Book Reviews - Properties of Ecosystems (POE), helps

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Book Reviews - Properties of Ecosystems (POE), helps

Unread post by doubleportion »

ECC 2nd edition- Properties of Ecosystems ???

We are really enjoying using it.

Look at the TM Teaching Tips section on Properties of Ecosystems. You are to read the chapter and orally discus the questions (all ages). You can omit or summarize info if it is too difficult for your 3rd grader. For example in week 3 we read pgs 39-41. We read through together, talked about the questions on page 41, and then completed the "Where would I live" worksheet included in the student packet. (I drew a line through the animals that my daughter was not familiar with to make it less frustrating for her.) We then filed the page in her notebook.

A general rule of thumb, for your 3rd grader you would omit any of the green box info and any advanced assignments for Properties of Ecosystems listed in your teacher grid.

We haven't done any of the science projects because it has been so dry here. But just this week we have finally had some rain after a month or more of none. So we may catch up on the worm project and the water cycle project this weekend.

For the water and nitrogen cycle section we read both. Then I supplemented with a book on grade level that we already had on the water cycle. We discussed the nitrogen cycle, discussing it in reference to composting which dd has been learning about. (you could leave it out altogether) I did simplify the questions for that section. We had learned about the water cycle last year so this was familiar territory for dd.

Hope this helps. I think this is such a wonderful science book! So nice to have a science book with a biblical worldview. I would say enjoy using it and modify or leave out as needed.

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Re: ECC 2nd edition- Properties of Ecosystems ???

Unread post by 4Truth »

I've got a beginning 8th grader and a beginning (immature) 5th grader both doing Ecosystems. Oldest reads ALL the colored boxes.... depending on what it is, I might have 5th grader read it, too. Some of the colored boxes include experiments, and we do those all together.

Ecosystems is definitely not too "young" for an 8th grader... nor full enough for it be their entire science for the year, esp if they're college-bound. The book is very adaptable for a wide range of ages, which means you can use it with a 3rd grader as well.

Oldest then does her Apologia science in the afternoon.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
Julie in MN
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Re: ECC 2nd edition- Properties of Ecosystems ???

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Mommyto3boys wrote:Just curious- why do the 7th and 8th graders do Ecosystems in addition to Apologia series this year? Are they suppose to listen/do the science in the other years in addition to Apologia?
Reading about ecosystems is part of "geography" -- and especially part of geography at a 7th & 8th grader's level. But 7-8th graders have their own science so they can skip the Ecosystems experiments (unless they want to join in!). The teacher's guide will explain what to do.

The other years are different. My 7th grader didn't do any of the science included in EX1850 or 1850MOD.
Last edited by Julie in MN on Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Encouragement: but, the vocab is too over their heads?!

Unread post by cbollin »

I just wanted to encourage anyone using Properties of Ecosystems, or the Botany book, or any book in MFW where you have that feeling that the vocab is just too much or over their heads. ;)

Today, when I was at speech/language therapy clinic for my autistic child, I saw the monthly article on the calendar. I immediately thought "wow, if this applies to our special learning children, how much more could it encourage those with regular needs children especially those who on the board." I know from time to time I've suggested explaining and rewording vocab and phrases from POE.... now I have some researchers out there to back up my mommy/teacher instincts.

I mean.. uh, uh.... I know Marie has that background in teaching and special ed, and that background as a speech language pathologist... it's just a blessing to me to see how the curriculum does little stuff like this. No wonder children in MFW are doing well in school and testing.

So, I'd like to share this little tidbit of info directed to elementary teachers. It's c.2010 Hanen Early Language Program.
Expose Children to rare and unusual vocabulary. What the Research says: Expose Children to rare, unusual, technical words they don't hear in everyday conversations. Explain and repeat these words in different contexts to help children develop a full understanding of their meaning. Having a large vocabulary of rare and unusual words helps children with later reading comprehension and gives them the background knowledge they will need in subjects like science, history, geography and math.
Suggestions are given for the "home" and "classroom" to make those words go from rare/unusual to become part of their everyday vocab. It's not a big surprise here. It gives specifics of hands on projects and using the new vocab, reading related books on the topic (book basket and read alouds).

examples: "While looking at the sprouted beans, says "look how the bean seeds have germinated." Incorporate the words in their pretend play if you can.
Share non fiction book about interesting topics such as The Water Cycle or The Human Body to expose children to new vocab they might otherwise not hear. Repeat these new words in other situations.

I hope that encourages anyone who has to repeat, rephrase or explain any new science vocab in MFW books.


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Re: Encouragement: but, the vocab is too over their heads?!

Unread post by jasntas »

It's funny you posted this today. I was just re-reading your notes for POE as I had been debating on whether or not to continue with it. Sometimes it seems to go ok and other times, well, it seems to go right over our (I mean their) heads. ;) Before reading this post I had already come to the conclusion that the exposure was a good thing, even if I am continually rewording and explaining.

I also have been using The Complete Book of Animals and adding in science lapbooks or sometimes just a page on the general subjects we have been studying and that really seems to be helping them retain more. For instance, we are in France and we have been working on an animal classifications lapbook. Tomorrow we will be reading the Describing Living Things section in Living World and doing the Classification Activity from the TM which directly ties in with the lapbook we are doing. But I am also continuing to read and do (most of) the science projects out of POE as well.

I have found it to be doable with everything else if we get started on time and everyone is cooperative enough with their basics that we get to the science in a timely manner. For my crew I just had to tweak things a little to get it to work for us and still use the science intended for ECC.

