Middle School: Disruptions in Ecosystems

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The unit was developed as part of a collaborative project funded by the National Science Foundation to develop and evaluate a model instructional unit and professional development program and conduct research on teacher learning. The project partners are the American Museum of Natural History (lead partner, also leading the professional development), The Lawrence Hall of Science's SEPUP Program (instructional materials lead), and the University of Connecticut (research). The unit has undergone two rounds of classroom field-testing and expert review. It is currently undergoing a third field-test during the 2017­–2018 school year. Based on this field-test and feedback from the EQuIP review, the unit will be revised and resubmitted for a final review in 2018. 

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Rating: Examples of High Quality NGSS Design if Improved

Science Discipline: Life Science

Length: Unit

This middle school unit was designed to support the middle school NGSS related to Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics integrated with elements of related Earth science NGSS (Human Impact). The unit includes five chapters, each focused on a specific phenomenon related to ecosystem disruption, including questions around the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone and the invasion of zebra mussels in the Great Lakes and the Hudson River. © Regents of the University of California

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Comment list iconReviews & Questions

volcsand
What standards does this Unit hit? And the other units?
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Achieve Admin
Sorry for the delayed response! All of the PEs and elements within the foundation boxes on the MS-LS2 standards page are targeted, along with MS-ESS3-3 and MS-ESS3-4 (and related elements from all three dimensions). Hope that helps!
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Thanks. And after I downloaded and opened up the materials I found the standards.
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Julia
I have teachers who would like to teach this unit, but the handouts for Chapter 4 are missing. Any idea how to get those?
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Achieve Admin
Hi Julia, I've added the Chapter 4 handouts to the zip drive linked above. You should be able to find them in there now! Let us know if you have any trouble. Thank you!
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Achieve Admin
If anybody is having a hard time accessing videos in this unit, here are some alternative links for a couple: Grizzlies and Wolves Compete via National Geographic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeF25GJleA8 Symbiosis: Mutualism, Commensalism, and Parasitism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSmL2F1t81Q
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Dora Kastel
Video of all six Chapter 1 lessons can be found on the Teaching Channel. The series begins here https://www.teachingchannel.org/video/ecosystems-ngss-unit-overview.
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KUss
The teaching channel link doesn't work. It says "the dog ate it."
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Carrie
I have been using this material with my 7th grade science students. I have been having trouble finding a lot of mistakes. Are there plans to update the curriculum and fix the mistakes?
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Achieve Admin
Hi Carrie, can you give some examples of the mistakes you're finding? Thanks!
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Carrie
Here are several examples from Chapter 2: p. 63 Analysis Question #1 - "food web or food web"? Should it be "food chain or food web"? p. 67 Analysis Question 2 - the description is about a landslide, but then the question is about an ash cloud. Also the question, says "flow of matter" and "cycling of energy". It should be flow of energy and cycling of matter.
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Achieve Admin
Thanks Carrie! There are no plans to update this yet, but these are definitely good things to be aware of. We appreciate you letting us (and other users) know!
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djohnson
Do all 5 chapters need to be taught or can each chapter stand alone? Are there chapters that are pre-requisites to others?
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Achieve Admin
Hi Djohnson, Thanks for the question! These chapters are intended to be taught together and in the order they're presented in. They build on each other purposefully. Hope that helps!
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djohnson
Yes, that's very helpful. Thank you for the speedy reply!
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Carrie
I am trying to access the video link at the beginning of Ch. 4 - I have clicked the link in the teacher materials for Ch. 4 and I get this message "YOU'VE DISCOVERED A NEW SPECIES! Pagus notfoundii Please try the navigation or search above, or start from the homepage." on the American Museum of Natural History's webpage. Please help me find the correct video on their page.
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