Beyond the Classroom Aquarium: A Curricular Sequence of 14 Project Based, Stem Oriented Aquatic Ecosystem Themed Learning Activities Your Students Will Love

Beyond the Classroom Aquarium: A Curricular Sequence of 14 Project Based, Stem Oriented Aquatic Ecosystem Themed Learning Activities Your Students Will Love


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(as of 02/09/2016 at 14:43 UTC)

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Beyond the Classroom Aquarium is a book of project-based learning activities providing guidance & encouragement to educators & students to collaborate in a sequence of real world aquatic ecosystem themed design/make it experiences. All the project based learning activities in this book are part of an innovative, challenging & multifaceted sequence of STEM-Oriented, (grade 6 - 12) experiences. In order to help educators address unique needs of students in their own classrooms, each narrative project description in Beyond the Classroom Aquarium is designed for use by educators as a guide to help them modify each project. Project exposition in Beyond the Classroom Aquarium supports the idea that such differentiation of instruction (e.g. curricular modification) is essential to maximize instructional success and student learning. Although Beyond the Classroom Aquarium is not a literary work, in form, the sequential compilation of STEM-oriented aquatic ecosystem themed projects of which this book is comprised loosely resembles an anthology of collected works by "master artists and writers." Educators who wish to introduce their students to computer automation technologies, involve them in the process of system design and critiquing, or expose them to a multiplicity of skilled trades experiences (such as those performed by drafts-persons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers) will find appropriate projects in Beyond the Classroom Aquarium. Educators who choose to use Beyond the Classroom Aquarium with their students will quickly discover that the actual projects within it and the extensive bibliography of resources it contains are replete with opportunities - for both educators and students - to collaborate with others. In Beyond the Classroom Aquarium Technology, Engineering and Math do not take a "back seat." Although the science of aquatic ecosystems provides a strong and engaging theme - opportunities to apply engineering, design, technology, math, communication, art, and analysis of real-world problems and resolving them are as abundant for students in this curriculum as each teacher may choose to make them. Chapter and project introductions and field trips include suggestions for collaboration that educators may wish to consider (and plan for) in order to make the learning experiences of each project most accessible to their students. Practical suggestions for establishing and maintaining an individualized math lab and coordinating student work in the math lab with aquatic ecosystem project work are provided throughout the book. The real-world aquatic ecosystem theme of the projects in this curriculum motivates many students to remain engaged in their learning. Many educators and pre-service educators will find the content of Beyond the Classroom Aquarium matches their own professional development goals. Educational leaders and administrators may wish to adopt a Beyond the Classroom Aquarium theme for their own class, school or district. A weeklong professional development workshop to address such interests has been designed by the author. The flexibility and "scale-ability" of Beyond the Classroom projects may also make it an ideal curricular format for non-traditional and non-formal learning environments for individuals involved in after school programs or clubs, a home schooling program, or while participating in a program at a residential camp. Beyond the Classroom Aquarium is designed to make a difference in every student's life (& teacher's too). It is intended to be used and to deliver fun - every day. This curricular sequence of project based, STEM-oriented, aquatic ecosystem themed learning activities has taken the author twenty years to compile, synthesize and write. Because of budgetary or other constraints, some educators may use only one of the many projects from the book; others might prefer to introduce their students to one or two of the many unique projects each year. Educators & kids can do this!

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