Case Study: Implement A Cross-Curriculum Tool Across the School District; Livingston, NJ School District
A major issue within the Livingston, NJ, school district is finding ways to teach topics across the curriculum, enabling teachers to work together to reinforce educational concepts for their students. Two years ago, the district hired a new Science Supervisor for its K-8 grades, Maria Carazano, who had successfully used the WeatherBug Schools Program as a cross-curriculum tool in other school districts. She demonstrated to the schools how its weather data could be used to teach science, mathematics, social studies, and more.
The first school in the district to join the WeatherBug Schools Program in the Livingston district was the Burnett Elementary School. Its instructors received onsite training from WeatherBug and then "turn keyed" the information to the district's other five elementary schools. Now all six schools have their own Tracking Stations.
An Instructional Tool for All Grade Levels
WeatherBug School's lesson plans align to the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards for science and math, K-12. This makes it easy for elementary schools in Livingston, NJ, to use it across all grade levels.
In lower-level grades, K-3, students learn science by conducting simple experiments and comparing the data they collect to WeatherBug information. For example, first graders use plastic cups to collect and measure rain, then check their findings against the measurements of the rain gauge on their school's tracking station. Students can chart or graph the data for discussion in their science class, or use it later in the day during their social studies class.
"In the early grades, we talk a lot about community and our environment," says Burnett Elementary School principal, Doug Drescher, "and that information about the weather can be brought up for a discussion to talk about how the daily weather or changes in the weather affects the way we live."
The WeatherBug Schools Program is also used for students in upper-level grades. Students use it to research the live data from their school's system as well as to compare information from Tracking Stations located a few miles away as well as anywhere in the country. It helps them understand ". how we as Livingston students and teachers are really part of a really large community of people who are affected by the weather," Principal Drescher continued, "and are really interested in discussing the kind of information that we can research."
Parents Are More Engaged in Their Children's Learning
Elementary schools in Livingston, NJ, actively incorporate the WeatherBug Schools Program into their curriculum. Teachers have become advocates for the system, conveying to parents how they can get the same information from the WeatherBug Schools website and the WeatherBug desktop application that their children use in school. When a student gets an assignment, it's easier for them to discuss it with their parents and get their assistance. Parents are not only better informed on what their children are learning, they also have an opportunity to actively participate in their children's education.