Reflection: Intervention and Extension Types of Consumers - Section 3: Guided Practice


Whiteboards Before Notebooks

I decided to have students discuss similarities and differences between producers and consumers in their groups, and complete a Venn Diagram on a whiteboard prior to our discussion for several reasons.  Each group in my class is made up of 1-2 struggling students, a regular student, and a high level student.  Each of them will add to the conversation in a small group setting, not all will contribute when discussed whole group.  Allowing them to discuss it within their small group first, makes some students feel more comfortable sharing with the whole class later.  I asked them to record their thoughts in the Venn Diagram on their whiteboard so they are practicing using the diagram on their own, without me recording everything where it belongs.  The higher level student in the group often takes over recording the information which allows the struggling students to see where things belong in the diagram.  These struggling students are also more likely to ask questions within their small group then they are in the whole group discussion.  

Another reason I decided to have them record their ideas on the whiteboards first is to guide our conversation.  Groups either write down a lot of detail that is not necessarily critical information, or they write down very little, leaving important comparisons out.  Comparing what each group has recorded allows us to discuss any misconceptions and make corrections before recording in our notebooks.  For example, some groups put that light was needed by only producers, while other groups put that light was needed by both producers and consumers.  Each group got to explain their reasoning and why they believe they are correct and I have the opportunity to question and add other information to the debate.  We decide as a class where it fits best after hearing both arguments.  

The final Venn Diagram that is recorded in our notebooks is very focused.  I only include key details that students really need to know and understand for the standard.  This helps narrow down the topic, but students were still exposed to much more.  The higher level students will walk away remembering most of of the other details while the struggling students have only a few concepts to focus in on and remember. 

  Why use white boards before completing it in the notebook
  Intervention and Extension: Why use white boards before completing it in the notebook
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Types of Consumers

Unit 3: Transfer of Energy and Matter Through Organisms in an Ecosystem
Lesson 9 of 14

Objective: SWBAT define the four types of consumers and give examples of each type.

Big Idea: Students play a matching game to demonstrate knowledge of consumers.

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