Reflection: Lesson Planning Day 2-Food Webs...Moving Matter in an Ecosystem - Section 3: Explore

 

When It's Not Working...Don't Throw It Away...Fix It

In this lesson, I recognized midway that is was not working according to my original idea and plan. I noticed this while I was walking around the room and checking in with students building food webs.  As I observed groups, I realized I needed to help them better develop their understanding of a food web as I was seeing misrepresentations of them. Instead of stopping the whole lesson or throwing the idea away, I decided to reconvene them as a whole class to scaffold the concept more.  I did this by engaging them in what they already knew about food chains and food webs to help them further develop their thinking. I needed to look at what they were misunderstanding and what they needed to get them to understand the concept. I assumed they were able to transfer their understanding of food chains into creating food webs and now realize they struggled with that abstract idea. But instead of stopping and ending the lesson, I saw it as an opportunity to redirect it. I restructured the lesson by stair casing the concept with them to take it from abstract to concrete.

Not every lesson planned will go the way you intended, but that doesn’t mean you need to throw it away; most of the time it can be saved with some redirection, review, and restructure. Often it means students may not have enough experience or personal association with the concept. It’s too abstract for them to grasp it in a concrete way. To get them there doesn’t necessarily mean you need to lower the expectations; it just means you need to find another way to get them there. Start with what they already know to find out the gaps or misunderstandings. Then build from there by chunking the concept into smaller parts. This helps them develop their thinking and understanding. 

I found this to be an authentic learning experience for me when I sat back to think about the parts that didn’t work. I realized the concept was more complex for them than I anticipated and I needed to scaffold it further in order for them to comprehend the bigger idea.

  When It Doesn't Go As Planned
  Lesson Planning: When It Doesn't Go As Planned
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Day 2-Food Webs...Moving Matter in an Ecosystem

Unit 3: Ecosystems and Interactions
Lesson 19 of 19

Objective: SWBAT define food web and explain how a food web can change if a certain organism is removed.

Big Idea: Students will build a food web diagram and illustrate the movement of matter through a series of food chains.

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