Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ecosystem Excitement

When I was younger, I loved learning about ecosystems and biomes.  Now that I'm a teacher, it's one of my favorite things to teach!  With the help of Pinterest, there are so many creative ideas out there.

Ecosystem Foldable and Simultaneous RoundTable

Something my class tried out was an ecosystem foldable.  The kids loved making them, and it was a more exciting way to keep our notes together.  They even had an opportunity to illustrate quick pictures of each ecosystem.  Because I love to use cooperative learning in the classroom, I decided to try a Simultaneous Roundtable with my students.

After their foldables were filled with notes about each ecosystem we were learning about (some was done in class and some assigned for homework), I handed each student a different colored small slip of paper (I love the small packs of colored paper they sell at Dollar Tree).  You can see the small slips of paper in the pictures below. Up on the Smartboard, I had a key that notified students as to what ecosystem their colored slip of paper represented.  For example, if they received a blue slip of paper, they were instructed to write "Freshwater Ecosystem" at the top of the paper.  If they received orange, they wrote "Desert".

After all students wrote the name of the appropriate ecosystem at the top, we were ready to begin the Simultaneous Roundtable.  I next explained the rules and directions of what I expected.  Students were to take one detail from their foldable about the particular ecosystem on their slip of paper, and write it on the small slip of paper.  After recording that detail, they were to pass their slip of paper clockwise.  In return, they would receive another colored slip of paper from the person next to them.  Now they would need to read the title of that paper to know what ecosystem they were supposed to record a detail about.  They also had to make sure they were jotting down a detail that wasn't written down yet.  This continued until I felt students had enough time to fill up each slip of paper.

Combine cooperative learning and a foldable while learning about ecosystems!

Once students stopped writing, I called on each table group to share a detail about an ecosystem. If the other table groups didn't have that detail, they then jotted it down on the matching slip of paper.  The kids had a great time, and learned some new facts about ecosystems.  This also helped them to regurgitate what they'd learned and kept them constantly rereading what had already been written about each ecosystem.

Looking for ecosystem activities?  The first link below incorporates Depth and Complexity, and the second pack does not.  The third pack also contains an Adaptations pack.  You can also purchase the frames, games, and activities separately.  Thanks for stopping by!

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