Reflection: Discourse and Questioning Why are Decomposers Important? - Section 3: Explore


When conferencing with this group, Attending to Precision, I encourage the students to check their wording and ideas. For example, as one supporting detail, they wrote that decomposers make soil when really, decomposers return nutrients to the soil. 

Later on, the group wrote, "Decomposers decompose organic matter to make nutrients." I ask the students to apply precise scientific vocabulary by elaborating on the type of nutrients (nitrogen, carbon, calcium, phosphorus, etc.). However, in the process of encouraging elaboration, I wasn't attending to precision myself! It wasn't until later that I realized that the students stated that decomposers MAKE nutrients (instead of break down organic matter into chemical nutrients). It goes to show that teachers need to attend to precise vocabulary if they want their students to be attentive as well! 

  Discourse and Questioning: Attending to Precise Language
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Why are Decomposers Important?

Unit 2: Ecosystems
Lesson 7 of 28

Objective: SWBAT explain the importance of decomposers in an ecosystem.

Big Idea: In this lesson, students will learn about the role of decomposers through the use of teacher posters, video clips, and moldy visual aids. Then, students will summarize their learning by writing a paragraph on the importance of decomposers.

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Science, global warming, abiotic factors, ecosystem, decomposition, biotic
  60 minutes
moldy apple
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