Posts tagged ‘Teaching’

My Learnings Digested from #ISTE2014

“Actions speak louder than buzzwords. ” Adam Bellows

ISTE2014 Bound

ISTE2014 Bound

It is hard to believe a week ago I was at #ISTE2014 with 16,039 conference goers, from all 50 states along with 67 nations! It has taken me some time to process and digest what I learned from the conference that is now a check off my bucket list!

Top 3 Takeaways:

1. I want to be like Kevin Carroll! Why? He believed in himself, he was a change agent and a catalyst. By far  Kevin’s keynote was the most inspirational and best session I attended. His keynote speech has not been released yet but when it does, if you have not seen it, you need too. Here is a quick interview with him: Kevin Carroll at ISTE 2014 and his book: Rules of the Red Rubber Ball

2. Relationships and collaboration of ideas are the most important part of learning. My second favorite part about ISTE was the people, sharing ideas in lines, at meals and at events. I loved meeting my virtual PLN face to face and collaborating with educators from my own district that I don’t get to see so often and ones that I do!

3.  There is a lot of misconceptions about what Personalized Learning is. Personalized Learning encompasses many best practices that teachers already do such as conferring/conferencing with students, build relationships and allowing students to own their learning. What it is NOT: Personalized Learning does not mean technology. Technology is a tool to help the instructional shift that needs to be made in the classroom. There is no one Learning Management System (LMS), web tool, app or device that is the magic bullet for personalized leaning.

Top 3 Websites to check out:

1. Tackk : is a simple way to create beautiful pages on the web. It’s your very own page, flyer, blog post, or poster.

2. Graphite: Is a great site by Common Sense Media  that make it easier for educators to find the best apps, games, and websites for the classroom, making sure they are common core aligned and the rigor and relevance is there.

3.  Tammy Wocester : I used to visit Tammy’s site often a few years ago as I loved her ideas. I am glad I went to her session and was reminded how great it is.

Top 3 ideas to implement: 

1. #youmatter: I have heard about you matter by watching the TED talk but going to the session helped me realize it’s about personalizing the students learning through whole child approach. It is a movement. Here are more sites to add to your #youmatter resources:  http://choose2matter.org,  http://www.classroomchampions.org  and you matter day using #mattergrams

2. App Speed Dating: Is where students teach educators about apps they like to use in the classroom.  A great way to offer PD to teachers and allow student leadership.

3. Edtechwomen: One of the events I went to at ISTE was the #edtechwomen dinner. It was a favorite for me as I was inspired by so many amazing women; learning about their stories and journeys. I also learned the most about myself during this event as I never realized how much I ‘downgrade’ things I have accomplished in my life, such as when I introduced myself, I stated what my job was but I neglected to also state that I own my own company. That is something that is apart of me that I don’t share often enough, yet it is a huge accomplishment. I am slowly learning that I need to be proud of all that I have done. I’m in the process of starting a chapter of #edtechwomen for the charlotte area. Once I learn more I will be sure to share as I hope you will be involved and yes, men are welcome as they are our ‘malallies’ – male + allies.

Other great reflections and posts from ISTE2014:

Anibal Pacheco’s – Interviews w/ Presenters and Special Guests

Erin Klein’s: Reflections from #iste2014

Rafranz DavisPassion Fueled Connection

Lisa Pagano’s: Beginning to Process #iste2014

ISTE 2014 Sessions with Published Handout Links

Google Doc: ISTE 2014 Session Notes

Melissa  Edwards Reflections

If you would like to experience #iste2015 in Philly you can start checking out ISTE’s site.

Think Like Scientists: Can You Balance An Egg on Its End?

“Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds. I may be given credit for having blazed the trail, but when I look at the subsequent developments I feel the credit is due to others rather than to myself.” Alexander Graham Bell

Guest Blog Post by Wayne Fisher, Elementary Science Specialist

There is an urban myth that the only day you can balance an egg on its end is during the spring equinox, which happened to be March 20th at 12:57 pm. Is that true and how can we know?   Here’s how:
Use the CL-EV-R model to engage your students in an activity where they try to balance a egg on its end.   CL-EV-R stands for Claims, Evidence, and Reasons and is a wonderful teaching and learning strategy to support argumentation in the Common Core as well as learning in science.
The short version of CL-EV-R is for students to make a Claim, gather EVidence to support the claim, and explain their Reasoning for why the evidence supports or does not support the claim.

