Value Added Standards

  1. Students will conduct scientific investigations.
  2. Student will collaborate to investigate and/or solve real problems.
  3. Students will use digital media to communicate information effectively to multiple audiences.
  4. Students will develop a deep cultural understanding by collaborating directly with learners from other cultures.
  5. Students will demonstrate creative thinking and develop innovative products.

Academic Standards

Science        Provide evidence to support claims other than saying “Everyone knows that,” or “I just know,” and question such reasons when given by others.        Generate questions that can be answered when scientific knowledge is combined with knowledge gained from one's own observations or investigations.        Maintain a record of observations, procedures and explanations, being careful to distinguish between actual observations and ideas about what was observed.        Use tools, including rulers, thermometers, magnifiers and simple balances, to improve observations and keep a record of the observations made.        Compare how the different structures of plants and animals serve various functions of growth, survival and reproduction.        Give examples of differences among individuals that can sometimes give an individual an advantage in survival and reproduction.

1a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes
1b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression
2a. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media
2b. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats
2d. contribute to project teams to produce original works

4a. identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation

4b. plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a  project.
4c. collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions

Community Partnerships

Cornel Lab of Ornithology
Three Rivers Park: Eastman Nature Center
The Raptor Center
District 279 Foundation

Project Description

Each school year our third grade students become amateur ornithologists, participating in a year long study of birds and the environment.  Students learn to use binoculars and study the basic criteria of bird identification.  Students regularly visit the nature area and observe birds in their habitat. 

As a part of this value added project, each class participates in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Project FeederWatch.  Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locations throughout in North America.  Our student scientists periodically count the highest numbers of each species they see at our feeders from November through early April. This citizen science project helps scientists track broad scale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance. Project FeederWatch is operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada.

Along with the FeederWatch Investigation, students study the adaptations and important structures of birds.  Students then take what they have learned and create their own bird on the computer.  The activity culminates with a grade level activity celebrating International Migratory Bird Day.  Students visit with live raptors from the University of Minnesota Raptor Center, take bird walks with local naturalists, and participate in a video conference about how birds build different nests.

This Project is supported by a District 279 Foundation grant