Students from Mrs. Rumminger’s second grade class at Buffalo Ridge Elementary School got ‘drenched’ with weather knowledge during the month of March.
Article and photo by Elean Gersack
Blizzards, tornados, hurricanes, and other major weather events were all abuzz in second grade classrooms at Buffalo Ridge Elementary School (BRE) during the month of March.
With a science unit focused on meteorology and the questions - “how does weather impact our lives?” and “how do we prepare for extreme weather events?” - students were tasked with learning the ins and outs of these weather phenomena and sharing that knowledge with other students, book buddies, and parents.
Second grade teacher Sherri Rumminger collaborated with the other second grade teachers to create a unit relevant to students. “When they see how weather directly impacts our lives, they become more engaged and motivated to learn about it,” she said.
Students worked in teams using technology like iPads to research. To present their newfound knowledge, the kids created online presentations, while appropriately citing their resources, and used a SMART Board to personally present findings to the class. They even created QR codes for an extreme weather center.
“That term ‘digital native’ – they are! You just can’t dispute how they [students today] learn. It’s what they do,” exclaimed Rumminger.
The crew of boys who tackled hurricanes – Jackson, Braden and Caden – enjoyed working together and agreed wholeheartedly that this hands-on approach to learning is how they learn best. “She [our teacher] might not know all of the facts,” said Jackson with a smile as he talked about the endless possibilities for research and all he and his friends learned. “We learned that wind in a hurricane can move faster than a speeding train,” added Braden.
Alex and Jack, who learned about floods, shared that only six inches of rapidly moving floodwater can knock a person down and just two feet can float a school bus. As for lightning, experts Alanna and Taylor shared that lightning is hotter than the surface of the sun.
“The most rewarding part [of the unit] was watching the kids dig into their research and get excited about sharing it with each other. It is much more exciting for them to discover things on their own than it is for them to listen to me telling them about the weather,” said Rumminger.