CLEVER

Below is a 5E Lesson Plan: Can You Balance An Egg on Its End?
ENGAGE
For this activity, I suggest using a dozen eggs, one egg per group of 2-3 students. Explain to the students that you have heard that it is possible to balance an egg on its end only on certain days such as the Spring Equinox. Ask them to pair-share what they think about that statement (or claim). Ask them to talk about evidence they can gather to prove or disprove the claim. The response you are looking for is “let’s just try it today!”
EXPLORE
Hand out one egg per team of students, or even one egg per student. Have paper towels handy for that one egg that will roll off the table or desk and needs to be cleaned up!  Use the opportunity to talk about the effects of gravity! Allow students to try to balance their eggs.   Note – for every dozen eggs, about 25% will balance! Be prepared for the “ah-ah!” experiences students will have when several of them do balance their eggs! Record student results in a t-chart.  You may want to ask students to predict how many eggs out of a dozen will balance and how many will not.
EXPLAIN
Look at the class data.  How many eggs were students able to balance?  How does that compare to the student predictions? Why do some eggs balance and others do not?   (There is a reason that you can read about on-line). What does the evidence tell us about the claim that you can only balance eggs on the Spring Equinox?
EXTEND
Does it make a difference if the eggs are raw or hard-cooked?
Would we get similar results for duck, quail, or other types of eggs?  How about an ostrich egg?
Is it possible to balance an egg on its pointy end?  (I have been able to do that only once in the last 1472 eggs I have tested!)
If you freeze the egg would it be easier or harder to balance?
Challenge students to do the same activity with their parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc!  Take a picture and share! Include this activity as part of your school’s STEM Night of Science and Math Night. Gather other questions from the students.
EVALUATE
Take a picture of your students doing this activity and share on your school’s website.
In this lesson students are using all the 21st century skills. To integrate technology seamlessly into the lesson, you can have the students blog about the experience, create a presentation demonstrating their results such as using EduGlogster or creating a poll (poll everywhere or Google Forms) to gather the results from the class.

10 Ways to Build Teacher Leaders

“You don’t need to be in a leadership position, to be a leader.” By Jill Thompson

You-dont-need-to-be-in-a

We need teacher leaders! Why? Teacher leaders are the ones that make change happen. They are the ones that understand the true problems happening in their classroom and school. They are the ones that improve learning and teaching practices with the goal of doing what is best for students which is increasing student learning and achievement. Below are ten ways I believe we can build teacher leaders based on my experience.

1. Let them model or co-teach showing best practices and allowing time to reflect on the experience. Too often principals let other teachers visit teachers but they don’t give them time to reflect on the experience and that is when the true learning occurs.

2. Have them provide Professional Development (PD) in an area they are strong and passionate about or send teacher leaders to pd and have them share what they learned. Too often we don’t use the resources and expertise that are in our school. We need to play to teachers strengths.

3. Let them mentor another teacher that is maybe a first year teacher or one that is struggling. Teaching is hard work. It is helpful to know you have another teachers support who is going through the same issues/challenges you are going through and not being judged.

4.  Build a culture of collaboration by creating Professional Learning Communities (PLC) for different topics to support teachers such as data teams. We learn best from each other and often times from what we are passionate about. Creating PLC’s that are based on topics teacher want  helps with culture and collaboration.

5. Let them try their innovative ideas you never know, it might just work and be the next big thing. I am lucky to have always have had a leader that lets me try new things. I have had some great ideas and some not so good ones, but either way I learned.  One of my best ideas was building a tutoring program for our school using volunteers. I called them ‘Washam Buddies’. The buddies were each paired up with a classroom teacher and came a few times a week to help  the students with their academic needs.

6. Create team leaders to facilitate the planning sessions and discussions about student data. Having a team-lead helps meetings run smoother and stay focused on the task.

7. Give them time to work out problems and to find solutions. The first attempt might not work but let them use the ‘failure’ as a learning opportunity.

8. Have teacher leaders run book studies and let them pick the book! The best book studies I have done have been run by other teachers.

