Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:55 PM
Rocks Sciguide ROCKS!
The Rocks sciquide is a comprehensive guide to rocks and the study of rocks. It has a variety of activities and resources for students in grades 5-8. The sciguide has three main components: Formation of Rocks, History of Rocks and Soil. I will start my review with the Soil section as this section had the most appropriate resources for my younger students and I found quite a number of lesson plan ideas in this section. The soil section of the rocks sciguide provided some excellent discussions and insights on types of soils, compositions of soils, weathered rocks and weathering processes and the progression of soil development over time. The guide provided a very interesting lesson plan about the soil of Mars. I enjoyed the student sample which provided some good insight into what a product of the lesson plan might be. The science object that was part of the lesson plan on rocks gave me some great ideas and some solid content knowledge on the subject of soil and rocks.
Another section of the sciguide was the History of Rocks. This section provided fascinating discussions and content on the topics related to the age of rocks, how rocks are dated, what they tell us about the earth and the age of the earth and how the process of recycling of rocks occurs over time. There are some great interactive sections for students that provide excellent information in a media filled and interesting forum.
The third section was the Formation of Rocks and covers the process of the rock cycle in an interesting and fun manner. There are a number of flash simulations that make this section very interesting and engaging. All of the lessons are appropriate for an older elementary and a middle school group of students, however, I found a number of ideas that I could modify as I start my earth science unit. My students are in a compare and contrast unit and in one of the sciguide resources there was an excellent lesson plan on taking two rocks and using a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast rocks. Students get hands on experience of observations and also of looking at rocks closely to determine the different properties and characteristics they see. I found this sciguide to be very useful even if it was meant for an older age group. It certainly provided me with some excellent content knowledge.
Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:07 AM
I found this Sciguide to be comprehensive and filled with excellent resources. I agree with the opening statement that as educators we must go beyond teaching students just about food and food choices, but need to take the time to really educate them about how our bodies use food and where food comes from. I think making this connection for students will help them with other important issues such as sustainability and ecology as well.
The food pyramid has been changed or will soon be changed so that part of the sciguide will need to be updated - however, all the other parts of the sciguide are excellent and timeless in their resources.
I really like the little map section of the sciguide which provides a quick and easy way to get around to the sections that you want to access.
The right hand tabs of the sciguide are my favorite though! Each lesson plan is well detailed and also able to be adjusted for different age groups with a fair amount of ease. I liked the technology links that allow students to access simulations, videos and games. I showed my students an excellent video about photosynthesis and was impressed at how engaging it was.
The link to the community forum is also helpful as I have found many additional resources in the community forum section.
If I were to change anything it may be to have some lesson plans that are for younger students - K-2. Most of the lesson plans I viewed and considered needed to be adjusted down for my students. It would be nice to see a range of lesson plans.
In summary however, I think the Sciguides are a tremendous resource for teachers! I am thrilled to have access to such high quality resources. What a wonderful resource for Hawaii Teachers!