Thursday, May 3, 2012

Questions and Answers

So this week has been mostly about research. A lot about research, actually, which is super cool. I like that.

Third grade is going to do a "virtual" wax museum this time around--instead of the CROWDED MADHOUSE that is the live, in person one. Film an interview between the famous person and a newscaster. We're also tying the research in to Covey's Seven Habits of Leaders ... how did this person show that they could be proactive, or that they sought to understand others, or put first things first. Been doing ... authors and illustrators, scientists and inventors, and explorers. Should be fun.

Fourth grade is actually doing something fairly similar but with famous Texans. Though their final product is a bit more open ended ... powerpoint, letter, radio podcast, etc.

Find the pic here. Posted with CC license by BrainPopUK.

Here's my conundrum.

I feel like we did not spend enough time on questioning (Well, and this is a recurring problem ... can't learn all of these skills in one sitting, right?) and relevant details. They were doing great on their research and pretty much keeping on task ... but a lot of them were really getting bogged down in relatively unimportant minutiae. Can I tell you how many times I answered the question "What does elope mean?" from 4th grade this week. Can't remember who they were studying, but still.

And again, this is just as much my fault as the teachers, but they kept walking through "if you don't do the citations that's 20 points off." YES. Citations are important. YES. It seems like the kids ignore them unless you threaten with grades. I just would have liked to have heard more thought going in to what they were writing down.

Had a class have to come down and tell me how excited they were to have finished Wonder. I wish I would have taken a picture ... they were all standing there with the books in their hands smiling. Teacher told me about a comment ... "We used to be such baby readers." I am super excited ... they are all going to write their own precepts and we'll make a trailer for the book out of that. So I'm not totally incapable, right? Plus the PreK teacher had to come down and tell me about a kid who, when asked what he wanted to be when he got older, said he wanted to work in the library like Ms. O. So I'm not totally inept. Just have to keep thinking about how to tweak my explanations better and get more practice with the kiddos on questioning in research.


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