9.  Recognize teacher leaders when they do something extraordinary. This just might motivate another teacher.

10. Give them time to research and be innovative. My old principal gave us what he called ‘innovate time’. He (or AP) would come to our classroom and teach a block. We would gain that time while they were teaching our class to research something we were interested in trying new in the classroom.

There are a lot of other ways we can build teacher leaders within our schools. I would love to hear your ideas too.

Other Resources:

Building Teacher Leadership Capacity through Educational Leadership Programs 

Building Teachers’ Capacity for Success: A Collaborative Approach for Coaches and School Leaders

Becoming a Teacher Leader

CTQ:  Center for Teaching Quality 

Google App Scripts for Educators

“The rise of Google, the rise of Facebook, the rise of Apple, I think are proof that there is a place for computer science as something that solves problems that people face every day.” By Eric Schmidt

Google

Recently I went to an ‘Advance Google Session’ at a conference that was conducted by John Warf.  The session was mostly about Google Apps Script (GAS). GAS is a JavaScript cloud scripting language that provides easy ways to automate tasks across Google products and third party services and build web applications.*  GAS lets you do more with Google Apps for Education (GAFE) such as drive and calendars. There a tons of already created scripts that help educators but you can also create your own by opening a Google Doc, spreadsheet etc and clicking on tools, script editor. Below is a complied list of the most helpful scripts for educators and links to how-to’s for each one:

GClass Folders: Create folders teachers need for class

GClass Hub: Pre-configured app-script that works with GClass folders for spreadsheets etc

Doctopus: Easily share documents with students

Flubaroo: Grading solution for Google forms

- FormEmailer: Automate emails on form data

- Formlimiter: Stop accepting additional forms

- Autocrat: Form data to Google documents in folder structure

FormRanger: Automatically populates the options in any multiple-choice, checkbox, or listbox style question in a Google form from any column in the attached spreadsheet.

Other Resources/Sites:

List of Google Apps Script by Programmer’s Library

Top 10 Google Apps Scripts for Education

Google + App Script Community

* Work Cited:

“Apps Script – Google Apps Script.” 2012. 23 Feb. 2014 <http://www.google.com/script/start/>

20 Digital Citizenship Resources

“Digital citizenship can be defined as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use.”  by Mike Ribble

Digital Citizenship is a concept which helps educators and parents to understand what student users should know to use technology appropriately. There are 9 elements of digital citizenship such as digital rights & responsibilities, digital law and digital etiquette. With more devices and blended learning, teaching Digital Citizenship in the classroom is apart of the hidden curriculum that should be infused with the schools/classrooms current Character Education program.

1280px-Carbon_footprint_representation

Other Blogs and Resources on Digital Citizenship:

1. Curriculum: Understanding YouTube & Digital Citizenship

2. Know the Net Site

3. Digital Citizenship: There is more to teaching than three R’s

4. Common Sense Media

5. FBI Cyber Surfing

6. Live Binder of Digital Citizenship Resources

7. Educational Origami – 21st Century Pedagogy

8. Digital Passport

9. Copyright Website

10. Plagiarism.org

11. Internet Saftey

12. Educational Technology and Mobile Learning Digital Citizenship Posts

13. 20 Basic Rules For Digital Citizenship

14. 5 More Places To Help You Find Quality Creative Commons Images

15. Digital Citizenship in Schools

16. 10 Interactive Lessons By Google On Digital Citizenship

17. Digital Citizenship Comic

18. Brain Pop: Digital Citizenship (Free)

19. Teachers Channel – Super Digital Citizen

20. Ideas for Digital Citizenship PBL Projects

I would love to know how you teach digital citizenship. Please share in the comments.

Engaging Students with GoogleTreks

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” By St. Augustine

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 8.09.26 PM

I was recently came across this amazing Google Site called  GoogleTreks  – taking virtual field trip and learning to a whole new place. (GoogleTreks™ is not affiliated with or endorsed by Google® or any of its companies. Google® is a registered trademark.) GoogleTreks was created by Dr. Alice Christie who is a Google Certified Teacher and has taught in the classroom for 25 years. Dr. Christie used the formula of  web tools + Google Maps = GoogleTrek. Here is an example of GoogleTreks she created about the History of GoogleTreks.

