Monday, November 26, 2012

Holidays Around the World- Third Grade

Every December I try and do a month long holiday related project with each grade.  This year the third graders were traveling around the world.  Each pair of students received a plan ticket and got to researching.

Using the websites:
students took notes about what holiday is celebrated in the country assigned to them, how they celebrate that holiday, and details about the celebration. Groups will take their notes, type up a paragraph, and draw an image to display on their computer screen.

Once complete students will travel around the room with the passport below.  Each student will visit each country, read the paragraph, view the picture, and write a note about what they found to be the most interesting onto the passport.

 We will vote for the discuss the most interesting celebrations.

Common Core
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.7 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic. 

Postcards From Pluto -Third Grade

The first science unit in first grade is the Solar System.  To correlate with the classroom curriculum the students completed a library and computer skills project related to the Solar System.

First we read "Postcards From Pluto" by Loreen Leedy.  Students I and discussed the mix if fiction and non-fiction as well as the outdated facts due to this books copyright date.

After students worked in pairs to research a planet using two books. Since books have different copyright dates students must compare the information they are getting.

Once we completed our research the students moved to the computer lab and learned some new skills in MS Word.  They learned about Page Orientation, adding a border to ClipArt, and inserting a text box.  The final product was a postcard to a person of their choosing mimicking the writing from Loreen Leedy's book.

Sample Postcard:

Common Core
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.9 Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Ocean Animals- second grade

This is the first time second graders are doing a real research project.  It starts out with encyclopedia skills and this is the second year I felt the students did not really need it.  Thanks to technology, students do not need to use the index to figure out which encyclopedia volume they need, they have a library automation system to search for topics.  If lucky enough, which my district is, students have a subscription to an online encyclopedia which requires an entire new set of skills.  My final decision is to teach students how to use the online encyclopedia first and look for books on their topic to support their research after.

This year though my students used the encyclopedias.  They each researched a different ocean animal to match the science unit in their classroom. Students completed the worksheet below and met a couple of of the common core standards:

After students opened Word and first time typed two paragraphs.  They learned about the tab key and how to import an image they drew.  It is one of my favorite projects because they learn so much.

Common Core
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.2 Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.5 Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently
 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.