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SciPacks are self-directed online learning experiences for teachers to enhance their understanding of a particular scientific concept and its related pedagogical implications for student learning. Unlimited expert content help via email and a final assessment both facilitate and document teacher learning.
The Interdependence of Life SciPack explores the interactions between organisms and the environments in which they live. There are many relationships between organisms which can be beneficial or damaging. These interactions and the competition for resources in part determine in what locations organisms can survive and thrive. These locations all over the world are categorized by the climate of those areas and the organisms living in them. The delicate balance that is kept by the organisms in these regions is examined and demonstrated, not just from the perspective of the natural world, but based on human interactions and interference as well. The result is a representation of the rich tapestry of life that covers the planet Earth.
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I chose to do this scipack for the course I am taking because it was my weakest one after the taking the assessment. I put a lot of time, and effort while working through it, and it was worth every note I took. I feel like coming out of it my mind was refreshed with the topics it covered, and I am more confident being able to teach these content areas one day. Honestly, I thought the end exam (assessment) should have been more complex, but the questions it did ask was a good summary of the overall scipack hitting each topic. I did not have trouble with the links for the most part; only very few. The scipack is a good tool that I will be keeping in my back pocket to always come back to or refer to when I feel like I need a refresher. Overall, I recommend for students or even teachers to do; it might show you something that you forgot or even give a better way to teach and explain to students giving them a deeper understanding.
I personally loved the Interdependence of Life SciPack. It stepped me through step by step and helped me to feel more confident in teaching this within an actual real life classroom.
The Interdependence of Life SciPack provides thorough information on interdependence and functions of our ecosystem. As a teacher, I want to teach more on this topic, and this was a great resource to refresh some of the information that I have forgotten and not known. It provides detailed information on how the relationships between organisms and species. It also breaks down the standards and learning outcomes for the students. The material was organized well and provided lots of engaging tools. I was able to learn more with the pictures and video clips. I like the questions that you have to answer to help if you have understood the content. I will be using this resource in my classroom!
Overall I feel that this sci-pack was very informational. It provides paragraphs that are easy to read and understand, questions throughout to test one's knowledge, checks for understanding, and interactive games that provide for further understanding. A wide range of information is covered, including characteristics of various ecosystems, relationships among species, descriptions of various biomes, and agents of change in ecosystems. For me, this scipack provided a great review of things that I had learned about in high school but had forgotten since. One of my favorite resources that was provided was at the end of the scipack. Information about grades K-12 was given, regarding the common misconceptions among each grade level and the standards that go along with them. For me, this was a very helpful resource that provided relevant information for both pre-service and inservice teachers. Overall, I rate this scipack as excellent.
This scipack was packed with a lot of useful information that I will be covering very shortly with my students.It covered multiple topics, and while the chapters/sections were sometimes quite lengthy, the information was valuable.
Courtney Johannssen (Springboro, OH)
The content that was packed into this SCI pack was impressive. I thought the material was organized well and was engaging due to the pictures and real life examples. I really liked the hands on activities. Also, I liked that it included questions throughout the pages that gave immediate feedback. That was helpful in furthering the understanding of the reader. Overall, I thought this was very helpful!
I gained a ton of factual information while going through this SciPack. While the lessons and modules were lengthy, overall, I learned some important information. I enjoyed being able to quiz myself at the end of a lesson in order to see if I was understanding what I was reading. I also enjoyed the interactive lessons within the modules. I will be able to use the information from this SciPack in my own classroom!
"These interactions and the competition for resources in part determine in what locations organisms can survive and thrive." This SciPak really gets students thinking about the types of things we as humans do on a daily basis that can negatively impact environments. I love how it makes the students think about cause and effect!
Kim Rivera (Midlothian, TX)
This scipack had a lot of useful information! I definitely feel like I can use this information in my future classroom. I feel like it covered a different aspects of the topic and created a well-rounded lesson over the interdependence of life.
Emily Moore (Maryville, TN)
I really enjoyed this SciPack. Looking back, I feel like I have learned so much. I really like how it gives the checks for understanding questions. That seemed to be really helpful for me as I was reading to make sure I was understanding the concept. It also really helped me to do better on the final assessment. I definitely would recommend this SciPack to teachers or students. You will learn so much!
I haves always been interested in the relationships between animals, and how the environment impacts their way of living in this world. Also, it is interesting how we (as humans) and the weather can drastically change the environment, which can eventually disrupt the way animals live. This Scipack really helped me broaden my knowledge of the Interdependence of Life! At first, I was a bit skeptical, but going through this Scipack was very intriguing, and I just wanted to learn more and more. I appreciate all the "Checks For Understanding" questions in each section, and the brief quizzes at the end to see what I have learned. Even though the Scipack was quite lengthy, it was very organized and gave numerous examples for any viewer to understand. I believe this Scipack can be very beneficial for teachers (as well as students) if they plan on reviewing what they already know and to assess a students' knowledge!
This SciPack was originally quite intimidating. The further I got into it though, the less intimidating it became. I started to have a better understanding of different environments and the organisms in those environments. I like that it relates back to things taught in previous sections throughout the SciPack. I also enjoy that it has different interactive examples to help you better understand the content.
I have chosen to review the Interdependence of Life SciPack by NSTA that we completed throughout the course of the semester. At first I was a bit intimidated by the amount of text that I saw. Upon closer examination I realized that the information was broken down into pieces that were easier to understand. The folders and subfolders were separated into chunks that made sense. The videos and simulations throughout the SciPack were a great way to further engage us in the lesson.
