Based in New Mexico, RiverXchange® offers experiential in-class presentations and a planting service trip to our 5th-grade students in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, all within a 4-5 month period (September-February). Over the course of the program, students are encouraged to post to a shared educational blog about what they are learning.
Our program also includes an in-depth watershed themed curriculum which is available to any participant. Each participating class is connected with at least one other class in a different state or country to share with over the course of the school year. By posting projects and writing on your blog as a class, your students can expand on what they are learning in the classroom.
New Mexico participants are expected to communicate with out-of-state partners at least twice each semester, by sharing projects on a private blog and responding to what your partners have posted. Through sharing our writing and creative projects about rivers or our watersheds, we integrate science, social studies, and 21st-Century learning skills, all correlated to U.S. Common Core Standards.
We know that computer lab time can be limited, especially with new testing requirements, so we encourage group work and especially video technology. For example, a single smartphone or iPad is a powerful tool – you can film several group presentations in a short time, which incorporates writing, planning, and speaking skills, resulting in just a few files that can be quickly posted to the website. We want students to spend more time learning and preparing and less time struggling with technology.
Teachers in other parts of the world are welcome to use our curriculum for reference, to enhance your existing curriculum, or as a complete program that explores rivers, watersheds, stormwater, water quality, drinking water, wastewater, agriculture, ecology, and conservation.
RiverXchange® will provide (at no charge):
- 4 in-class presentations on water topics (NM only)
- 1 service-learning field trip (NM only)
- Partnership matching
- Curriculum resources
- Kidblog website access and user accounts for your class
- Training on how to use the blog technology
- Technical support throughout the school year
We are also available to support out-of-state partners in helping locate relevant educational opportunities in your area.
As a participant, you will:
- Attend an in-person teacher training (NM only) or online or telephone training session (out-of-area partners).
- Ensure that at least one class reflection is posted every month (We suggest creating reflection groups for this aspect)
- Protect student privacy and monitor student writing for appropriateness as described below
- Respond to our Teacher Feedback Survey to help us improve the program
- Have fun!
**Teachers will, most importantly:
- Along with students, actively participate in activities in order to gain a more personal connection to your own local river ecosystem or watershed and learn what you can do to conserve water and protect water quality
- Gain experience incorporating science, water resources topics, and technology into your existing curriculum
- Correspond with your partner teachers in order to learn and share supportive teaching strategies and materials