Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Final Observation

Image 1                                                  Image 2                                                  Image 3

-Plants have continued to slightly grow; some leaves are beginning to dry. See Image 1
-A leaf is at the bottom where the soil is. It is filled with fungus. Perhaps because of the ideal temperature of the ecosystem; the moisture, the heat, warmth, humidity is high. 
-Condensation appears on only half of upper side of bottle, this demonstrates that our wick is working. See Image 1
-Roots have continued to grow on Elodea See Image 3
-There appears to be one large Daphnia and about 9 small ones, evidence that we have clean water.
-Elevation of soil has not changed
-The root growing at the top on one of the Elodea has turned from red to light brown. See Image 2 & 3
-The wick looks like it has continued to wither.
-Both snails are at the bottom of our ecosystem where the pebbles are.
-What level does not appear to have changed since our last observation. See Image 3

-The semi-large baby snails, that we observed last week, do not appear at the roots of the elodea anymore, they could have possible fallen off to the bottom where the pebbles are. Currently, numerous miniature snails appear at the roots of the elodea.

Now that we have come to our last observation, we have been able to see how science can be taught in a constructivist manner by using this dual-level ecosystem. With our weekly observations we have been able to take on the role as scientists and document our data and reflect on the scientific process that have occurred within our ecosystem. These observations also allowed for us to be able to predict and hypothesize what we would observe in our future observations.

In our textbook, the constructivist manner of teaching requires the students to take on this role as scientist so that they can learn how to actually "do science" and not just have a directed teaching approach in which the teacher delivers the information. Just as the textbook also explains, we were able stray away from this directed teaching approach and lean more towards the constructivist manner. By inquiring about what would happen and take place in our ecosystem and having this hands-on approach not only allowed us to experiment with this ecosystem (such as choosing the type of seeds to plant, or if we wanted snails or shrimp) but it also made it easier for us to learn about the process of science by actually doing the process of science. This experience of observing this dual-level ecosystem has served as a real life example and a realistic way in which science teachers can successfully incorporate constructivist teaching in the classroom!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Observación 5

Imagen 1                                                Imagen 2                                                Imagen 3
- Daphnia : Alrededor de nuestro ecosistema hay 10 visible ( 1 grande, los demás están pequeños pero han crecido mas grande desde nuestra última observación).
- La daphnia están dispersas alrededor de nuestro ecosistema, la mayoría parece estar cerca del nivel del agua o cerca de las raíces de la elodea.

- Elodea : Uno de las puntas de la Elodea ha continuado a oscurecerse en un color marrón oscuro. También ha crecido tres raíces que llegan a las piedras. See Imagen 2
- Nuestros cuatro plantas crecieron alrededor de 1 pulgada y se ven saludables. Las hojas de las plantas también crecieron más! See Imagen 3
- Todos los lados de la botella esté muy húmedo , esto sirve come evidencia que la condensación se produce , se ha pasado de la última observación.                                                           
- El agua se ve clara, con pequeños trozos de la elodea flotando. See Imagen 1                                     
- Caracoles , uno tal vez esta muerto y el otro caracol todavía se ve saludable y  se encuentra en la parte superior de uno de los elodea. See Imagen 1

- La tierra se ha movido de elevación, puede ser por el resultado de el crecimiento de las plantas y sus raíces pero se ve más plana que la última observación .
- Dos semillas caídas están cubiertos de hongos , podría ser debido a la humedad que la hizo crecer .
- Hay un pequeño cambio en el nivel del agua.

-La tira de fibra continua despedazándose.  

Hemos podido ver como ha crecido nuestro
ecosistema. Y Ahora que esta creciendo mas nuestro ecosistema que hay nuevas caracoles crecen podemos ver otra nueva forma de vida. Al principio pensábamos que el segundo caracol pronto estaría muerto, pero estábamos equivocadas. También, porque uno de los caracoles se habían muerto, pensamos que la daphnia moriría también, pero al contrario, las daphnia se hizo más grande, y eso explica simplemente aún más la limpieza del agua en nuestro ecosistema. Estamos muy contentas de ver que no solo tenemos más caracoles formando y creciendo, pero nuestras plantas también estan cada vez más grandes y más altas! No podemos esperar a ver cuáles serán las observaciones de la próxima semana!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Observation 4


Image 1                                                 Image 2                                                  Image 3


-Daphnia: About 8 visible (1 large, the rest are very small)
The daphnia is more near the top of the water level than at the bottom where the pebbles are.
-Elodea: More of the tips are withering and ones is darkening into a dark brown color. It looks like the lighter one grew.
-3 roots (red strands) are growing from the top of the light colored Elodea. See Image 2
-Our four plants grew about 2 inches and they look healthy. The leaves on our plants also grew more! See Image 4
-The side of the bottle facing the window is very moist, which is evidence that condensation is occurring, but it has decreased from our last observation. See Image 4
-Water is clear with small pieces of plant residue floating.See Image 2
-Snails, one might be dead and the other snail looks healthy compared to our last observation and it lies an inch above the bottom where the pebbles are. See Image 7
-The soil has moved elevation, a result from the growth of the plant and its roots it is flatter than our last observation.                                           
-Two fallen seeds are covered in fungi which might be the moisture that caused it to grow. See Image 4
-There is a not much of a change in water level. See Image 6
-Wick fibers looks as if they are withering and coming apart.