Thanks for the double encouragement today. (And you were totally unaware of the first time). :-)
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Properties of Ecosystems question

Unread post by asheslawson »

happyWImom wrote:When I looked at it on the Answers in Genesis site, it has a student book w/cd, as well as a TM. When you look at a sample of it, it says that there are student sheets to fill out. Are the student sheets the same ones that will come with our MFW student sheets, or are they different?

I guess what I'm wondering is, would we get more out of it by buying the 2 books from Answers in Genesis, or does MFW just have us using what is pertinent to ECC, and more would be too much?
I bought the manual thinking it might offer some insight on some of those questions I was struggling with, in which the answer seemed foggy, or not clear cut in the text. It did not - big waste of money.

All the sheets you need are in ECC and the answers are in the ECC manual exactly as in their PofE teacher's manual. Wish I would have looked at the manual @ the convention or found it somewhere to preview - or maybe did what you did and asked here before I bought it (hindsight). I still struggle a little with PofE - but we still enjoy a lot of it. We just struggle when the question is asking something that seems to not be exactly answered in the textbook - in other words - gray area.

All the worksheets are included w/ECC. ECC manual has everything you need for PofE.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
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ECC: Wild Places vs. POE?

Unread post by cbollin »

ChristiC wrote:Can someone tell me what book replaced Wild Places in the 2nd Edition?
Properties of Ecosystems, published by Answers in Genesis.
ChristiC wrote:THANK YOU! That's a huge help.

Does anyone know why? I have both here and Prop of Eco seems to have a lot less in it on each subject (deserts, etc). Just wondering what the thought behind it is - and if I should use one or the other - or both!
Several reasons that I picked up on over the years.

POE covers more topics. Wild Places covered just deserts, jungles and mountains. I thought Wild Places was more of filler book just on those 3 biomes when used in conjunction with Living World Encyclopedia. Some of it is that POE has fewer but longer paragraphs. Wild Places had smaller paragraphs.
POE offers a Christian perspective. Wild Places does not.
POE offers more on experiments, and advanced reading for upper elementary students. Most people looked at Wild Places and slammed MFW for having a baby book in Wild Places. It was enough for 2nd-4/5th grade, but 5th/6th graders needed more and people didn't like MFW's solution to have the student do a report each month for that. Seriously, for years, people slammed MFW about that Wild Places. It's quite nice to hear someone prefer it. :)
POE offers supplement reading on topics even for jr. high students.
POE covers more than "just" biomes. There is the ecology aspects of it which were not part of Wild Places.
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Properties of Ecosystem?

Unread post by MelissaM »

gratitude wrote:Are they supposed to narrate this book or just answer the questions? Do these terms come up throughout ECC or is it just one time for exposure? How am I supposed to use this book? What is the goal for learning?

I was giving examples to try to make it more interesting, but my ds did have a bit of a glazed look from the reading. The story part grabbed his attention more than the text part. His reading retention is very high normally, but I could tell it was lower with this particular reading than it normally is. I will try some summary / narration perhaps. Has anyone else found that it takes awhile with new science concepts? Feeling a little uncertain of how to teach properties of ecosystems successfully.

Should I be taking the attitude of this will come again later with his age? Oh, wait.. by the time it comes again he will have Apologia science for Middle School. Hmm...
Carin, no worries. If he doesn't get it all now, he will get it later. Will he be doing ECC again? Even if he's in jr. high, I think he will still be doing the PoE book - I think what is science now becomes part of the jr. high kid's geography. (So he would do both the ECC science reading - not all the projects - and the Apologia science.) Oh, I feel like someone here has said that before, but I might be COMPLETELY off. Someone correct me, please.

Anyway - feel free to read it and summarize it for your kids. Look at the pictures. I like to give my dd the vocabulary words first - here are some words I want you to listen for, and when we're done you can tell me what they mean. But she's 10. And she doesn't always get them. I generally have her narrate, but I like the questions for helping along the narrations. Use the worksheets as Crystal said for notebooking - copy from the book, that's fine. Do the experiments and projects - don't worry about every last vocabulary word. We've been focusing much more on the geography vocab than the science vocab. IMHO, it's all about exposure at these ages.


Re: Properties of Ecosystem?

Unread post by cbollin »

agreeing with Melissa... if a jr. high student does ECC, that student will read POE as part of geography time even though science will be apologia or other jr. high full year program.

if your student doesn't repeat it... it's ok. A lot of it will be repeated through the year as you study more habitats. and if they learn the word "niche" along the way, that's just bonus. I think a lot of it comes with nature study. I was surprised by this little factoid in my life....... my middle gal was 4th grade in ECC first edition. toward the end of year is when mfw started to sell POE. I couldn't resist getting it. I was happy to see that even with the other science in ECC and doing book basket, and animal books and watching things like schelessinger video, or even kratt brothers, that POE was a nice end of year review for her....

enjoy the blue box experiments and demos. nature walks. pictures in the book......

yes, the first few chapters are top heavy.
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Re: Properties of Ecosystem?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I was previously recommending that folks with little ones could just skip POE. My ds did ECC in 3rd grade, before POE was used, and there was plenty of science without it.

However, Lucy talked this thru with me a little while ago and convinced me that there is value to POE even for the younger ones :) She talked me thru the info that's in the manual about using POE with younger ones, such as the one page I remember says, “Today’s lesson is complex. You may simplify the information or omit for younger children,” and other info is at the beginning of the manual. (And Lucy said that Marie is considering expanding the info in the Teaching Tips.)

