Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:36 AM
Coral Reef Review
Coral Reef Ecosystem SciGuide Review
The SciGuide on Coral Reefs is a good resource for my upcoming unit on ecosystems. What I find helpful is how they took the time to break down the unit to make it simpler for someone like me to choose specific lessons that hits my benchmark. For this unit, the SciGuide started off with Coral Reef Biology with subtopics explaining what a coral reef is and how it is formed. I really like how they provide various learning activities such as videos on how coral blooms forms, providing various websites with lots of visuals on coral, and solid core information on corals. Once gaining a basic understanding of coral, they go into the various types of coral and where they are found in the world. Having sites for teachers is an effective way for me to brush up on my knowledge of the types of coral and the sites for students is just as effective as well. Students are able to take quizzes on coral and even have websites that provide them with more in depth knowledge if they have a research paper to be completed. Overall, I am impressed on how well of a job that they did on breaking down this unit to make it easy for someone like me to understand.
I would utilize this SciGuide into my teaching by going back to my own curriculum map and figuring out how many weeks I have. Next, I would look at my specific benchmarks and use the SciGuide as a guide to my instructions and create a mini-unit. I would have my students do a authentic learning project as their summative. Each student will be creating a biome shoebox with each part of the shoebox hitting a specific benchmark. To build the students up to that point, I would build background knowledge of coral reefs and provide them with an activity (reading, video, quiz) from the SciGuide on coral reefs. Once they show understanding, I would use the next subtopic on the various types of corals that exist and explain where they are found in the world. I would incorporate the food chains for coral reefs and how the provide an ecosystem for other life. Once they gain the understand, I would use the coral reef webquest to help get the students an appreciation for coral and how they can be part of the solution instead of the problem.
One suggestion that I do have in the SciGuide is to provide educators with a curriculum map of how they would incorporate it into the classroom. I believe that by incorporating a curriculum map, educators like me could adapt the lesson to fit into our own curriculum maps. We could pick and choose what we like and don’t like but it would provide educators with a starting point on where to begin. Another suggestion that I do have is providing a summative assessment for educators to use as a way to guide their own instructions. I believe this would help a lot and would keep educators focused on what they are teaching.