Mapping Features of Biological Systems
"Not only do Wipebook Flipcharts provide a large space for thinking creatively, they also allow ideas to develop in a fluid and natural way."
Understanding features of systems allows us to investigate the ways these systems interact in both the natural and designed world. The Next Generation Science Standards embrace systems as one of seven crosscutting concepts. Not only does an understanding of systems allow us to focus on such aspects as their boundaries, components, interactions, inputs, outputs, and properties, it also allows us to study ways these systems are connected. Thinking about systems allows us to look at a bigger picture as we ask questions regarding causes and effects, timeframes, perspectives, and ways systems interact with each other. Using Wipebook Flipcharts is a creative way to support students’ thinking as they investigate and map the features of a biological system. Not only do Wipebook Flipcharts provide a large space for thinking creatively, they also allow ideas to develop in a fluid and natural way.
Making Thinking Visible Using Reusable Flipcharts
Supporting student thinking in the classroom starts with making thinking visible. Wipebook Flipcharts are a tool teachers can use to make student ideas come alive. Through using words, drawings, colors, and images on the erasable surface, students can transfer what they are thinking to a public space. I used to use flipchart paper for students to do their thinking and sharing, but now that I discovered Wipebook Flipcharts, the opportunities to try out an idea before committing to it are endless.
Part of working with preservice teachers is allowing them to explore tools and practices they may want to use in the classroom. I was excited to share these Wipebook Flipcharts with preservice science teachers to see how they interacted with them and what they thought about using such a resource for teaching. They immediately felt comfortable diving into the task because they knew if they wanted to add more or change their ideas, they could easily do so. They appreciated the size of the Wipebook Flipchart because it gave them the space to map out their ideas without having to commit to them from the beginning.
Sharing a Gallery of Ideas using Wipebook Flipcharts
When I do workshops with educators and students, there are often numerous supplies I bring along. These Flipcharts are easy to transport and much lighter than large sets of rigid whiteboards. They are light enough to hang on a wall with painter’s tape to create a gallery of ideas for participants to view and comment on.
As much as the students and I have enjoyed using these Wipebook Flipcharts, some of them are tearing at the top or have a tear starting in the middle of the chart. If these Wipebook Flipcharts will be used by multiple people in various locations - versus hanging in one spot on a wall - I would suggest investing in the Wipebook Flipcharts that are a sturdier design. You’re going to want to add these charts to your available resources for learning and planning. They are a valuable tool that helps foster creativity and design.
Sarah Adumat, Academic Staff/Lecturer College of Education and Human Services
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