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Brooklyn Center, MN
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STATE-FISH ART HOME



2016 EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR

Joseph's thoughts and projrcts

in and out of the classroom

“Our students have an incredible opportunity to learn from not only their  teachers, but professionals in their field. They go on ecology hikes, dissect steelhead, test soil samples from each of the three counties and learn about survival, aquatic insects, and streams.” Joe Colby, sixth grade teacher. “We are lucky to be able to provide this kind of learning opportunity to our students. It is a fantastic program that we work hard at offering each year."

The ODFW provides the (STEP) Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program.  It is an educational resource that provides tools, resources and support to provide education opportunities in and out of the classroom,  I use the "Fish Eggs to Fry" program where salmon or trout eggs are raised in a classroom incubator.


One is called Salmon Watch which is where our class is invited on a field trip to our local river the Middle Fork of the John Day River to conduct hands-on activities.   Some of the classes we take part in are provided by fish biologist or a variety of other people that monitor the water.  The classes include : salmon biology, aquatic insects, water quality, riparian zones, data collection and art.  This helps bridge the learning we do in the classroom with the actual life cycle of native populations of fish.


We have also done a hatchery visit to our local hatchery in Maupin, OR at Oak Springs on the Deschutes River.  Here we are able to help the ODFW workers with spawning Brook Trout.  We get to see the entire spawning process of hatchery raised fish and be a part of it through a variety of activities at the hatchery.

Our local Gilliam County Soil and Water Conservation District has offered a variety of programs to my classes over time.  We have
cooperatively gone on field studies with employees of the SWCD and learned about: riparian areas, water quality, tree planting projects, tree clipping projects, aquatic insects, stream table and a variety of art projects.                                                                                                                                                Another field trip we have gone on is to our local state park, Cottonwood Canyon on the John Day River.  Here we rotate between classes all day: Stream Table. Aquatic Insects, Riparian Areas, Art, Music, Wildlife and Water Quality and Monitoring.  We do a collection of lessons through an ODFW curriculum called :Fish Eggs to Fry" and "Hatchery Next Door".  I try and add lessons on the life cycle, fish hazards, water cycle, land forms, watersheds, crumple waterwheels, and other interesting things that add to the fish.

Through the process of teaching about fish and the world around us I have had my students enter the State-Fish Art Contest the last 18 years.  This project allows kids to study our state fish, the Chinook salmon.  We do many different mediums of art with this project - chalk, watercolor, stipling, colored pencil, oil pastels, crayons, charcoal, tissue paper, tore paper collage.  With this project we are able to wrap up our learning about fish.

We write a paper about our state fish the Chinook Salmon.  This paper covers a variety of the items we have learned throughout the first part of the year:  Lifecycle, Interesting Facts, Names, Hazards Fish Face, and then we write a one page expository paper on the Chinook salmon.


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