I also liked the way there was a diagram or picture for almost every concept. For a visual learner like me, it was very helpful in helping me remember certain ideas. Some of the information was a refresher of past concepts, such as the different types of biomes and types of species relationships. I was especially interested in the pedagogical implications, since this information was completely new to me. Overall the SciPack proved to be a tremendously helpful resource that is just as good, if not better than a text book.
I had the chance to work with this Scipack. I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised. The Scipack at first seemed very daunting because there was a lot of information that was required. There was a lot of pieces that needed to be read. That being said, I took my time and managed to work through it. This task was assigned to me by my professor for an on going assignment. He gave us the luxury to tackle it as we pleased. Once I had the time to actually sit there and work with it, I kept on going. I went from part to part because they were very interesting. I wanted to keep going to learn about the organisms in their environment. What I also liked about this Scipack was the interactions that were available. This Scipack was more then just a piece of information, it was a way for students to learn. There were questions and interactive slide shows on almost every page. These gave students the chance to work with the information and test what they learned. I also liked the fact that we were given the option to have the page read to us if we wished. Sometimes laying down and listening can make it easier to understand then just plain reading. The Sci packs were also split into sections which made it easier to comprehend. The student had the chance to stop at any time that they wanted if they got tired. What I also like is that every section had a little quiz at the end which allowed the students to test what they learned. That quiz helped as it prepared the reader for the final exam. Overall, I feel that this Scipack was a great tool to use. It allows the reader to learn, and to be a part of their learning. It also allows their teacher a different way to assess what they know.
This Scipack was an excellent review of environmental science. I loved the focus on food webs, biomes, and impacts both natural and human on the environment. Anyone looking for a good review before teaching an ecology section this is perfect!
Chris Taylor (Boise, ID)
The structure of the SciPacks really help me understand the underlying concepts that surround each topic.
I had a lot of fear of science before learning about the NSTA Learning Center, and Initially, I was unsure of how well I'd grasp scientific concepts in a self-paced, online format. However, the carefully sequenced topics, interactive activities and simulations, in addition to the voice-over explanations work well together to help deepen my understanding in the content area.
Especially valuable are the pedagogical implications and common student misconceptions. I feel a lot more knowledgeable about a subject after using a SciPack, and I highly recommend the Interdependence of Life SciPack to anyone needing to learn more about this topic.
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)
This Sci Pack had great interactive activities that made the learning experience fun. The content was easy to understand. Great Sci pack!
This is a great resource for the new teacher. All the scipacks are.
James (El Paso, TX)
We did this simulation, today, and the kids were really interested in aligning the predators and prey to get the right mix. They were really interested in the interactive. Of all the activities, my special needs students like the interactives the best!
James Johnson (Custer City, PA)
Just did the Salamander Interactive yesterday and the kids just loved it! We did it on the smart board and they were fighting over who would go up and do the activity! Kudos!
Packed full of information, photos, simulations, and activities for review. Really enjoyed this SciPack and it's worth every minute doing it. Lots of great resources and content!
Jessica Minton (Collierville, TN)
I haven't used mu Scipacks in a while, but I will be using this one, again, next week. We are studying Science and Technology and its effect on the environment and this Scipack will be perfect for extensions and enrichment. One thing I really like is the usage of the same vocabulary as our textbook but with interactions and better graphics. I've used this resource a lot with excellent results.
Such a great resource for teachers. A lot of variety (audio, visuals, and interactive activities). Very informative and very worth while.
I really like this SciPack but I did notice a minor grammatical error that might me addressed in the next mod. In the explanation for the incorrect answer in What Defines a Biome - Location Location Location, for the "What Phase the Moon is in" the answer says "No, this will have no affect on the average temperature." If we could replace "affect" with "effect" it would be more grammatically correct.
The material and presentation are great but this slip did bother me a little.
I used this resource in my class today with a hard to engage class and it worked pretty well. They kids were surprised that there really was a Dodo Bird and they were surprised at how big the bird was and its extinction story. Great job! I hope to use the food web material, next.
I really liked the overall course and the assessment was well balanced with great questions without anything confusing. Very straightforward! Really learned a lot!
I was blow away by the amount of lesson plan examples and resources that were available. It help to support the growth of my pedagogical knowledge. I was excited because the quality and superb online course and resources really pieced well with the SciPack. The SciGuide modeled how to deliver the content from the SciPack. The Interdependence of Life provided a sampling of the tiering or spiraling of the information from grades K to 6th grade. The Interdependence of Life SciPack is a 5 star resource.
This SciPack was extremely helpful to me and allowed me to gain a better understanding on this topic. This happened to be my first SciPack to complete and I appreciated the organizational structure of it. For instance, the breakdown of the content within science objects helped me to grasp the bigger picture and how it is all connected within the content. I did have issues with the interactive sections of this SciPack. Often times it would not allow me to open any of those links. Overall this tool is helpful as a refresher course and provides easy to understand information.
Overall, this scipack was very thorough and beneficial to me. I felt that I increased my knowledge and understanding as a result of studying the scipack. There were several, perhaps 60% or more, interactive links and videos that didn't work for me. I was worried that I was missing a component that was necessary to complete the quizzes. Perhaps the links could open another tab to the activity instead of open a small window within the lesson itself. Of course, another drawback to these links not opening is that I can't use them with my students if they were relevant to my lessons. The only other criticism was the last portion of the scipack about pedagogical implications. The material was redundant from grade level to grade level. I would rather see the differences only between student misconceptions between grades rather than repeating the same content covered from K - 12 plus extra as the grade levels increase.
I felt like this scipack was really educational, but almost too repetitive. There was a lot of useful information, but I felt like it was hard to get through because of the length of it. I could only work on it for like half an hour at a time because it was just so dense.
The ecological succession interactive was fun. I will try this with my class next week and see how it goes.
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