Learning Development Of A Learning Community

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This learning community lesson is designed for a seventh grade life science class composed of thirty students. Two of the students are English Language Learners (ELL). One student in the class is a special needs student with an individualized education plan (IEP). The majority of the class reads at grade level. Each student possesses the ability to learn. This lesson is structured so special needs and ELL students and below grade readers can take part and learn in this lesson. The lesson is to introduce a food web to the class. The students will build a food web using a graphic organizer based on fish found in a nearby lake, Melton Hill Lake. Students will be able to name and explain: producers, decomposers, and consumers. In addition, the lesson introduces vocabulary words for herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, and predator. Since the State of Tennessee does not mandate a standard for Life Sciences, I adapted the New York State standard for this lesson. A.1. How the learning activity encourages the development of a learning community. This learning lesson divides the students into a heterogeneous group consisting of five students. The students are instructed to use a graphic organizer to develop a food web. An introductory video and handouts give them a starting point. The teacher goes from group to group asking questions to lead the students towards the results wanted. These students are twelve and thirteen years old and worked in groups. Working on a project is not new. Many students have not worked together previous. This lesson allows the students to discuss the problem of design for the food web amongst themselves. The discussion and planning teaches them to work in a group. Kop (2008) states that, “...... ... middle of paper ... ...cabulary words and reinforce the need to name them on the project. As the teacher continues asking open ended questions, the teacher is assessing if the group is understanding the assignment. The group presentation is a formative assessment to find how well the group worked together and allow the student to use communication skills. Since the student will present something developed in their group, they will be more comfortable presenting their ideas. At this point, the formative assessment should score high marks. The teacher and the students had time to assess what they learned and how well they learned it. Finally, the teacher goes back to the KWL chart to complete the Learned column and compares it to what the students knew at the start the lesson, what they wanted to know, and the lesson objective. The entire lesson is a continuous formative assessment.
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