Unit Introduction: Community Ecology Activity

This activity is the unit introduction for ecology and fractals. The activity involves students personifying a different animals in an ecological community. They will have different energy requirements and all share the same manipulative to represent energy (pinto beans). The purpose of this activity is for students to understand trophic levels and how energy in transferred between each level. This includes producer, prey, and predators.

Unit introduction: Koch Snowflake Area

On this day, students will be introduced to the Koch Snowflake through discussion and a YouTube video. They will have the opportunity to try to solve the area of the snowflake on their own using whatever information they know as a diagnostic assessment.

Terrestrial Biome Travel Ads

After learning about the nine terrestrial biomes that make up the Earth, students will get into nine groups to represent each of the different biomes. Each group will have the task of trying to convince the other students to "visit" their biome. They will be treating themselves as "travel agents" trying to emphasize the best things about their biomes, and trying to make the not so great things, sound positive. This will all them to work on their creativity skills, as well as their Art (component). They will be drawing, coloring, and writing up very colorful travel ads trying to accomplish these tasks. The best three posters will remain on the wall for the rest of the year. They will also draw and display some biological fractals that appear in their different biomes.

Problem of the week: Circular Pastures (perimeter/ areas)
This POW gets students thinking about the difference between perimeter and area. This is going to get students to a deeper understanding of simple geometric topics, and helps them to solve the unit question. It is confusing for students to accept the fact that the Koch Snowflake has an infinite perimeter, but a finite area.

Field Study
For the Biology portion of the Exchange days, the Biology students will spend a day recording empirical evidence in their "field notebooks".They will record the latitude and longitude of their location, the humidity, temperature, date, and time of their field study. The goal is that they each student record observations of a total of ten different abiotic or biotic species. They must also identify and record at least three different fractals. The students must also draw at least one of these ten species in their field books. The finished product must be in color. The students will learn how to make effective observations out of the classroom and in the field.

iPad- Fractal Day
For the Math portion of the Exchange days, the Math students will show biology students how fractals are used in mathematics by using a resource on the iPads, whether it be on the internet or using an application. They'll first have a day to research with me and the iPads as a resource. On this day, they will have the rubric for the end-result so they know what Mr. Dolnik and Ms. Howe are looking for. This connects to the essential questions and allows students to have better feelings about the subject of mathematics.