Tool Kit

From: Marcella Dawson <>
Subject: Tool Kit
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 1996 20:28:22 -0600 (CST)

Thank you Jan for clarifying some questions. Some of my eighth grade guys 
were arguing with me today that the tool box is for Mars not Earth--now I have 
it in writing from our Fearless Leader! I have been amazed at the 
suggestions. There is actually recall of labs we did way back in sixth 
grade, I am seeing an unbelievable amount of application of previously 
learned techniques---which I have not experienced with other projects. We 
also have a sense of humor: the archeao-list contains Pace Pikante Sauce 
and Mrs. Dawson's portfolio guidelines. We are getting very intense as we 
head for the classroom debate. I still have to come up with guidelines 
for that. Does anyone have some good rubrics?

I have posted our martian newsletter, "Los Marcianos", online and my 
classes are hoping that other classes will post also. The newsletter is 
an extension of my daily log assignment so it segued nicely. The 
instructions and the submittal form are at

Finally, I am having a time problem with the challenge question. It takes 
my students a long time to think these problem through. They were very 
proud of their answers which came in after the first challenge question 
answers were answered. It is very nice to have parents work with their 
children; half of my students have non-English speaking, non-technically 
educated parents. The posted answers were excellent, but even I was 
surprised. My reaction was similar to taking students to a science fair 
so that they can compete with projects done by parents, rather than 
students. It is wonderful to have the complete answers as teaching tools, 
but could we have three (four--the fourth for parents!) level of answers?

Marcella Dawson 

Marcella Dawson, Science Department
St. Anne School
2120 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77098