Anyways, Lucy said some families will omit the POE readings and some will want to still mention the science ideas in a simple way, but really children in 2-3rd just need the first sentence, maybe a brief explanation, & move on. The main thing Lucy explained that she wouldn't want 2-3rd graders to miss in POE is the hands-on activities in the blue boxes. She said that the 1st edition book I used (Wild Places) is fine and reasonably priced, but it doesn't have the hands-on activities, and also it only covers 3 of the biomes. POE covers all biomes and it adds the Christian perspective, so there is more value in using POE, even if it's used in a limited way. I've decided that she's right :o) Kids learn better with hands-on at that age, and those kids will get geography again in middle school and in high school. So Lucy felt the Usborne reading and maybe a brief bit of reading from POE, plus all the hands-on, the nature walks, and book basket, were plenty of science for those grades. Ask more questions if you still need some more help or ideas or call the office as they are always willing to help you with ideas and support.

Just thought I'd share in case it helps,
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Re: Properties of Ecosystem?

Unread post by gratitude »

Thank you for the help ladies. I was assuming that POE was dropped when they came back around to ECC again for Junior High. It helps to know that it is still part of the geography at that point. It takes the pressure off, and lets me be able to focus more on what we can get from the book instead of feeling like we should be getting everything EXCEPT of course for the green boxes. Focusing on the blue box hands on activities and exposure for this age makes sense to me, and makes it feel much more doable. It will also leave time for the Complete Book of Animals that I would like to do with them.

Thank you! :-)

ECC ?: Properties of Ecosystems

Unread post by cbollin »

love3es wrote:We started ECC this fall, and so far we are enjoying our journey. However, we are really struggling with Properties of Ecosystems (POE). I'm doing ECC with two boys, 3rd and 4th grade (and a 6 year old boy who likes to tag along ). I've read a couple of other posts saying people just summarized POE or dropped it altogether for lower elementary aged students. I'm wondering if I should order the Complete Book of Animals to substitute in it's place. If so, do you think I should buy a copy for each of my children, or will it be totally beyond m 6 year old?

I should also mention that we are also covering the series God's Design for Life (Plants/Animals/Human Body) by Answers in Genesis as part of our co-op this year. So, maybe I don't need to substitute anything else. What do you think?

If you have other suggestions/ideas for getting through POE, I'd greatly appreciate your help.
Thanks in advance!
I'd start with reading Julie in MN's answer here ... 648#p80648
about ways to use the book with that age.

you mostly focus on the blue box experiments
nature walks
and maybe read a little bit from the chapter.
you can have the child record some info on the worksheets to help with organizing the information.

Focus on notebooking in ECC with Living World Encyclopedia, do the blue box experiments in POE. do the hands on stuff in the ECC manual with science. Enjoy one or two new vocab words from POE per week. enjoy the pictures in it. ignore all green box stuff. teach the material to the student instead of just reading a textbook to them.

I think one copy of Complete Book of Animals is enough per family. The youngest can have the coloring sheets. Everyone can read together and answer questions out loud instead of writing. My middle gal liked it in 4th grade, but I think other 4th graders might find it too easy for them.

and if you are in a co-op doing other science, it'll all be ok.
Other ideas.... but it's overkill and mostly just ways to improve listening comprehension and learning to learn from a text......
These notes are here to try to help you transition to teaching from a multi level textbook called Properties of Ecosystems (POE) when your oldest is about 3rd grade and doing ECC.

Some people are loving this book. Their kids are learning a lot that they didn’t know at the beginning of the year. Mom is summarizing hard information and helping with notebooking pages just like it is suggested in the MFW manual and it is working great.

Other people have used this book with some frustrations at the level of the book for the age of their oldest child in ECC. So, it is my hope that some my teaching strategies might help someone out there with the learning curve with this style of book. It’s a nice book with lots of information, experiments and from a Biblical perspective.

These kinds of teaching techniques are what have worked for me to engage my children in conversation while reading textbooks to them, and to gently introduce new vocabulary and harder concepts as part of increasing their knowledge base at the beginnings of a new level of learning. Then they have the context for the new word and they even get to practice the new word immediately. And next week, raise the bar a bit and expect a little bit more.

General Ideas for the Whole Year
Parts of the text in the book can go over a 3rd graders head if read directly word for word. No doubt about that. So there will be times that I give a sample of one way to explain material in those longer sections in ways that might encourage and engage conversation. Adapt the sample so it is more natural in your regular style of talking. I don’t see this as dumbing down the text or the child. You are restating the same material. They will grow as the year continues. Each time we introduce new and harder concepts, we are increasing their knowledge base.

Also, I think it is helpful in the beginning of the year with a 3rd grader to ask the What Did We Learn (WDLD) questions at the end of the paragraph where the question has the answer. And the same principle applies for Taking it Further. As the year progresses, you may find that your children will not have to stop after every paragraph. Adjust as you go. But in the beginning of the year, it might help them to do so when lots of vocabulary is presented quickly. They are growing. They are at a new stage of learning. They can do this and so can you.

Consider learning styles. Let them look at the pictures as you are reading and presenting the information. Sometimes you might want to have a globe in your hand, or toy animals to have around.

Some of the worksheets are summary sheets for your child. You can help with those. You can use pictures instead of writing. The goal is to have a record of some of the information you are learning and to help them write down what they do know. The goal is not to be able to answer everything on a worksheet. Some people prefer to ditch the worksheets and just use lapbooks. I’ve never done one of those. You can vary it for your child.

