real situations. I like the progressive approach using multiple layers and locations. It also also allows students to come to conclusions based on observations. Great foundation for learning how to do background research too. Could be easily adapted to college-level as well.

Mon May 26, 2014 11:28 PM
5 Authentic analysis
I enjoyed reading about the activity described in this article. The parameters collected are quite similar to those often collected in surface water studies, although the techniques likely are a bit different. I definitely appreciate the analysis portion of the activity. The main limitation is the lack of longitudinal data; most real studies would include baseline data. Another test frequently done is PCR analysis to determine the source of E. coli. Oftentimes it is difficult to assess the point source (it could be a processing plant, dairy farm, sewage treatment plant, or even pet droppings) and PCR may provide source clues. Perhaps there is a way to incorporate some of these new tools into the analysis.

Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:50 PM
5 Nice cross-curricular activity
I really enjoyed reading this article. It provides a great mechanism to empower students to "be the change" they want to see. It also does an excellent job of providing cross-curricular links to writing; I think similar types of integration might be made with human geography as well. The research component is important as well, but I would like to see more than two sources as evidence that the student had done a thorough analysis of research on the topic. I would like to see a component that would have students evaluate the validity of the model on which the footprint is based. Is it reliable and sensitive enough to show the impact of the changes the student is making? How does it compare to other such "footprint models?" This is a nice tie-in to the process and challenges of developing models. When I did a similar activity with a class, we found there were significant differences in the modeling assumptions.

Recent Public Collections by Jennifer

Historical Use of Trade Books in the Science Classroom
Type: Book Chapter

Into the Woods
Type: Book Chapter

Graphing Middle School

10 Resources

Tech Trek: Integration and Presentation
Type: Journal Article

Classroom Catapults
Type: Journal Article

Moon Phases and Models
Type: Book Chapter