Planet Earth is a vast and beautiful world, and we know a lot about the land, but the surface of our planet is mostly water, and most people don’t really know very much about it. Almost all of the water on Earth is salt water that is found in the oceans. In this 7-week mini-course, we will start where the land meets the sea and learn about the structures and living things that make up communities on the coasts. Then we will move to the open sea and swim around there for a while, before taking a deep dive to the bottom of the ocean! While we are in all these areas, we will learn about their landscapes, the water and the living things that inhabit them. We will learn about the importance of the oceans to our climate, our food supply and the stability of our planet. Do you wonder what mysteries lay beneath the surface of the water? If so, this class is for you!
(Note to parents: Although we will touch on environmental issues from time to time, this mini-course is primarily focused on ocean plants, animals and structures.)
A typical Marine Science week will begin with a live class on Monday at 2 pm EST. The live classes are usually game-based reviews of topics from the previous week and often an introduction to the coming week. Although it is always best if students attend the live classes, I will post the recording of the class so that students who can’t attend can watch later. Lessons will be posted Tuesday through Friday, and will include an online lesson as well as some activities. I use a lot of audio and video recordings to help students learn the correct pronunciation of new terms as well as to reinforce content from the lesson.
Who should enroll?
Marine Science is for curious students in grades 4-8 who enjoy learning about unique, cool and sometimes creepy animals and plants, who want to know more about the way the living things in the oceans interact with their environments, and who like hands-on learning!
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
Evaluation and Feedback
I use “learning checks” at the end of most lessons to assure both the student and the teacher that students understand the concepts presented in the lessons. Many of the learning checks are automatically graded by the computer. For the essay questions and projects, I generally grade every day, sending feedback to the students to help them understand questions they may have missed. A final grade will be based on the scores from learning checks, participation in activities and experiments and attendance and participation in live classes. A Certificate of Completion will be given at the end of the course which will include the final grade.
I welcome any and all communication from parents. I want to partner with you in your student’s education, so if at any time you have questions or concerns, my virtual door is open!