Teacher Goes to Summer School

Well my time “off” from teaching is quickly coming to an end. How do I know this you make ask, well, just look at the Cottonwood trees in Western Colorado. When these trees begin to show signs of waning chlorophyll (they are losing their lovely green glow), and start to turn just a little bit yellow,  that is the sign for teachers to head to their classrooms, and students to go shopping for their collection of supplies, new shirts, or just to hit Lincoln Park Pool just a few more afternoons.

Upon reflecting on my summer adventures here are some of my highlights.

Week 1:  I spent my first week of “vacation” in a van full of M.E.S.A. 8th graders and headed to Disneyland, the beach, and some awesome science museums.

Week 2: With Mrs. Moran and Mrs. Johnson,  I attended a GREAT class by the Division of Parks and Wildlife, where I learned all about the fascinating opportunities for taking students to different outdoor sites in Western Colorado to “learn real science”!  I am excited to do some of the great lessons I learned during this week, throughout my 2012-2013 school year! We concluded this week with a float on the Colorado River through town, learning all about Riparian Ecosystem and the Tamarisk tree dilemma in our Valley. I had not ever been on this part and was amazed at the stunning beauty of our Colorado River. My favorite spot on the river  was when we floated by a roost of Great Blue Heron (see the pictures below!)

Week 3: I relaxed at home, road my Cruiser bicycle a lot and planted and tended to my garden.

Week 4: I traveled to Boulder and lived in the dorms for a week, while attending an AWESOME Astronomy class put on by the LASP group at the University of Colorado at Boulder. We were able to visit NOAA and learn all about space weather, extemeophiles (things that live in extreme conditions), the upcoming Mars Curiosity experiments, and even toured Boulder on the Banjo Billy Bus tour! AND I discovered what a great place Boulder is for riding a cruiser bike!

Week 5: I took a class up in Breckenridge, CO about Economics and the Environment. We studied about how communities take nature-based, scientific concerns and find solutions that make the community members happier. We learned about the Blue River that was torn through by mining, and now how it has become a beautiful Riverwalk through town. My favorite part of this class was riding the Gondola and ski lift up to the Continental Divide at Peak 8 to learn about the wetlands and how the Breakenridge Ski Company has to protect the mountain ecosystem as they continue to build newer and better ski runs. Breckenridge is a beautiful town!

Week 6-7   Gardening, gardening, Reading and Gardening!

Week 8:  My niece came to visit and we hit all the great kids spots in town. . . .Bowling, Bananas, Kidzplex, etc.

Week 9:  Camping with my family in beautiful Buena Vista, Colorado and visiting the chipmunks at St. Elmo.

Week 10: Relaxing and some more camping and four-wheeling in Ouray, Colorado!  We also had some great bear sightings this summer, because of the lack of food in the mountains forcing the bears to look closer to humans for food.  . . . . . all because of the severe drought in our state!

It has a been a beautiful summer full of travel, adventure, growth, and I am excited to meet the newest 8th grade class at West Middle School.  I have some adventures waiting for you all!  🙂

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