Working on it Wednesday

I seriously cannot wrap my head around how fast summer has gone!  Only 3 weeks left before school starts, well more like 2 ½. We have beached, burned, slept, hiked, swam and camped. Here are a few highlights of our summer:

Thank God we still have some time left to make some more memories :o)  This is especially pressing to me since Cheyenne is turning 18 this year and going to be off to University soon.  18!!!  I am the mother of someone who is going to be 18. I am not nearly old enough.
Since it is Working on it Wednesday I thought I would jump on board. I have been working on the same thing now for about 3 weeks.  I teach four main units in science Ecosystems, The Earth’s Crust and The Dynamic Earth, Structures and Forces, and Solutions and Mixtures.  With my degree in Geology and Physical Geography the Earth science units were the first ones I tackled.  I was not very happy with my Ecosystem unit so I have been revamping and redoing everything I taught last year to flow more smoothly.  I had bits and pieces that I bought last year, gathered from my teaching experiences, and were left for me by the previous teacher.
So far I am really enjoying the revamp.  I got to get a little deeper into some of the concepts and ideas that I didn’t have much on last year and make sure the unit is much more linear.  I included some great new hands on activities and group learning projects.  I am excited about getting to teach it to a group of new 7’s.

Here is sneak peek:

These are the vocabulary cards along with the Blooms taxonomy page.  I like to make sure that throughout the unit I have made sure to challenge my 7's learning not just in superficial ways but in ways that allow them to make meaningful connections and can apply what we have learned to new situations and experiences.

The unit itself is a collection of projects, student handouts, teaching suggestions with critical background information and important links, hands on activities and a ton of other great resources.

That is the importance of Biodiversity simulation activity, and the Mount St. Helen's Ecosystem Mural Project.  The mural project was one of my last classes favorite activities.  It is one of the best activities I had that allows them to show the interconnectedness of the topics we cover and how they understand the "big ideas".

It is still a work in progress.  Within the bigger units I have been creating mini units like this Water Cycle mini unit which is still in progress.  It includes Water Cycle Idol, learning pages, a poster or 3D project and a few other fun learning experiences:

This means that each topic is also available for purchase on their own – one of them is already uploaded to TPT.  I thought it was pretty awesome, I had an extraordinary amount of fun working on the infographic poster.  Check it out… it was my 20 page Photosynthesis is Fun mini unit.  It includes:

-11x 17 Photosynthesis Infographic Poster
-Notes on energy flow in an ecosystem with review questions
-A look at energy pyramids and the importance of producers
-Lesson Notes on Photosynthesis and review questions
-Chlorophyll Chromatography and Skittles Photosynthesis Labs with review questions
-Crossword Puzzle
-Final Project - Multiple Choices for differentiation
-All applicable answer keys

The final unit when it is all done should be about 130 pages or so.  I will keeping an eye out for someone who wants to receive a free copy in return for a proof read.  My old proof reader retired.

 Check back in a few days for a limited time free download of the water cycle mini unit – only a few rough edges to smooth out.