I’m teaching biomes right now. Could be fun, I guess. It is a standard we must teach but is not supported by the textbooks. Even though I rarely use the texts, I have parents who rant and rave when I test on things not in the book. This always leaves me stuck. Usually I just make sure I cover the important “facts” from the book to pacify. This standard not being there has left me in a pickle.
When I think my about class I rarely even think about my class’s assessment. My test are just basic facts and I spend the 90 minute class time working on more advanced cognitive skills like reasoning, problem solving, etc. I have found when I do put these skills on a test, the kids blank, skip the problem, or give a one word answer. Wow I digressed, but I wanted let you know where I was coming from.
So no TEST assessment for biomes. Now what? My students are 6th graders, they are in the transition stage from elementary and middle school. We are learning to learn. Learning to learn independently to be specific. SO after watching a United Streaming video wtih me stopping it after each biome giving more in depth explanations and answering questions, the students were given links to a specific biome. The students now read the sites and collected information (they were not allowed to start writing until at least 5 minutes on site)
NOW I need a way for students to post what they know about biomes. I would love for the kids to create an actual website. With time restrictions that I MUST follow, that’s not gonna happen. So after thinking about it I decided to use Wall Wishers. Its this great little site that lets you put sticky note on a blank web page. I set up the pages, which probably took me maybe30 minutes to do, one for each biome. On Tuesday the students are required to post 2 unique facts on the biome they were assigned. This of course will be more difficult for my last block, they were warned and seemed very prepared. On Thursday (our next class) I will project the “wall” and we will discuss the information on the biomes.
I hope this is successful. I like the fact the students are in charge of sharing with each other. I like that a student will learn something new, not because I told them, but because a classmate did or they found it themselves.
Links to biome pages. They are open, so I ask you do not edit or delete my kids work. They did a good job!