                                                                         Image 4

Image 5                                                  Image 6                                                   Image 7

Reflection: Other ways we could incorporate technology with this ecosystem project would be taking pictures every week and creating a flip book to see the process of how the ecosystem has changed. We could also incorporate technology by taking videos of the ecosystem, this would help with focusing on different angles of the ecosystem as well as zoom in. This would also allow for seeing any movement occurring in the ecosystem such as the daphnia. Also you could focus on different sections of the ecosystem such as zooming in. Students could also investigate and research about the things observed in their ecosystem, the causes for certain things that have occurred in their ecosystem, or things they may not understand or have no reasons of explanation for why they are occurring.  For example, students could research the reason: why the fungus has grown or how it has grown, what causes the seeds to germinate, why only four of the five seeds grew.                                                                                                                                                      

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Obsevation 3

A Drawing of our Ecosystem:                                             A Picture of our Ecosystem:

There are challenges and advantages to drawing a picture of our ecosystem compared to that of simply taking a picture of our ecosystem. One challenge that presents itself when drawing a picture of our ecosystem is that we cannot draw an exact replica of the ecosystem being that we cannot draw every single detail in the ecosystem and due to the fact that it is three-dimensional. For example, when we observe our ecosystem it is very difficult for us to notice the daphnia, therefore when we draw our picture it is even more difficult to draw the daphnia because of their size. Although it may be difficult to draw the ecosystem exactly how it is with every small detail, drawing a picture can also be advantageous with the fact of focusing on the big and noticeable details that are happening in our ecosystem. For instance, we were able to draw our four tall plants that had grown since our last observation. Another important advantage of drawing our ecosystem is that we have to act as scientists to be able to observe what has happened in our ecosystem in order to sketch it out to represent our actual ecosystem. This does not only help us to be able to accurately draw a representation of our ecosystem, but it helps us develop skills of observation. And by carefully observing and drawing the ecosystem, we as scientist will be able to, not only reflect on what has changed within the ecosystems, but to inquire about what might happen in later observations. Lastly, drawing a picture as opposed to taking a picture is advantageous, because it means carefully examining the ecosystem, which leads to developing process of skills in science.

Image 1                                                                                  Image 3
Image 2                        
-Daphnia: About 11 visible (1 large, the rest are very small)
-Elodea: More of the tips are withering and ones is darkening into a dark brown color.
  See Image 2
-More fiber-like strands are growing from the bottom of the Elodea.
-All of our seeds are budding (four are very tall.)
  See Image 3
-The top and middle portion of our ecosystem is very moist, which is evidence that condensation is occurring.
  See Image 3
-Water is clear with small pieces of plant residue floating
  See Image 2
-Snails, one is dead and the other looks unhealthy and lies at the bottom where the pebbles are.
-The soil has moved elevation, a result from the growth of the plant and its roots
-There is a more noticeable change in water level
 See Image 2
-Red (worm-like) strand growing from the Elodea
-Wick fibers looks as if they are withering and coming apart.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Observation 2

Data recorded: 

      • Daphnia: about three visible (look like they grew)
      • The rest possibly died or are hiding inside the rocks
      • See image 1 ------------>


        • Elodea: Tips are “eaten” off
      • There are fiber-like strands growing from the bottom of the Elodea.
      • <-------------See image 2

          • There is one seed budding. 
          • See image 3  ------>                 


  • The top of our ecosystem is very moist, which is evidence of condensation and that the cloth wick is working.
  • Water looks clearer than in our first observation.
  • Snails look the same size as on the first day. 
  • The soil moved (elevation changed), it looks more slanted. 
  • There is a slight, barely noticeable, change in water level.
  • <-------------- See image 4

Our reflection on the scientific process we learned about:
When observing and recording data, we learned that it is important to pay close attention to every detail and to record as many changes and observations as possible. This way we can accurately track the changes that occur in our ecosystem and be able to understand (and not miss out) on why or what could have caused these changes. Also, having our previous data in hand makes it easier for us to compare any changes and know what data to look for and track.
Our reflection on the scientific content we learned about: 
We learned that to be able to maintain a sustainable ecosystem there must be a cycle present in which one resource (or organism) could benefit and contribute to the survival of other resources (or organisms). For example, the cloth wick serves to absorb some of the water at the bottom of our ecosystem and it transport that water to the soil at the top. This process allows for condensation to occur and for our seeds to receive water and germinate.

Our reflection on the ecosystem in terms of our own teaching:

Ecosystems, we came to realize, can implement much discussion in a classroom. For example, tracking the Daphnia in our ecosystem we noticed that some were missing. Teachers could raise  open-ended questions such as, “What do you think happened to the Daphnia?”, “Could they be hiding in the pebbles?”, and “If they did die, why do you think that was?” As time progresses, teachers could implement different science lessons into what the children are discovering and instead of looking at the ecosystems like one single project, it can be seen as the base of many different valuable and meaningful science lessons.