Also, remember that MFW has younger resources too: Complete Book of Animals, Living World, Great Animal Search, and all of the experiments in the ECC manual, and book basket. So use POE in gentle ways with your 3rd grader and concentrate on the other things in science for them. They will get POE again in 8th grade. POE is designed for a wide range of ages but written for target audience of grades 3-5.

Try to include field trips when appropriate: state parks, lake shore, a creek or river, a botanical garden, a greenhouse. Take the book with you and point stuff out. It might mean you shift the grids around a bit, but so what?

Specifics to certain pages/chapters
In this guide, I use the word Chapters to refer to the “lesson numbers” in the POE book.

I’ll just list these notes in chapter order instead of order in ECC book and it is listed by page number instead of chapter number. As your year progresses, you’ll need fewer notes to summarize as your child will grow in his skills.

Page 8
read paragraph 1,
Ask the question What is a habitat? (it’s the environment or place where we live)
Now ask the taking it further question of “how does your habitat change throughout the day” (give hint if needed – by walking into the kitchen, then into the bathroom, then into the garage)

“What is ecology?”
(let them look at the book if needed)

Read paragraph 2
Ask what is the biosphere?

rephrase paragraph 3 which starts with “The biosphere contains”. Here is one way that would be natural in my house to rephrase this to teach the information:
“Since we are learning science, we will start to use some new words this year. Scientists use the word “biotic” to mean living things. if you need some practice on labeling biotic vs. abiotic factors in an ecosystem this could be a quick exercise for younger students. (supervise internet use of course) ... ecosystem/

paragraph 4: restate this as:
All of the living and non living things in a particular area make up the ecosystem. Lots of ecosystems together make a biome. Scientists have fancy words they like to use, don’t they? Don’t worry. We’ll use these all year and learn them as we go along and learn to be smart scientists. Some of these words might be new to me too.
Plants in an area are Flora. And the animals are Fauna. Do you hear the word Fauna? It’s sounds like Fawn – which is a baby deer. Do you hear the word Flora? It sounds like Floral, which means flower – just like the floral department at the grocery store. See, we’re as smart as the scientists.

Other option to understand biome and ecosystem, rephrase like this:
An ecosystem is a lot like your bedroom and everything in it -- you (you're living) and your clothes, bed and stuff (non living). And my bedroom is like another ecosystem. And our kitchen is like one more ecosystem.

Now, when we put all of our bedrooms, and kitchen, and bathrooms together we have a house made of lots of rooms. A Biome is made many ecosystems together just like a great big house (biome) with lots and lots of rooms, and each room (ecosystem) is a special place.

But that's how I simplify things: I speak in analogies with stuff that is right in front of us to touch and see.

Page 9 rephrase all of this as:
Here is another new word. Climate. Climate is the most important factor that determines which plants and animals live in a certain area.
Climate is the word to describe:
amount of sunlight,
and amount of precipitation (that’s rain and snow)

We will learn that those CLIMATE things change based on where in the Earth you are.

(now ask the taking it further question: What factor has the greatest effect on the plants and animals that live in a specific place?)

“As you study the lessons in this book you will learn about the many wonderful ways that God created the life on our planet to interact with its environment”

Then close the book and pray together something to thank God for making our world and all the things in it. Help us to learn more about your creation…

Then go to music on the grid.

Page 11-12: Bible time.
There’s a lot on those 2 pages. By end of the reading, make sure they know “in the beginning God created”. Garden of Eden was good. There was curse on the earth. And last paragraph. They will learn more and more. Close in prayer. Try to keep this conversational.

P. 13-15 If this gets too much today, spread it out and do the rest on Friday.
(before reading.. say)
We’re going to learn 3 new words today. Niche. Population and Community.
A niche is a job or role that a particular organism has. The niche can change too. And an organism can have more than one niche.
Ask the Taking it Further Question of “what different niches do you (or do I) have in the family and in the community where we live?”.
Then say out loud “so, we can have one niche in our house, but a different niche in the community.” (give example of the working parent in your house. Daddy is daddy in our family. And at work he is also a ________)

Now Let’s read.
read paragraph 1,
Ask the question “what is a niche”

Read paragraph 2 . glazed looks a bit? Have some stuffed animals or toy animals out (if that is their learning style)
Ask the question “name 2 factors that determine an animal’s niche”

Read paragraph 3.
(although this isn’t in the book or manual, you could consider having them narrate the paragraph)

Paragraph 4:
Read it.
Ask the questions “what is a population”, “what is a community”.
If they get confused – break it down like this:
What is the population of people in our house?
What is the population of people on our street?
What about our church?
What is the population of plants in our house?

Finish reading on p. 14. end with Thus different bees have different niches within their colony – just like we have different jobs in our house.
And now try to ask that last “what did we learn question”

Try the last Taking in Further question: if needed share the answer, or ask them it another way with it in your house with food and snacks and all of that. Or skip this question.

p. 16-17
most 3rd graders should be able to understand food chains from the info in this chapter since they covered it in pages in Living World the day before. If needed, use pages 310-312 of Complete Book of Animals. But now you can start to raise the bar a bit with them while you are reading.

Remember to ask the What did we learn questions, and Taking it Further questions as you come to the end of the paragraph where the information is found,

p. 19-20
at end of paragraph 1: ask What Did We Learn questions 1 and 2
at end of paragraph 2 (which starts on p. 19 and stops on p. 20) ask WDWL question 3 and 4.
Read paragraph 1 on p. 20 then ask Taking it Further questions 1 and 2

p. 22-24
per ECC manual, this is an advanced assignment. Therefore skip it with 3rd graders.

