WILLIAMSTOWN - A group of teachers from most Wood County elementary schools spent Tuesday in a wildlife workshop to help their students.
Twenty-seven second-through-fifth-grade teachers spent the morning at the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge in Williamstown to take what they learned in the field into the classroom, said Tammy McKnight curriculum specialist for Wood County Schools.
"We have teachers from all but three schools, which is pretty amazing," McKnight said. "There was actually a waiting list because we had to cap the number of participants."
Andy Sheetz with the West Virginia Division of Forestry keeps track of pieces of pasta picked up Tuesday during a wildlife workshop with Wood County teachers at the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Photos by?Jolene Craig
Sara Siekierski, acting refuge manager at the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge, performs an activity Tuesday at the Williamstown refuge while 27 participating Wood County teachers look on.
The workshop, organized by Project Learning Tree, an environmental education program coordinated by the West Virginia Forestry Association and the West Virginia Division of Forestry, involved teachers in lessons they can use with their students to make learning about forests, wildlife, water, air, energy, waste, climate change, invasive species, community planning and culture fun and interesting.
Lessons through the workshop include materials which are multi-disciplinary and are aligned with state and national education standards.
"This workshop is helping the teachers use the outside as a classroom," McKnight said. "By having them participate in the activities it gives the teachers a taste of what it's like to be the student and helps get them excited about trying these new activities and techniques."
This is the first year for the workshop, but McKnight said it will not be the last.
"We may not do this particular program again, but we plan to bring officials from Project Learning Tree into our classrooms to help the kids," she added.
Robin Stout, instructional coach for Wood County Schools, said by having the teachers use these new resources in their classrooms, they can help students learn more than about nature.
"They can use this to help the students learn math, science and any other subject because it all ties together," Stout said. "The next generation of students are focused on hands-on tie of science and communication to tie into all areas of the classroom and development.
"These activities will give kids the experience and background to build all knowledge," she added.
The West Virginia Forestry Association is a nonprofit organization that encourages and promotes sustainable forest management, improved fire protection and suppression and true conservation of woodland resources in West Virginia. The West Virginia Forestry Association is funded though its members, which includes "individuals and businesses involved in forest management, timber production and wood product manufacturing."