Science, Prop. of Eco.:
Fenni wrote:We've completed the first two weeks of ECC. The AIG book seems over my 3rd grader's head. I mean he can understand the concepts if I break them down, but I don't know that I want to go to that much effort (because I'm in constant brain fog w/ a new baby). My 1st grader is supposed to be in on the science, too, and it is definitely not holding his attention. My boys are bright, imaginative, have amazing vocabularies and are accustomed to read-alouds. I'm not sure what to think.
Don't get me wrong. I love MFW, at least K, 1st and ADV so far. We did enjoy the Maps and Globes book and activities. Don't want to sound like a total downer. I guess my purpose in posting is for encouragement and to find out if I'm normal or alone in my thoughts.
In general here are some teaching tips for Properties of Ecosystems (I've heard both extremes out there: this is just absolutely easy to use with my child, or !this is crazy!) So from someone who thinks the book is multi level and usable easily, I'd like to offer some tips on how I do it.
*Remember with ECC, you have material in there for grades 2-8. Those who used ADV were used to a manual designed for grades 2-3. There is an adjustment to not doing it all.
*The first two weeks in ECC are the hardest to use. the first couple of chapters are full of "big fancy science words" You'll be happier in a few chapters. you will. They don't have to memorize the words all the time. They don't have to know them all. However, I do agree with you that the richness of the language in those chapters can be overwhelming.
*3rd grader does not have to know all of the Words in the Words to Know list. They will hear many of them throughout the year and get it.
*Remember -- some of those terms are abstract words. Your 3rd grader is still very much a concrete learner. Here are some examples of teaching from a living text book with a more hands on approach and geared for concrete learner.
How about that section with Populations and Communities and Niches? That's abstract to a 3rd grader. Are you getting stuck on p. 13 and 14? The language is rich. But.... you're the teacher with a living text. You know your child. Here is one way to introduce the new vocabulary words. You (teacher) use them in several sentences as a model for your student.
Have your child count the number of people in your house and say the number out loud.
Tell them "good job. The population
of people in our house is 5."
have them count the number of plants. (The population of plants in our house is 3.)
Count the pets " the population of animals in our house is...)
Now your child has heard that word several time. Now tell them
Population is just the number of how many of something there is in a special place.
Now, walk outside and look at the houses on your street. All of those houses have their populations of people, plants and pets: that's our community.
tell them a niche is a job. tell them a niche can change depending where you are and what needs to happen.
Have them hug daddy before he leaves for work. His "niche" in our family: he's the dad!.
now he goes to work and he's not in our house. He is in the work community. he's now in the St. Jude community. (or whatever).
So, I really think that as the book goes on, and you get into biomes and that, it's not going to be anything like those first two weeks. I know with 1st edition ECC many of us said "hey, the first 2 weeks are busy and full and eeek!" Personally, I think it is even more so with 2nd edition.
I think it's going to be easier next week. It's ok if your 1st grader just listens in. maybe grab some science books from 1st grade for a while if needed. just with the long term perspective...... they'll do this book again in 5 years if you continue with MFW. Even jr. high kids read this book as part of their advanced Geography assignments (while doing a jr. high science).