Pages 25-27
the ECC manual suggests that this is omitted for younger kids or simplified. At least do the experiment even if you skip the readings. If you want to simplify it for younger kids then just explain the diagram on page 26. Introduce the words Water Cycle, condensation, evaporation, precipitation, while just doing the experiment on page 26. Let them see the water cycle in action.
This can also be done on stove with boiled water and a lid.
Ask the Taking it Further questions as a way to talk about the experiment.

Take these pages a bit slowly with your child. Lots of detail in these pages.
Paragraphs 1 and 2 (page 29) help to review last week’s info.
Paragraph 3 – pick up your globe (from deluxe package). Hold it up to the overhead light in the room or a lamp. Tilt the globe as you start to read paragraph 3
Do not get hung up on saying all of the latitude and longitude degrees.
Trace the zones on your globe with your fingers. Ask the kids to do the same thing
Turn to page 30
Set globe down for a minute
Do the What did we learn questions while looking at the map on p. 30
Try the Taking it Further questions.

This is still in the introduction weeks of the ECC year. Begin to use the new vocab “polar, temperate, and tropics” as you teach. Different children will need different times to learn them. Do not worry if 3rd grader doesn’t learn it all today. Practice these words in other parts of school in geography too. Remember we are smarting them up with new words and concepts.

Pages. 33-34
if younger kids don’t care about this guy… skip.

Pages. 35-37
these pages are used about half way in the year. By now your child is getting a bit older and you’re probably more in the swing on presenting the information and asking the WDLD and TIF questions as you come to the information in the paragraph. Continue doing so. It might help to have the TM open so you see the questions as you read from the POE book

Pages. 39-40
as you read the first paragraphs on p. 39, refer back to the map on . 30 if needed or pick up the globe and move along on it as you read. Ask the kids to picture the scenes in their minds.

Today, try to ask the WDLD and TIF questions at the end of the reading. Look back in the text together.

Be assured – they will get the information repeated in Living World this week with more pictures. And in book basket too. Grab some DVD’s on Forest from library. Consider watching Magic School Bus videos on this.

Pages. 42-44
If you need some visuals, go to the park, or try
for trees that are mentioned.

Remember to ask the WDLD and TIF questions after the appropriate paragraph

Pages. 45-47
Remember to ask the WDLD and TIF questions after the appropriate paragraph

Pages. 49-51
Lots of info in this section. It is used later in the year as your child is getting older. There are several experiments in the oceans weeks that should be fun.
It’s a section to take slowly with WDWL and TIF questions , and help to make some notes. Focus more on the experiments, basic facts (ocean names, and that some parts are very deep and never get sunlight). Anything else from those pages that they learn is gravy.
Consider a field trip to aquarium.

Pages 53-55
Take the WDWL and TIF questions as they are found in paragraphs.

Pages 56-58
Do you have any kind of beach to visit near you? Even a state park lake beach?
It will not be the same as an ocean beach, but it could be fun to visit for the sand.

Pages 59-61
Standard stuff here: know when to ask the questions. Enjoy the experiment and try it.

Pages 63-65
It is possible that in this chapter you will run into some words that your child either doesn’t remember or you haven’t done yet. Because this chapter is used in MFW earlier than chapters 12-15, you might have to skip some words in there.

You’ll want to skip “just like the ocean” because you haven’t done that part yet.

Pages 67-69
Standard stuff here: know when to ask the questions. Enjoy the experiment and try it.
And no, I didn’t know the word riparian zone either.

Try to go to a river or creek. Or stream or waterfall in a state park. Look for the plants, mosses, the animals, rocks, etc.

Pages 73-75
Standard stuff here: know when to ask the questions. Enjoy the experiment and try it

P. 79-82
Because these pages are in the early weeks in ECC, I should have a few extra hints.
Have globe or map in hand to point to general areas
Enjoy the experiments and activities.

Read paragraph 1 p. 79, then ask WDLD Q1
Read the rest of p. 79, then ask WDLD Q2
Read p. 80 paragraph 1 and 2 and 3, then ask WDLD Q 3 and TIF #1
Read p. 80 paragraph 4 , ask WDLD Q4 and 5, TIF 2

If needed. Take a break and finish end of p. 80-82 on Wednesday or Friday and do TIF 3-6, otherwise, finished end of p. 80-82 and do TIF 3-6 today as well.

Pages 84-86
Much shorter reading. Ask the questions.

Pages 87-89
Standard stuff here: summarize as needed, know when to ask the questions. Enjoy the experiment and try it. probably getting much easier now in the year.

Pages 91-93 – skip with youngers

Pages 95-96
Standard stuff here: summarized as needed, know when to ask the questions. Enjoy the experiment and try it. probably getting much easier now in the year.

Any chance there is a cave/cavern near you to visit?

Pages 99-101
Standard stuff here: summarized as needed, know when to ask the questions. Enjoy the experiment and try it. probably getting much easier now in the year.

Pages 103-107
Standard stuff here: summarize as needed, know when to ask the questions. Enjoy the experiment and try it. probably getting much easier now in the year

Also – on the Adaptations worksheet in this week, you are to teach that information to your student. See the ECC manual for more details. And/or cross reference it with the index from Living World Encyclopedia. Look up the animal in the index and see if there is an answer or clue on that page.

