Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Becoming an Expert

Our new class projects, which we will be starting this week and continuing until Easter, have officially been christened "Becoming an Expert". Each student now has an exercise book, DuoTang and folder to keep things organized, and will be filling their DuoTang with organizational sheets to keep things in order. Today we had another good organizing discussion, and zapped some possible trouble spots. We looked at the students' options for presenting their topic in greater depth, and talked about how the project will be evaluated.
I will be using a Choice Board for this exercise, which is basically a way to organize choices in a way that keeps things organized, but allows for a degree of freedom in choosing the media a student wants to use. For example, they could choose one presentation style that appeals more to a visual learner (video, slide show, PowerPoint), but then would have to pick one that is focused on written word (timeline, history, informational text). Once they have satisfied a few different categories, the student can go back and pick another presentation type that appeals to their skills and interests. I will elaborate more on this later, and each student will have a copy of the Choice Board in their DuoTang.
I will also supply each student with an exhaustive marking rubric, and provide examples of what calibre of work will result in each possible grade (1-5) on the different elements of their project. I have already emphasized (and will continue to emphasize) that the important thing is that they remain organized and stay on schedule, and that their effort in the project be obvious to me. Again, more details later this week.

A few housekeeping notes:
  • We didn't get a chance to finish the last book reports today, but they will be taken care of tomorrow. If you would like to see a completed evaluation for your child's report, please let me know.
  • Tomorrow there is a food drive at school, so I would suggest students bring in some small non-perishable item if they are able to.
  • Thursday will be a Turn Off Technology day. We will make an effort to use the least amount of modern technology possible from 9:00am to 1:00pm.
  • Friday is Dress-Up Day! Students should dress up as "What I Want to be When I Grow Up". I plan to dress up as a pirate.
  • If you haven't checked in recently, there are a few links that were posted in the last 7 days that will help students work on their individual projects.
Have a great day, let me know if you have any questions!

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