Register for updates
Hear about new products and get hints and tips for the classroom.
Thank you for your interest !
There are few things in my teaching career that have brought me as much satisfaction as exposing students to the wonders of the outdoors. It's been great watching the smiles and listening to the squeals of my seventh graders as we slog through a muddy cattail slough, or observing as a group of “cool” juniors and seniors become humble and thoughtful when encountering the incredible peace and beauty of a mountain range. Taking the kids on field trips and helping kids discover and appreciate nature is truly a worthwhile and rewarding venture. Unfortunately, it is not easy to overcome the financial and logistical obstacles that stand in the way of those experiences. It seems to get more difficult every year.
Somewhere along the line I heard someone say “You can’t teach them until you have their attention.” Next to field trips, one of the best things I’ve done to get and keep their attention have been to bring in objects from the outdoors that students can observe and handle. There is nothing like live animals, slimy algae, sticky burdock pods, or a fossil imbedded rock to charge up the curiosity of a student and get them to naturally start their own science inquiry lesson. Nature is full of low cost, hands on, goodies that kids “and adults” find fascinating. I’ve found that not even the “coolest” video, or the newest computer simulation comes close to generating the enthusiasm and sincere questions that simple things like feeding crickets to a toad, or passing around an old turtle shell, or fossilized fish do. Each year I seem to have fewer and fewer students who have the opportunity, or inclination to discover what is right outside their doors. Yet, when given a chance to observe some common critter or plant gall or some other object that I bring in from the outdoors, they drop all pretense of boredom and start asking questions and making observations. I thought this would change as I moved from a Jr. High environment to the Sr. High but, if anything, the interest has increased.
With Woods End Educational Products, our vision is to create a place where teachers can both find and share new ideas for interesting and worthwhile natural science lessons for your students. Most of what we sell are products that you could either gather or make yourself............ if you have the time and the resources. Most of us don’t seem to have a whole lot of spare time to gather materials and write-up new labs or activities as much as we would like. We also don’t have a whole lot of money in our budget (school or personal) to buy as much as we used to. We hope that you will find our product line and our web site interesting and helpful. We welcome your comments and lesson plan ideas. We also encourage you to contact us if you have an idea for a product that you would like to market to educators.
Thank you for your time !
Mark & Ann Ranney
|Order Information||Resource Room||Product Information||Contact Us|