Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Teachers Conference 2021 Schedule

Below is the schedule for the 2021 Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Teachers Conference. Click here for more information or to register for the event, and click here for bios of our teachers and speakers.

Welcome Teachers!
We suggest you purchase or download a free PDF of How to Teach Nature Journaling as a companion to this training. Also see the special teacher’s section of John Muir Laws’ website for more resources. 

NOTE: ALL TIMES ARE IN PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME. 

Monday, June 21, 2021

8:30-9:15am: “What is Nature Journaling?” Class with John Muir Laws
Learn how to articulate what nature journaling is, how it integrates with other subjects and life experiences, and why we are doing it. This will help you clarify your own vision of what you are teaching and why, and it will help you be able to get greater support, buy-in, and participation from parents, school administrators, and students. In this class, Jack will also introduce a nature journaling field activity that you can do on your own to help you better understand how to use it with your students. 

9:15-10:00am: Field Exercise 
This is time for you to go outside and try the field exercise on your own. 

10:00-11:30am: “Giving Feedback that Encourages a Growth Mindset.” Class with John Muir Laws
Learn how to give supportive and encouraging feedback that cultivates a growth mindset in your students. As a group, we will debrief the field exercise and practice giving each other feedback. Jack will then introduce another nature journaling field activity for you to practice. 

11:30am-1:00pm: Lunch / Field Exercise
Have lunch (or a snack break, depending on your time zone) and try out the nature journal activity Jack introduced at the end of the last session. 

1:00-2:15pm: Debrief Field Activity and Feedback Practice with John Muir Laws
We will break into groups to discuss and debrief the diagram activity and practice giving each other feedback (30 min). Afterwards, we will reconvene as a group to share what we have learned (45 minutes).

2:30-4:00pm: “Setting Students Up for Success: Structure and Scaffolding” Class with Emilie Lygren
How can we support student participation and engagement in journaling activities? During this interactive and dynamic workshop, we’ll participate in model activities, think about how the structure of a journaling prompt impacts student engagement, and discuss effective strategies for scaffolding and offering support. We’ll also reflect on how to choose journaling activities that highlight local phenomena and natural features, and connect to standards, key content, and learning goals. 

4:15-5:00pm: Breakout Rooms: Choose a Class
When you enter our conference Zoom room, you will choose one of the following four classes to join. The same topics with the same teachers will be repeated on both days. These sessions will not be recorded. 

“How to Teach Before You Are Ready: Teaching For Newbies” Class with Marley Peifer
Are you a nature journaling beginner? Do your kids draw better than you? Are you unsure of your ability to teach? In this class, I will give specific tips and practical ideas to turn this shortcoming into a superpower. By the end of the class you will see why being a beginner and starting before you are ready will make you a better teacher.

“Nature Journaling At Every Stage: Adapting nature journaling practice to suit children of different ages” Class with Bethan Burton 
Nature journaling can start as soon as a child is old enough to hold a paintbrush and adapt to their changing needs and interests as they grow. In this session we will look at different nature journal strategies and techniques that can be used for children in different age brackets: the early years (age 0-4), primary years (age 5-12), and teenage years (age 13-18).

“How to Lead Virtual Field Trips”: Class with Roseann Hanson
One of the benefits of teaching virtually is the ability to reach people all over the world—and to allow people to have experiences that circumstances dictate they can’t (cost, or limited mobility). In this session Roseann Hanson will demonstrate how she creates virtual explorations using Google Earth, Google Street View app, and Pano2VR for immersive, interactive teaching. You will be able to take your students virtually anywhere, even Mars!

“Writing as a Tool to Learn”: Class with Rebecca Rolnick
Some students are intimidated by “writing,” which is often thought of as a tool to communicate, with an emphasis on grammar and mechanics. In this session, Rebecca will share strategies to use writing less formally as a tool to observe, think, and learn about the world around us—as well as the world of emotions inside us. You’ll learn to use your journal like a scientist and delve deeper into the ideas you explore. 