GoogleTreks are engaging lessons that can work on any device which makes for great activities for Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) or technology rich classrooms. The lessons also have the students using their 21st century skills of creating, collaborating, communicating and critically thinking while also aligned to Common Core Standards. You can easily differentiate these lessons and make them accessible using QR Codes. You could also have the students create their own to show mastery of content. Check out some of these great ones below:

How Does Global Warming Affect Human Health?

5.G.4. Classify two-dimensional figures in a hierarchy based on properties

Want to make your own GoogleTrek? Use this tutorial and create your own, it walks you through the steps. Then you can submit them  here for others or you can have it saved in your google account. If you chose to submit, all GoogleTreks are scored based on a rubric so you know you are getting quality lessons.

Other Google Trek Resources:

Google Treks gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse at Maps’ most awe-inspiring Views

Google Trek – Street View

Trek the world with Google Maps

INTERNET EXPLORER: Take a virtual field trip with Google Treks

I would love to hear how you have used GoogleTrek or plan on using it if you are not already!

Take-Aways from Visiting Schools Implementing Personalized Learning

“Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.” By Doug Firebaugh

As many of you know, for the past few months I have been working as project manager for the Bill Gates NextGen Innovative grant. This past week we was able to travel to San Francisco and visit multiple schools that have started the process in their schools to personalize learning.

One school we were able to visit was Summit Public Schools. What I enjoyed must about this school visit was the students were empowered to drive their own learning, ensuring they are prepared for success in colleges and career. How Summit became invested in making sure students were driving their own learning was because they noticed that 100% of their students were attending a 4 year college but not a 100% were graduating from a four-year college and many dropping out within the first year. This sparked them to look at their teaching practice and realized that they were providing too much assistance to the students so that once ‘on their own’ they didn’t have the skills to be successful. To support the Personalized Learning cycle, Summit has changed classroom designs and added personalized learning time.

Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 10.29.50 AM

Summits classroom design is very open and most of the furniture is on wheels including the students desks and tables. This allows the teachers and students to redesign the room daily.

summit 

In this picture you can see students are working on individual learning tasks while the teacher is working 1 on 1 with a student. Notice there are devices but also there are books too. I think a fear many teachers have is that ‘traditional’ things will go away when they implement personalized learning and that is not the case.

We visited other school districts that also started implementing personalized learning and during these visits we had more take aways along with some revelations such as:

- There are lots of FREE edtech tools such as Khan that you can start using to transition into personalizing the students learning

- We are already doing a lot of personalization but it is not consistent such as balanced literacy, PBL’s and flipped classroom

- New support staff roles will help teachers optimize their instruction

- Training for everyone involved is a critical success factor for personalized learning

- Blended learning is apart of personalized learning and not  separate entity

These visits really drove home that the intentional shift to personalized learning is about fundamentally changing our approach to learning and teaching; technology is an important enabler but the devices we use are just one tool for delivering this instruction. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing more about personalized learning and starting to share my thoughts and resources on making this shift.

Make Your Point in Haiku Deck

“It is better to create than to learn! Creating is the essence of life.” by Julius Caesar

ipad HD

Guest Blog Post By Lisa Maples

If you want to do something, then you’ll do it.  In my experience, going after a goal is thrilling especially if it is one that comes from an inner motivation.  No one has to beg you, or force you, if the motivation is intrinsic.  Being able to persuade others with convincing arguments is a skill that we work on throughout our lives.  As humans, we like to be right and consistently try to prove our points.  After all, as Angela Maiers so aptly taught me through her You Tube lesson, I Matter and You Matter.  Our ideas are valuable and need to be heard.

As our first iPad project of the school year, I planned a project that would allow my fourth and fifth grade students to grasp that their ideas mattered.  I knew that if I could set up the right conditions, my students would welcome the opportunity to be asked to share their ideas.  I asked them to choose a topic that they knew a lot about and convince others to think the way that they think about the topic.  I had 14 iPads for students to share as I wheeled them around the school and visited the fourth and fifth grade classes for a total of 45 minutes each during a five week span in September and October of 2013.  Due to collaboration with their partners, students were engaged as they articulated their points that they would use to persuade an audience of their peers.