Pages 108-113
Standard stuff here: Summarize as needed, know when to ask the questions. Enjoy the experiment and try it. probably getting much easier now in the year

Unit 6, Pages 114-139
Standard stuff here: Summarize if needed, know when to ask the questions. Enjoy the experiment and try it. probably getting much easier now in the year
Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: ECC ?: Properties of Ecosystems

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

I'm one of the ones that shelved POE half-way during ECC with a 3rd grader. I didn't read through all of crystal's suggestions - but it's too late for me.

I do wonder if the problem was me and not my dd, though. She's taking a co-op class this year and is doing Apologia Anatomy. She has no complaints about keeping up with the large amount of homework and memorizing all those "tough" scientific names for cells and muscles and bones.

She may have been able to handle POE better last year if I would have found more enthusiasm for teaching it. I don't know. We did all of the TM science stuff and we did any experiments from POE but dropped the reading and notebooking. We used a LOT out of Complete Book of Animals. I felt like it was enough for 3rd grade science, as long as she was understanding the geographical characteristics and climate of the area we were studying. The Geography A-Z vocabulary words help with that, too.

I'm not trying to talk you out of finding a way to use POE. Just explaining why I didn't use all of it, and wondering if I really should have.
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL
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Re: ECC ?: Properties of Ecosystems

Unread post by love3es »

Thanks so much for all the wonderful ideas and the link Crystal. I'm going to take my time and read through them all today.
cbollin wrote:I'm curious more than anything. Are you able to describe what the struggle is? Is it "reading comprehension" or "listening comprehension", or retention, or just too much at once? Sometimes that might help figure out what's really spot on for your family to do with the POE book.
I guess I would say our "struggle" is probably with the fact that the book is dry and there is a lot of info presented in one setting (at least in some chapters). i really need to stop being such a Type A personality and skip over or summarize the sections I know are going to cause my kids' eyes to glaze over.

Thanks too Cyndi for sharing your experience. I do think I'm going to order a copy of the "The Complete Book of Animals" My kids like to color/draw while I read, so maybe I could use the activities in "The Complete Book of Animals" while I'm reading from POE.

DS10: ECC 2011-2012
DS8: ECC 2011-2012
DS6: K/1st Grade 2011-2012
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Re: ECC ?: Properties of Ecosystems

Unread post by MelissaB »

We used POE and the Compl. Book of Animals w/ our 3rd grader last year. If we had to choose b/t the two, we would definitely choose the Compl. Book of Animals. It's perfect for ECC! We liked both books. My daughter didn't retain all of the terms in POE (deciduous forest, etc.), but that's O.K. At a younger age, we're just trying to get an idea what the climate & landscape is like in that place. So, no worries! :) You're doing great, either way!
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

POE Sample Pages?

Unread post by cbollin »

Bandy wrote:Does anyone know where I can get an inside peek of the POE science book that is used in ECC? Thanks!
This is on Answers in Genesis site (they are the publisher) ... -1-363.pdf

and if that chapter seems too hard... check out this to see if that would help with teaching ideas? ... che#p80957
Bandy wrote:Thanks very much, Crystal. I read through the link you provided and am amazed by your ability simplify things when they seem a little too advanced!

I'm wondering, what are the individual components that make up the science portion of ECC?
I see textbook reading (POE), Living World this mainly reference or are the ECC science experiments found in here? And I see The Complete Book of Animals/The Great Animal Search that is available with the Deluxe Package. I know there is definitely more to the science in ECC...what am I missing?
I think it was Einstein who is quoted as saying "Make things as simple as you need them to be, but not simpler".

components of science in ECC:

field trips are fun, but optional. yes, those are real stories. can't make this stuff up.
Science topics will usually coordinate with the geographic area being studied.

POE - this book will have some experiments (in the sample it shows the backyard habitat or the earthworm.. I'm too lazy to look again). There are some experiments that are indoors to explain water cycle, or some of them were about recycling and trash and stuff. The text will have narration time with questions in text, answers in the ECC manual, some worksheets to take notes from chapter. MFW doesn't do the tests.

Living World Ency. - reading from this book as well as "make your own" notebooking pages. I remember that with my girls.... they would trace or free hand a picture from the book, color their drawing and then write a short sentence summary. that was a treasure book for me with their notebooking. food chain food chain eating down that funky food chain.. .(where do my kids get this stuff?)

Nature Walk are encouraged.

students in jr. high do science from jr. high stuff. but still can read POE for geography info.

book basket of course....

Other experiments will be in the ECC manual. I remember one on how to make a river. and the terrarium is part of science... there was the one about the penguins in the cold water.... the strength of a bird's egg shell. ooh.. preview ... 161#p24764

Younger children (let's just say 3rd grade and under) can use Great Animal Search and/or Complete Book of Animals as part of science too. Great Animal Search is a "book basket" with sticky note for specific pages kind of book. Complete Book of Animals -- it's a young emerging reader book with comprehension questions and short info and some stories. arranged by continents and a few other things.

but yeah.... as a teacher as you teach from ECC you get to learn all of this biome stuff and habitats. It stays with you as you go on field trips in a new city with a nature center.... even from just a few nature walks here and there in ecc and other years....

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ECC with Apologia

Unread post by gratitude »

karrie wrote:I am thinking of using ECC next year. It will be our second year homeschooling, and would be our first year with MFW. My kids have loved Apologia this year. Has anyone used Apologia alongside ECC, and how did it work?
Hi Karrie,
My boys love science, and we all love doing Apologia Elementary on the days without science scheduled for ADV. For ECC, science it seems is scheduled 4 days a week, so it doesn't leave the time that ADV does for adding Apologia.

