Sunday, March 26, 2017

Designing A Deciduous and Tropical Rain Forest: A Classroom EdCamp

What better way for students to get fully emerged in an edcamp then to design the venue. We have 4 7th grade science classrooms and each classroom is being set up to look like a different set of biomes/ecosystems. 1 classroom is deserts and tundra-basic dry extremes, another classroom is the aquatic biomes: freshwater/rivers, ponds/steams and oceans/coral reefs etc. The 3rd class is all the various grasslands including Savannah, and my room is the forests: coniferous, deciduous and rain forest. Students are designing and creating on their own entirely. The walls and cupboards are covered and trees, flowers, bushes etc. are becoming to dominate the classroom. I will post some pictures here-the beginning pictures and then tomorrow I will post the finished pictures. Students will have two full class periods to create the biomes.

Thursday and Friday of this week, students will be running an edcamp. Each classroom will have ecosystem representatives to stay in the room and share information about the individual forest. As students walk around, they get to choose where to go, they will have an organizer to fill out about the characteristics of each ecosystem. They will not be rotating as a class but they will get to go to the various rooms at their own pace. This gives the academic, ELL, GT, Pre/AP students a chance to mingle and learn from one another. Also, each class will get to nominate the "expert" who gets to represent the class in a particular ecosystem. This is going to be so much fun. The rooms are already starting to look amazing.

Finally, next Monday after the edcamp in my classroom at least, we will have a class edcamp where each table will be a different world biome and they will share ideas and rotate around the room having a conversation about the differences and similarities between the world biomes. This will be the time where they can make sure they have their organizer complete, see the big picture, and discover which ecosystem we live in, where they may have traveled to, and what is their favorite ecosystem and why? Rather then a PBL or simple museum walk or project, as a team we decided to incorporate a more relaxed, independent, interest driven activity where students still get the information they need but they have more choice in how they get it. They have a chance to discuss with different classes and at their own pace walk around rather then with their class.

Here are the beginning pictures....tomorrow I will send a follow up blog with the finished product. AND Thursday and Friday I will take pictures of the edcamp and we will be recording the event.

A Reserved Presence is Often Linked to a Vehement Mind

Not everyone is emboldened to take a stand. Confident enough to speak their mind. Not everyone feels they have the right to. So many of us,...