This category contains 10 posts

Capillary Action in Abiquiu

The school year is winding down, and we’re still trying to get outside as much as possible with our students! Yesterday our 4th-6th grade GATE students from Española headed back up to Abiquiu Lake to learn more about plants. We began by taking a few minutes to finish those projects I keep hinting at. Our … Continue reading


The last time we were in Tierra Amarilla to meet with our 5th-6th grade River Classroom, we discussed cells. During this class our students had some wonderful questions about how cells came to be and also about blood and blood cells. We decided to address some of these topics in class. We discussed cells, how … Continue reading

Wildlife of New Mexico

One very important, and sometimes overlooked, aspect of place-based environmental education is learning what kinds of animals belong in the ecosystems in your area. Last week we addressed this with the 7th graders at McCurdy Charter School by bringing them to NMWC. We discussed why these animals are here and on exhibit (either because they … Continue reading

Looking at Cells in Tierra Amarilla

Earlier this year we spent a few weeks discussing plant and animal cells with our 4th-6th grade Española River Classroom. Our 5th-6th grade students in Tierra Amarilla have had fantastic questions about cells, and so we decided to take our microscopes north! We began the day by asking a few questions to assess how much … Continue reading

The Review Games

Yesterday was our final class session before the holiday break, and what better way to spend it than reviewing with our 4th-6th grade River Classroom? We actually began the day by discussing blood and blood cells. Students (who wanted) had the opportunity to test their own blood sugar level and examine their own blood cells … Continue reading

Exploring the Banks of the Rio Chama

“An environment-based education movement–at all levels of education–will help students realize that school isn’t supposed to be a polite form of incarceration, but a portal to the wider world.” –Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder The vast majority of our students have grown up in northern New Mexico. … Continue reading

DNA in River Classroom

What do snow and DNA have in common? Both were topics of the day last Wednesday in our 4th-6th grade River Classroom! We couldn’t help talking about snow, since we got so much the day before. We spent some time observing snow outside, and then to get a closer look, we had to throw a … Continue reading

Introduction to Animal Cells

After last week’s introduction to plant cells, our 4th-6th grade River Classroom students from Española were pretty excited to learn about animal cells! We began by comparing plants and animals using a Venn diagram. After learning all about animal cells and how they differ from plant cells, we observed cells from our cheeks! The differences … Continue reading

Introduction to Plant Cells

The focus of our 4th-6th grade Española River Classroom this year is Biology. We’ve spent a good deal of time out at Abiquiu Lake while the weather has been nice, but last Wednesday it was time to hit the classroom to discover the wonders (and organelles) of plant cells! Our students began by doing some … Continue reading

River Classroom Begins Again!

It seems like summer camp was just yesterday, and yet we’re already meeting our River Classroom students out on the river. Last week we had the pleasure of working with our 4th-6th grade GATE students from Espanola and the 5th-6th grade from Tierra Amarilla Elementary. Only a few of our 4th-6th grade Espanola students were … Continue reading