After being amazed at the precise points of Birke Baehr at a TEDx Talk on You Tube, I decided to show students his powerful five minute talk. I loved how Birke introduced his topic of genetically altered feed given to animals then motivated the audience to change the way that they viewed the topic.  After watching his talk, I asked students to consider whether or not the author had convinced them that our food system had some flaws after analyzing his comments.  Many students reported that they were more interested in buying organically grown food and wanted to know more about how the food they eat was created.  Using the TEDx Talk as my springboard, I then posed an Essential Question that I had previously composed to my students which was this:  Can you persuade someone to think the way you think?  I gave some suggestions on my Smartboard file such as the following topics:

Should kids be given allowances?

Why should one person be paid more than another?

Should we recycle and go green?

What is the best Movie or Book of all time?

Why play sports?

What is something that makes you happy?

What are the benefits of healthful eating and exercise?

In pairs, students brainstormed at least six reasons to convince others to have the same opinion as themselves.  They recorded their persuasive points in the yellow notepad app on the iPad and labeled their notes with their grade, homeroom teacher’s name and their first names since they shared these 14 iPads with 850 other K-5 students.  (I also put numbers as the Home Screen on each iPad and distributed iPads to the same students each week.)  I noticed an incredible amount of excitement as students took advantage of me asking them to prove that their ideas had worth and to record their thoughts.  Students were told that they would be presenting their ideas in front of their peers in a mini TED Talk format using an awesome app on the iPad.

In a follow-up session, I introduced students to Haiku Deck, a presentation app for the iPad.  I demonstrated how to create a series of slides with words and images that would convey an opinion that I now share with Birke Baher.  I showed them the Haiku Deck presentation that I created about “Organic Food:  What’s the Big Deal?”  

In Haiku Deck, there are no fancy transitions and limited amounts of text allowed per slide.  The more text that one writes, the smaller the font becomes so less is more.  Students can choose from several free font choices and Creative Commons Licensed images from within the app.  There are also plenty of images that can be purchased, but we chose only free options within the app.  Once students’ notes were complete including words that described the images that they wanted on each of their Haiku Deck slides, they began the process of choosing words to persuade their peer audience of their point and to find or create images that would powerfully illustrate their opinions on their chosen topic.  I realized soon, however, that despite the amazing images offered within Haiku Deck that are Creative Commons Licensed, my school district filters blocked the majority of the images.  As a go around approach, I showed students how to search for copyright free images at Google Advanced Image Search, save the images to the Camera Roll on the iPad and import the images into Haiku Deck slides.  I also wanted to give them additional choices on how to prove their points by allowing them to draw pictures on the iPad using the Doodle Buddy app then import their drawn images into their Haiku Deck Slides.  An example of a finished product of two students who developed their own topic, not one of mine, is here on the topic of “Why Everyone Should Have Dogs”

Giving students a choice in their topic was paramount because it fueled their interest.  As they began to work on this project for the 45 minutes that I saw them each week, I decided to share a Project Based Learning Rubric that I modified from Jill Thompson’s example at one of her websites.  Here is the rubric:

Content -

  • Haiku Deck presentation shows knowledge of the selected topic.
  • Presentation clearly answers the essential question, attempts to persuade audience to think the way the authors think and calls audience to action.
  • Group members effectively communicate content in front of peers.

Communication -

  • Creativity is used to clearly illustrate and emphasize main points.
  • Words are displayed and organized in the layout of the presentation.

Technology Integration -

  • Group used technology tools in Haiku Deck on the iPad to showcase their product to their audience.
  • Images chosen within Haiku Deck are effective at illustrating the point.

Collaboration-

  • Group members contributed ideas frequently, communicated clearly and positively to team.
  • Group worked collaboratively to develop answers to essential question.

As they have begun to finish, I have had them practice giving their mini TED talk while using the slides that they made in Haiku Deck.  They are vested in this project and care deeply about others adopting their viewpoint, while also beaming with pride in the slides that they have created.

When students present their Haiku Deck presentations next week, I will have them share in six areas around the classroom then rotate around the class to hear all of the persuasive TED-like talks.  I will be asking students to validate as audience members the TED Talkers with positive comments and then to decide if the talk actually persuaded them to adopt the thoughts of each TED Talker.

