Doing projects really gives people self-confidence. -Martha Stewart
The closer we get to the end of the year, the more restless my students become. With only 16 days remaining, you can imagine things are getting a little crazy. Trying to keep things at a medium roar is becoming more and more challenging. To ease us out of this school year and to maintain my sanity, we are turning toward projects of student interest. This seems to be working (for now) and the kids are engaged (mostly).
The learning focus this week is pirates. Living in a city rich with pirate history, we are learning about their life style and their place in the history of Charleston. We have traced our bodies, cut them out and decorated them as pirates, we have written about them, read about them, and role-played.
In addition to all of the pirate work, we have some exploring augmented reality with Chromville app. We downloaded the Waterville page and they have been working on this. They took a screen shot and wrote about their image.
Some are working on Book Creator projects. While these are still in progress, one student wrote this in her free time about her work. You can see her book here. It is saved as a PDF.
At this point in the year, my students are asking daily if they can research topics of their choosing, make books, and create artifacts. Their interest is eager and genuine. It gives them self confidence to work on projects both independently and collaboratively. They understand the importance of documenting their learning and they are eager to do so. I am certain that next week, when we start working on dinosaurs, there will be a multitude of projects going.
Going with the flow is often far easier than going against the tide. If exploring their interests and working on projects for the next 16 days keeps them engaged, then we will keep on keeping on. It may also prevent me from having to buy a big bottle of Excedrin to keep in my desk drawer!
16 days…we can do this!
Today we will do exciting new things. Let’s get to it!
4 thoughts on “The Project’s the Thing!”
I am just curious how you go about having your Kindergarten students do research projects on the iPad. I wanted to do more of that this year, but never felt comfortable with it.
We use Safari, but very judiciously. They have to tell me what they are researching and if they are image searching, they may only choose from the images that show in the iPad screen initially and may not scroll down. I also allow them to use Wikipedia. They know I can and will check behind them and watch carefully while they are using the iPad. They mostly use it for images and use the age appropriate books in the class for the information.
Kristi, I agree. As long as they are engaged, they are learning!
I had written to you earlier about my new job as a Media Specialist and my wanting to bring my TIS (tech person) with me for a visit. Our school is only primary grades (k-2). I want her to see your kids in action. See the engagement and ownership they have in their learning. See them creating their PLNs and learning how to guide their own progress. But…
It doesn’t look like my TIS and I are going to be able to come down to visit due to our schedules for the rest of the year. I hope we can plan a day next fall to come and talk.
I really want your thoughts on how the Media Specialist could support the wonderful experiences your kids are already involved in. How do you think that suppport would look? What would be beneficial to you and to your children? I want to lead the way for my teachers to do more authentic work with our primary aged school (k-2). As a new Media Specialist in what our district is calling a Learning Commons, my goal is to get classes in the LC so we can collaborate. I want to demonstrate how planning and working together can help their kids and them! Any suggestions? If you lived in an ideal world… what would your vision of this partnership look like? If you could name one of two ideas that would help you now or would have helped you in the beginning what would they be? Would you even see this as a benefit to you and why? I think I will have to approach it carefully and show them the whys and benefits to get them to buy in. Any thoughts would be appreciated!
Hang in there! The light of summer is shining and bekoning us forward!!!
Thanks for your message…as the media specialist, your support to the classroom would be so beneficial. You can show the students how to access digital resources and how to use them. (We use Pebble Go, Brain Pop Jr. and a few others). Digital Citizenship instruction would be super helpful as teachers don’t have as much classroom time to go into that. Exploring those creation apps that we like to use and discussing many different ways to use them and incorporate them into projects would be helpful…especially if you have some teachers who are reluctant to use them. Reinforcing all of those creation app skills and creative ways to use them would benefit the classroom teacher who needs to focus on the content and it eases the way for the less techno-savvy teachers as well. Hope this helps.