The reason I do both right now is I definitely don't want to miss the ADV science that is integrated with the Bible. My children also really enjoy what Apologia brings and enjoy what ADV brings. The reason I would want to do ECC science is that it is integrated into the study. The integration of subjects is a very big part of MFW, and it is a part that I really love.

So I don't have an experienced answer for you, but I thought I would share my thoughts.

Blessings for your decision.

PS. I am saving the Botany until I have Marie's help doing it.
Last edited by gratitude on Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
Posts: 364
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Re: ECC with Apologia's Botany

Unread post by MelissaB »

Hi, Karrie -

Yes, it can be done. :) Fridays are lighter days with MFW, so we did Apologia then.

We especially enjoyed Properties of Ecosystems w/ ECC. By studying the country's ecosystem and environment, we better understood the people's social habits and their religious beliefs. The Book of Animals is wonderful, too, if you have time. It's easy, and our girls loved it.

Enjoy your ECC year!!
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4
Posts: 364
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

ECC Science ?

Unread post by MelissaB »

gratitude wrote:At the moment we are doing ADV and LOVING it. :-)

My question is when I do reach ECC sometime next fall I will have a 3rd/2nd/and K students. Would I do Property of Ecosystems with the 2nd and 3rd graders or the Book of Animals? If I decide to do the Book of Animals how does that work with the Living World Encyclopedia? I noticed on the schedule that the Book of Animals is scheduled for 2nd & 3rd grade at the bottom of the grid, and then the Living Encyclopedia & Property of Ecosystem books are scheduled for the science. I have read some of the Property of Ecosystem and it even seems advanced for my 2nd grader who can usually comprehend quite a ways above grade level. Isn't it more for late elementary? The Book of Animals looks great, but I wasn't sure how it all works.

So how does it work? What have others done before me with a 3rd/2nd in ECC? Thank you!
Hi, Carin,
We did ECC last year with a 3rd grader, and a kindergartner that tagged along at times.

I recommend the Book of Animals. You have to order it separately, but it's such a great tool. Your 2nd and 3rd grader (probably K, too) will get a lot out of the easy-to-read information about each animal that lives in the ecosystem of the continent/country you're studying that section.

Our dd learned a lot using Properties of Ecosystems. It's a little harder to keep their attention sometimes b/c it uses scientific terms (i.e. deciduous forest, temperate, etc.), but it's a great book(!). Living World has a lot of pictures and holds their attention a little better. And the Great Animals Search -- so much fun!

Enjoy your ECC adventure...It's a great blessing!
Melissa B.
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4
far above rubies
Posts: 75
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Re: ECC Science ?

Unread post by far above rubies »

Pretty much ditto the others. :) And remember that your 3rd grader will repeat it again, if you stick with the cycle. :) There's so much material. Believe me, you very well may be skeptical. I was! It wasn't until recently (and we're in week 26) that I can look back and see all the richness. I wish we could just go back and redo it all with this realization.

As for your babes, I would focus on the blue boxes for PoE and use the Complete Book of Animals.
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]
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Re: ECC Science ?

Unread post by gratitude »

Thank you for the encouragement Melissa! :-)
far above rubies wrote: It wasn't until recently (and we're in week 26) that I can look back and see all the richness. I wish we could just go back and redo it all with this realization.
As for your babes, I would focus on the blue boxes for PoE and use the Complete Book of Animals.
Thank you Elizabeth. These are both GOOD things to remember.

ECC Properties of Ecosystems

Unread post by cbollin »

genwen wrote:I have a 4th grade daughter and we just finished week 2 of ECC. I don't like watching her struggle so much with the hard to pronounce vocabulary and brand new concepts. I wanted for her to enjoy this year, being her first back in homeschooling after 2 years in public school.

Our nature walks are a stretch as we live in the desert and do not get to see many trees change with the seasons. We just don't see all that many trees, period! Finding worms under rocks... well, haven't seen that either. (Add to this that we bought a new home in a new area of town, so many homes do not even have landscaping yet, unless you consider rocks and red dust landscaping...)

I also have a 1st grade daughter using MFW 1st grade, and a very active 3 year old son, both whom I have to pay attention to as well throughout the day! So, I am looking for any suggestions on how I can teach the science portion with less difficulty and make it more enjoyable, in our little desert "ecosystem."
Thanks in advance,
welcome to the forum.

I think this thread might help you a lot with POE. ... che#p80957

other ideas?
With your child struggling on vocab pronunciation, I have a tip. You say it, have her repeat the word. It's a lot like when they were toddlers and learning new words. I have 2 children who need speech and language therapy, and my oldest needs to hear words on audio CD to say things correctly. This is normal for increasing their vocab. ((Hugs))

Yes, the first couple of chapters of POE really tough as you adjust to a textbook reading and yes, it get more than a fair share of complaints like you have. It's not like that the whole book if I recall from using it with my 4th grader (who is one of my language developmental delayed children. She enjoyed her notebook sketches from Living World book.) Sometimes, you don't have to read the entire page in order to teach the material. The intro section is designed to introduce new words that you will use all year. It's ok if it needs a day or two more to sink in.

nature walks: those can be skipped if you like. if they are causing too much stress early in the year... come back to the idea later.

But you could also do things like:
make a sunrise/sunset chart and mark where the sun seems to rise/set each day. observe for how it changes over the month and year.
do same with moon.
can you observe stars?