This was my first multi-week iPad  project as Technology Teacher during the 2013-2014 school year.  I knew how the education world was and is all a buzz about Passion Based Learning, Genius Hour, and 20 % Time.  I feel that I have given students a platform for their ideas to be heard though this project while allowing them to choose a topic that they were passionate about as their focus.  I wanted students to see the effort it takes to craft words into powerful tools to cause others to adopt the mindset of the authors.

I developed a Haiku Deck presentation to document my Summer Break of 2013 with my family once I saw Cory Tressler from The Ohio State University give a talk using Haiku Deck at a Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools’ Summer Institute in June of 2013.  I loved the various places to put text on the screen and that it forced me to limit my wordiness.  I would use images of my family as well as the images found in the Haiku Deck app to create my presentation.  I found that I knew how to navigate Haiku Deck because I had used it in my personal life before showing it to my students.  Once I arrived at school however, my district filters blocked most of the free images so I was limited with students unlike when I was at home.  Nevertheless, the Haiku Deck app gives a way to quickly and concisely make points while focusing on the message not on elaborate transitions or music.  My students will be able to use Haiku Deck during the school year as they investigate other Essential Questions that I will pose to them.  Since Common Core State Standards are rich in having students argue their points, I feel that this project allowed students to practice not only analyzing a TEDx Talk but to create their own mini TED Talk with persuasive points and present their ideas while using Haiku Deck.   I am most excited that this project gave students a chance to be heard and to realize that they have a contribution to make to the world.

I got the ideas for the TED Talk lesson from a teacher whose work I had purchased at www.Teachers Pay Teachers. Com named Monica Burns, but then put my own spin on it by framing the lesson through the lens of “You Matter” from Angela Maiers, adding in the Haiku Deck presentation app, and modifying Jill Thompson’s PBL rubric.  You can view Monica Burns’ original lesson here. 

Power of Google and My PLN

“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” By
Mattie Stepanek

This week I was asked to do a professional development (PD) on Google Apps for Education (#GAFE) for some educators. When brainstorming about the PD, I knew a lot of ways to use GAFE but I wanted the group see that lots of educators use it and not just me or our school district.

This made me realize that, I could use the power of my Personal Learning Network (PLN) – Twitter.  Within just two days, I had over 20 suggestions from educators in multiple states and countries! It was amazing how fast my global PLN came to my rescue! The PD was great and it sparked a lot of curiosity about PLN’s and using them to improve instruction….guess what our next PD will be on, that is right the Power of Twitter!

We are in education together and there is no reason we should not be sharing our great ideas with each other. Below is the ‘Ways to Use Google Docs in the Classroom’ document that my PLN collaborated on and I would love if you have ideas to please add to it by clicking here.

Let the Games Begin…Ecosystem Competition Lesson Plan

“Provide an uncommon experience for your students and they will reward you with an uncommon effort and attitude.” By Dave Burgess

I was recently asked about a Science lesson plan that I had presented on in the past called, Competition and I realized that I have never blogged about this lesson before. So I revamped and updated it to meet NC Essential Standards, Common Core, 21st Century Skills and added some Pirate elements. (If you are not sure what Pirate Elements are you need to read, Teach Like a Pirate and follow #TLAP on Twitter) This lesson plan is over a few days if you only teach science 45 mins a day, but can also be taught in a day depending on your schedule and flexibility at your school.

My Class in 2009-10 After the Lesson

Title:  “Let the Games Begin…” (For my TLAP Fans….doesn’t that sound so much better, then Competition) I would have this written on the board to help hook them.

NC Essential Standard: 5.L.2  Understand the interdependence of plants and animals with their ecosystem.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.

Objectives:

-  Students will be able to give at least two examples of competition that takes place in a real world ecosystem through activity.

-  Students will be able to explain how and why competition takes place in ecosystems through activity.

- Students will  be able to explain ‘How can change in one part of an ecosystem affect change in other parts of the ecosystem?’

Materials:

Fruit Loops (or store brand)

Tape

Markers

Baggies (1 per student)

(Before activity the teacher will (TTW) need to spread fruit loops in a designated coned off area to represent an ecosystem outside area is ideal and more authentic)

Day 1: Engage/HOOK (#TLAP: I like to move it, move it”)

The students will review key vocab words such as food chain, food web, prey, herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, Predator, scavenger, procedures, consumers, decomposers by using ‘I have, who has game’ as TTW facilitate.