5:00-5:45pm: Dinner & Social Hour
During this informal social time, you’ll have the opportunity to meet other nature journal educators and share your biggest takeaways and moments of inspiration from the day. Have some dinner while you chat (or a snack, depending on your time zone). 

6:00-7:30pm: Keynote Speaker: Rob Wade
Rob Wade is the Outdoor Education and Science Coordinator for the Plumas County Office of Education. In this keynote, Rob Wade will discuss the 2016 launch of a Next Generation Science Standards K-12 strategy that took outdoor education and stewardship mainstream. Outdoor Core Mountain Kid is a K-12 collaborative that supports every teacher to integrate authentic weekly outdoor learning adventures for every student as part of a year-long local theme centered on inquiry and stewardship.

7:30-8:30pm: Post-Keynote “Backstage Pass” Discussion 
Stay after the keynote for an informal discussion with Rob Wade and other nature journal educators.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

8:30-9:15am: “Inquiry 1: Heuristics For Richer Questions” Class with John Muir Laws 
Enhancing your curiosity is a wonderful part of being a naturalist, scientist, or explorer. Learn how to ask richer questions or find the question behind the question. Learn how nature journaling connects to Next Generation Science Standards and how metacognition, or thinking about thinking, can help students develop a deeper sense of curiosity. John Muir Laws will introduce the nature journal activity “Asking Questions”. 

9:15-9:45am: Field Exercise: “Asking Questions” 
You will have time on your own to complete the “asking questions” nature journal activity Jack introduced at the end of the Inquiry 1 class. 

10:00-11:30am: “Inquiry 2: Investigation Strategies” Class with John Muir Laws
As a group, we will debrief the “Asking Questions” activity. Then we will explore the differences between the three categories of questions–Let’s see…, Could it be?, Let it be–and how to address them with students. Learn strategies your students can use to investigate observable phenomena. We will use our nature journals to explore patterns and come up with possible explanations for things we don’t understand. Jack will introduce an “Inquiry Investigation” activity to be completed over lunch.  

11:30am-1:00pm: Lunch / Field Exercise
Have lunch (or a snack break, depending on your time zone) and try out the “Inquiry Investigation” nature journal activity Jack introduced at the end of the last session. 

1:00-2:15pm: Debrief Field Activity and Metacognition Discussion with John Muir Laws
We will break into groups to discuss and debrief the Inquiry Investigation activity and practice giving each other feedback (30 min). We will reconvene as a group to share what we have learned about inquiry. Then Jack will lead a discussion of metacognition (45 minutes).

2:30-4:00pm: “Visual Thinking” Class with John Muir Laws 
Being able to express ideas with fast sketches or clear diagrams is a great skill to develop for nature journaling, and it also is a useful skill for school, work, and life. In this class, you will learn strategies and techniques you can teach to help your students get their ideas on paper. 

4:15-5:00pm: Breakout Rooms: Choose a Class
When you enter our conference Zoom room, you will choose one of the following four classes to join. The same topics will be repeated on both days. These sessions will not be recorded. NOTE: SEE DESCRIPTIONS ON MONDAY SCHEDULE

5:00-5:45pm: Dinner & Social Hour
During this informal social time, you’ll have the opportunity to meet other nature journal educators and share your biggest takeaways and moments of inspiration from the day. Have some dinner while you chat (or a snack, depending on your time zone). 

6:00-7:30pm: Keynote Speaker: Anne Stephens 
Nature Journaling: A Space for Student Sensemaking Regarding the NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts
The authors of the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education have noted the need for additional research about how students come to understand the broad themes across science, known as the Cross Cutting Concepts of the Next Generation Science Standards. In this talk, Anne will share the results of her case study that examines the role of nature journaling in one student’s conceptual development of the Cross Cutting Concepts over a two and-a-half year period, and the implications for how teachers can provide scaffolds to more effectively use nature journaling as a tool to support science learning.

7:30-8:30pm: Post-Keynote “Backstage Pass” Discussion
Stay after the keynote for an informal discussion with Anne Stephens and other nature journal educators.