Another form of nature walk can be with weather patterns.... chart that for a while. learn about dust storms. Do you have any pets to observe? what about any critters? what birds are there?

Thankfully, Nature walks do not have to be about leaves changing. I live in Memphis and our trees don't change either! It was one of the biggest annoyances of moving here. I used to live in Indiana and we had beautiful fall colors. Memphis? it goes from green to dead brown. blah... of course, we have milder winters here ... I miss snow some times... but I don't miss winter coats... anyway... just saying, I know what you mean about no fall colors...

I can remember visiting several botanical gardens that had some sections in desert habits and it was different to see what was there compared to other biomes.

as to the worm experiments.... maybe this doesn't apply either if you have no water nearby in any form.. but some walmart stores carry live bait, aka worms.. over in sporting goods? I couldn't find them in dirt easily all the time either. walmart. little bucket was $3. lots of crawlers....

Go with the blue box experiments where you can.... look at pictures out there of places far away that are different from what you have. Learn one new word a chapter. Summarize information.... look back in the text. Don't worry about reading it word for each word. open the book to look back to answer the questions together.... fill in worksheets together..... enjoy the other book and book baskets.

I hope some of those ideas help a little. start with the link I shared. oh... yeah, the massive thunderstorm over here is settling down.... 60 mph winds..

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Re: ECC Properties of Ecosystems

Unread post by genwen »

Thanks for the GREAT information! I'm starting to feel less overwhelmed.
Your nature observations are a creative alternative and very doable. And Walmart will
once again get my business so we can examine those earthworms!
Additionally, focusing mainly on the blue box experiments, doing experiments in the TM,
and rephrasing the text in our family's own "language" are great suggestions and make it seem more manageable.
(I LOVE the examples of each page of POE you gave in the link to help with that!)

We haven't gotten to the Notebook part for Living World, but I see it's coming up next week and I think my daughter will enjoy that. (So far we've enjoyed that book much more than POE.)

We'll keep trecking along and see how it goes, going on those field trips as much as we can.
(Especially to get out of here and go where there is any other color than tan... ha ha.
We just studied the Gulf of Mexico, and I thought it would be great to go back and visit our favorite beach in Panama City, FL for a field trip, but my hubby just looked at me a little funny and said a silly sarcastic thing, so I guess I'll have to find something a little closer to explore. RATS!)

Thanks again for the help and encouragement!
Blessings to you,
P.S. I know all about strong winds here in the TX desert! Glad yours settled down. Ours is supposed to pick up after midnight. :(
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Re: ECC Properties of Ecosystems

Unread post by jasntas »

I just had to comment when I read your comment about your husband's sarcastic comment. (How many times can you use the word comment in a sentence? lol) My dh didn't get it at first. Homeschooling was fine, great even but to him it was only one aspect of our lives and he really wasn't involved. Well, 3 years and 2 surgeries later (where he was off work for a few months each time during our school year) has actually made him wish he could be more a part of our daily routines. And now HE makes suggestions as to places we could go or ways that he can be more involved with our studies. :)

Agreeing with Crystal about POE. It seems to take a few chapters to really get into that book but once we did my dc were asking when it was going to be time for science. My ds was in 4th and my dd was in 1st. My dd didn't 'get it' most of the time but didn't want to be left out so she hung in there with us just waiting for the fun projects and experiments from the 'blue box'. I also didn't 'require' that they learn the new vocabulary. We talked about them and I would try to use the words to describe things or whatever but no real pressure. (Just today, 2 years later, I was asking my dd if some trees in the park we were at were coniferous or deciduous. lol!) I would also go back and find the answers to the questions if they (or I) didn't remember the answers. No biggie. They still learned a TON from that book and by the end of the year loved it. I remember blogging about some of the projects and experiments we completed that year. We have enjoyed every year but ECC is still my favorite thus far.

Hang in there and don't require too much of your dd or yourself especially since this is your first year back at hsing. (If I read your post correctly.)
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

Re: ECC Properties of Ecosystems

Unread post by cbollin »


oh oh oh.... now there's a nature observation alternative based on wanting to be somewhere else......
following hurricane information on The Weather Channel's website, charting that stuff...
or when it rains in PCB, Florida, take a look at the web cam at Pineapple Willy's. It's a little too late this week, but a week ago it was just a wow moment with the effects from Hurricane Isaac. It didn't even hit PCB and the tide was up and harsh... anyway... We watched the clouds change, and rains, and check the radar... and kept noticing it was double red flags.... makes you realize how close it all really is.

Web cam nature observations.... some people really get into watching various Baby Eagle Cams.

You mentioned landscaping... what if you went to stores that sell stuff and do field trip/observations there? I used to live very close to a greenhouse and it was a walk over there kind of field trip.

and the other nature field trip? don't laugh too hard at me.... We'd spend a few extra minutes in places like Petco looking at the reptiles and birds... we were buying stuff for our cat, so we had reason to be in the store.....

ECC is definitely a field trip kind of year. of course... Panama City Beach can apply to any year in MFW.... But look around your area for anything that can be your place to go. botanical gardens? zoo?

let us know how it continues. I know the first 2 weeks of ECC is just very different from the rest of the year. Lots of new information right up front. be encouraged to keep asking if it doesn't seem like it's going well or something or later in the year when it feels boring. We all love helping over here.

hang in there, and enjoy the cake, crafts, cooking... pictures around the world... grab videos from library.

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