Exploration: ( I had this as a SmartNotebook File)

- TTW ask the students to choose an animal they want to be (deer, rabbit, fox, turkey buzzard, elk- without letting them know what the activity is) and write it on a piece of tape and put it on their shirt. [ Deer- Herbivore, Rabbit-Herbivore, Fox- Omnivore, Turkey Buzzard Carnivore]

- TTW explain they will be going outside in an area that is marked off as an ecosystem. There will be fruit loops on the ground.

- TS job is to collect fruit loops. When they are finished collecting fruit loops they need to leave the ecosystem. (Don’t time this, some students will collect a lot, while others will collect only a few and stop and some will only collect a certain color based on preference and that is okay)

- When the students are down, have them return to the coned off area of the ecosystem, they will need to sort their fruit loops in piles according to color. (Give them a few minutes to organize their fruit loops – I like doing this activity outside because it gets students in a different environment, moving and outside)

- The teacher will reveal what each color represents: (I usually bring out a chart paper and be Vanna White – Usually most don’t know how that is so it becomes a teachable moment ;-)

Green: plants                                                  Blue: Water

Red: Predator Meat                                     Yellow: Shelter

Orange: Scavenger Meat                            Purple: Pollution

- TTW announce: Let the games begin….who will survive in this Ecosystems

- TTW explain if you are an elk, deer or rabbit you need to take away (put back in their baggies) the red and orange (meats) because you are a herbivore and these resource is not useful to you.

- TTW explain if you are a buzzard you need to take away green (plants). TTW also explain that if you are a buzzard you need to take away red as they are scavengers.

- At this point, “the game” really begins of who stays alive because now you make up situation such as the ones below.

- TTW say “For every purple (pollution) you have – it takes away one water or food source as it contaminates it. (Some may “die” at this point and they should go to the corner of the room.)

- TTW then say, “You need to have 5 waters, 5 food source, 5 shelters to survive the first round.” Those who “die” from not having enough resources go to one corner of the room. Everyone else puts the fruit loops they used in the baggies because those are used resources.

- TTW say to the ones alive, “You now need 4 water, 4 food source, 4 shelters.”  A few more will “die”.

- TTW then say, “The buzzards can take 5 food sources from someone next to them that is ‘dead’.” (This is because they would have more food sources if things die off because they are scavengers)

- TTW then say, “You know need 4 water, 4 food source, 4 shelters.”  A few more will “die”.

- This will go on until you have a few left or even just one. The process will show how competition between animals affects an ecosystem.

Day 2: Explanation:

Think-pair-share In their science notebooks, the students will “think” about what this activity represents and why. TTW explain that the students will work with their partner (pair) to determine how it works and be able to explain competition using the terms. Each group will select a spokesperson to explain their group’s explanation as to why this represents competition. (Share)

In groups, students will critically think about the essential question:  How can change in one part of an ecosystem affect change in other parts of the ecosystem?

The students will  research, collaborate and create a presentation of their choice to demonstrate the mastery of the essential question.

Teacher Notes:

- Competition between organisms exists in every ecosystem. Organisms are forced to compete against their own species and also different species in order to survive. The stronger and fit organisms have an advantage over those who are weaker, and they have a better chance of surviving.

- Competition between the same species is called intraspecific competition. Many birds of the same species compete for the best nesting grounds. In cases when food or water is scarce, members of the same species will compete for food in order to survive.

- Competition between different species is called interspecific competition. Different species often compete for space, food, or water. For example the lion and the hyena both compete for zebra.

Day 3: Elaboration/Reflection:

The groups will present their knowledge to the class.

Evaluation: For the exit slip I have students communicate their mastery individually to see what they have retained themselves. I do exit slip questions many ways see this blog post.

Exit Slip Questions: How does competition affect an ecosystem? Explain.

Answer: Competition is when two or more organisms seek the same resource at the same time and they fight for the food/living space/and other resources they need to survive. It affects the ecosystem because of how the resources and organisms interact.

I hope you can use this lesson in your classroom, or a modification of it.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 368 other followers

%d bloggers like this: