Connection to the Next Generation Science Standards:
Students who demonstrate understanding of the Disciplinary Core ideas of Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy and Dynamics of the Next Generation Science Standards; and the Crosscutting Concepts of Systems and Systems Models, and Energy and Matter, will be able to complete this individual assessment with 75% or better accuracy.
I am also including a scoring guide that is calibrated for a standards based grading system.
Preparation time is minimal for this Lesson. Scoring of the assessment is dependent on the number of students. I estimate it takes approximately 5-6 minutes per student. I score a page at a time, which goes much more quickly.
One copy for each student of the Plaid Pete Discovers What Matters In Ecosystems- End of Unit Assessment
One copy for each student of the Plaid Pete Discovers What Matters In Ecosystems - Unit Scoring Guide
Today is the big day! I hand out the Plaid Pete Discovers What Matters In Ecosystems- End of Unit Assessment to my students. I assure them that they have studied and are well prepared for this assessment.
I can say that with confidence, because I have had my students write "Study for Science Test" on their planners for the past few days, and for this assessment we have had the last couple of days to study in class while students have been collecting data on their model ecosystems, and finishing up the last page of questions in the Lab Booklets. They have also had the opportunity to complete their last model.
In this Screencast, I compare the response to the food chain model of two of my English Language Learners.
When students are finished with the assessment, I tell them to return to the first page of this unit in their Science Notebooks, where they have written the first Big Idea for this unit on the bottom top half of the page:
Big Idea #1 - Organisms are interdependent with one another and their environment.
I read this Big Idea out loud. I ask students to think about all they have learned in this unit, and to create a pictures or series of pictures on this half of the page that best represents their new learning. I give students time to complete their rough draft, letting them know we will have time at the end to color in the pictures. This is a Student Example of Big Idea #1. I can tell from this student's drawing that they understand the interdependent relationships that occur within ecosystems. This student has drawn a simple food chain and communicated their understanding through speech bubbles.
I then read the second Big Idea.
Big Idea #2 - Matter and energy flow through an ecosystem.
I ask them to do the same thing - create a picture or series of pictures on the bottom half of the page where they have written this big idea that best represents their new learning.
This is another assessment piece that will give me a window into student understanding. It is also a way I can compare my written assessment with the pictorial representations of my English Language Learners. It gives me another way to determine their acquisition of concepts without the interference of language and vocabulary. I allow students time to work and then collect their notebooks. This is a Student Example of Big Idea #2. This student has drawn a food chain, as well as a simple example of the carbon cycle.