Tuesday, December 15, 2015

3rd Annual "State" Fair

I am proud to say that my students ROCKED the "State" Fair today! This presentation was a culmination of the work they completed throughout the second unit of study. During this unit, I taught students how to do research on a U.S. state of their choice as well as how to complete an experiment using the Scientific Method. In math, I taught about graphs and data. Throughout Reading, students were challenged to think critically about how someone's environment effects their lifestyle. 

In school, students worked to complete their Research Paper. We used the Steps to Research and followed a unit I wrote which teaches how to write a 5-paragraph research essay. For the Science Experiment, I set students up for success at home by creating a syllabus to follow. I mapped out the tasks that needed to be completed over a month's time in order to have their project ready for today. I also modeled following the syllabus and completed each task in the classroom with my own science experiment.

Today, we set up my classroom as an exhibit of all of their projects. At each of their "stations", students had their tri-fold board to show their experiment and their research paper. Guests were invited to walk around and speak with students about their projects and talk about what they learned. 

Getting feedback from staff about how well my students did today was amazing! One teacher thought that I had told the kids to talk about the data they collected and their graphs, but I had not! I definitely spent a lot of time teaching about data - how to collect it, which graph would be best to use and how to actually make each type of graph, but I hadn't told students what part of their experiment to focus on during their discussions with guests. I was so proud to hear that they were able to speak intelligently (and by choice!) about their data from their experiment (among other things)! I was also super proud of the research they did while completing their experiment. One of my students was telling me about how Newtons 2nd Law was the reason her hypothesis was proven wrong! That was so inspiring! 

Every year, this is a lot of work, but totally worth it! I am so happy to be ending our first half of the school year on this note! The kids are proud of themselves. They feel accomplished in knowing that they completed a long-term project on their own and a big project at school. Students are much more knowledgeable on a certain U.S. state, they definitely know how to complete an experiment and they published a research paper complete with text features and a self-designed cover. What more could a teacher ask for three days before a long winter break!?

Each Project

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Integrating Math, Writing, Reading, Science and Social Studies!

Things are starting to come together now! During this unit, I am teaching students so many things!! Every time I try to talk about this unit, I end up a blundering mess because I have so much I want to say. To make a long story short though, this unit I taught students how to complete research while also teaching them about Alaska. I was able to incorporate all subjects and especially proud of myself this year because I included math in there as well!

Here is the outline of the objectives in each subject:

Reading: How to read nonfiction text, specifically Informational Books

Writing: How to complete research and write a Research Paper

Science: How to use the Scientific Method, beginning with how to create a question that can be answered with an experiment

Social Studies: Answer the question, how does the environment influence ones way of life

Math: How to organize data using various graphs

Everything is coming together so well! Part one of two was completed today - Students finished their Research Papers!

Here is a small look into how it was done.

Completing the research by asking questions....

Then organizing the questions into categories.....

Then answering each question.

Students then decided on which category had a substantial amount of information to create into body paragraphs for their research paper

Next, students created Pie Chart to show the population of their state

This was great because I was able to teach about how to find percentage, how to read Pie Charts and then how to make a Pie Chart 

Finally, students were able to put everything together! Some created more text features including side bars, pictures with captions and maps!

Next up! The BIG DAY! Next Tuesday, students will present their research papers and science experiments at our "State" Fair. A really awesome ending to a very FUN quarter! Stay tuned!

If you are interested in replicating this project in any way, you can purchase these ideas and more at my Teacher Store!

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