Help me give my students the ability to see an ecosystem and protect it.
I work in a classroom of 39 fourth grade students who are struggling readers. Last year when I had them in third grade, 23 out of 45 of them were beginning readers at the start of the year by the beginning of this year, all of our students are reading no longer considered beginning readers and are not being progress monitored at a kindergarten level anymore. Now, we would love to integrate science experiences into our classroom. Overall, all of them would benefit from more hands-on STEM experiences.
Our students work best when they have a hands-on experience to pull from.
Earlier this year, we were able to work with butterflies to show students the life cycle of an animal that was not a human. Our students struggle to make real-world connections when they are not up close to an experience. As a classroom, we encourage each other to make connections to the world, to ourselves, and to books we have read. Our goal is to use hands-on experiences to support STEM in the classroom and ELA while incorporating the technology we already have to allow students to be more successful in their learning.
Gierhart and Brown (2018) recommend that students in grades 3 through 5 get as many hands-on experiences as they can with technology. Part of being a 21st century STEM educator is having to create experiences that allow students to use more than just technology. We will be able to utilize Google Classroom, Kahoot, Chromebooks, measuring tools, and Google Drive. These are tools we have but without the fish tank, we cannot allow our students to make use of these tools for hands-on lifelike experiences.
In order for us to make the most of this science experience for our students, we need to have a filter, heater, lights, plants, fish, decomposers, and materials like rocks to simulate a true environment for our ecosystem.
My students work hard to understand the world around them but sometimes we have to take the world that is around them closer to home. Sometimes we have to bring an ecosystem into the classroom so that they can see it better and they can understand it better. This also gives them the ability to see what happens to an ecosystem when something goes wrong. The best part about this is that having a class pet has been known to build responsibility amongst students. They can see how their actions impact an ecosystem and how the different organisms respond to the world around them. The goal of this lesson is to continue to create a successful group of students who can estimate measurement, record scientific data into a table or graph, and use that to create a project to support protecting ecosystems and just how fragile they can be.
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|LED Aquarium Light Strip, Medium • Carolina Biological Supply Company||$97.42||1||$97.42|
|Power Filter/Protein Skimmer, Skilter 250 • Carolina Biological Supply Company||$94.45||1||$94.45|
|Aquarium Cover, Glass, for 55-gal Tank • Carolina Biological Supply Company||$47.25||1||$47.25|
|Pebbles, Waterworn, 50 lb • Carolina Biological Supply Company||$31.95||1||$31.95|
|Aquarium Heater, 100 W • Carolina Biological Supply Company||$16.65||1||$16.65|
|QuickStart • Carolina Biological Supply Company||$14.35||1||$14.35|
|AquaSafe Water Conditioner, 500 mL • Carolina Biological Supply Company||$9.85||1||$9.85|
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