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Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears Series: Integrating Science and Literacy for the K-5 Classroom, Seminar 1: Polar Geography
All web seminar participants use online tools that allow them to mark-up presenter's slides or share desktop applications in addition to engaging in chat with others online and answering poll questions

This Web Seminar, developed in collaboration with the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) took place on Tuesday, May 27, 2008, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. In this program Jessica Fries-Gaither, Project Director and Elementary Resource Specialist for the Ohio Resource Center, and Dr. Carol Landis, Education Coordinator at the Byrd Polar Research Center, featured the online magazine titled: Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears. This magazine provides resources and strategies for teachers interested in integrating science and literacy.

The Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears online magazine specializes in providing educators with resources and strategies for integrating science and literacy with a focus on the Earth’s polar regions. Fries-Gaither and Landis started out by presenting a brief overview of characteristics of the Arctic and Antarctic—temperature, geography, wildlife, and other comparative factors between the poles. Using polar geography as a context, Fries-Gaither then demonstrated literacy related activities from the magazine such as content area reading strategies, graphic organizers, and reading and writing exercises for use in classrooms of grades K-2 and 3-5.

Forty-seven (47) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenters, the NSDL moderator, and the NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. One participant attended the program from Australia. Participants received a one-year subscription to an NSTA SciGuide for attending the program and completing the evaluation form.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • "I love your web seminars. They are very interactive and participants asking
    and answering each other's questions is a great way to learn for all."

  • "Great presentation! Informative and interesting. I enjoyed learning about
    the Antarctic region."

  • "I learned that Antarctica is 1.5 times the size of the continental U.S."

  • "Thank you once again for supplying an excellent seminar with professional
    knowledgeable presenters."

Thanks to the participants and the presenters for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


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