I’m finding this assignment to be rather difficult to pin down due to my audience. As an advisory homeschool teacher, I do activities and projects either differentiated for K-12 or for specific groups such as: pre-k, K-5, 9-12, etc. At an inservice (it was either a year or two ago), we received professional development on project based learning, and had an outline for something we could work on with kiddos. To make the project simple, I looked at the different grades of my 70 students and picked 5th grade as that was the grade with the most students. I think this would be a great baseline to start off with for creating an activity. I will also have enough time to expand it to other grades by the time we start activities back up.
- 5th grade
Alaska Standards for 5th grade science:
Developmentally (according to Piaget), these 10-11 year olds are at a “concrete operational stage”. WebMD says, ” Children’s thinking becomes less focused on themselves. They’re increasingly aware of external events. They begin to realize that their own thoughts and feelings are unique and may not be shared by others or may not even be part of reality. But during this stage, most children still can’t think abstractly or hypothetically.”
It will be important to provide concrete examples when asking students for more information on aspects of their ecosystems through an example model, videos, text, etc.
Since our program does not have a set curriculum, families have freedom with the science curriculum they choose. I’m not sure all of the students will have a similar background knowledge. It will be important to build the foundation in the beginning so that everyone is on the same page. This will be an important factor when students are collaborating with each other.
I’m excited to use my recent professional development skills to the test by making this unit. I have also taught this unit in a classroom setting in a fourth grade class. Having had that experience will help me to shape this lesson to being more efficient than the first time. It will be pertinent to get all of the students on the same page at the beginning so they can work together. Another factor to take into consideration is that not every student who participates will join every activity meeting, so I will need to account for how to set up each activity to help kiddos who have missed a portion of the unit.