Two Week Outline:
Trouble Shooting Finding Out Quiz
This activity was planned as a way to launch into the finding out process. With the Exhibition being such a technology heavy project, we wanted to make sure that students were not only building upon their research skills, but also some of their management skills. The activity was designed to be interactive, rather than directive.
We are very fortunate to have a great group of parents working with us this year, and having them come in to help out during exhibition is incredibly helpful for both the students and the teachers. It's so wonderful for them to be a part of the process, and for them to truly understand the inquiry cycle. We had such a great turnout this year and I cannot wait for them to come back in in a few weeks!
We tried something new last year with mentors, and it didn't quite work out so well, so this year, we went back to the old way, which meant 'grouping' students and assigning them to a mentor who they would meet with once a week. We had so many teachers volunteer this year to help out that we were really able to accomplish putting kids into logical and purposeful groupings, which is really hard to do when you have each kid working most independently during the exhibition. Some of our mentors are working with groups of 3 or 4 kids (deforestation, pollution, endangered animals etc...), while others only have 1 or 2 students, with perhaps much more unique and issues (artificial intelligence, urban beautification, bee extinction etc...).
Next week is going to be really exciting. We are going to be launching into the next phases of the inquiry cycle-- sorting out and going further. We have students going on field trips, doing interviews, and we hope to start working on literacy, math and design elements! It's going to be busy!
Time is flying!
This week, students worked hard to finish up and make sense of the research they had been conducting for the past two weeks. Our end of week goal was to have each student present at a mid point check-in, the "Think Tank". The Think Tank was an opportunity to share and sort out some of their biggest take aways from their first couple of weeks, and was done in small groups so students were able to talk and offer feedback following each presentation. Students had the freedom to choose how they wanted to present, and the only requirements were to share what they were proud of and and ways in which they had grown. Most students presented a mixture of research, aha!-moments, key concept connections and plans for next-steps. Most students are now ready for the next step in Exhibition, and will be focusing this week or going further. For most, this will be some form of data collection or deciding that they need to ask more questions, and for others, this will be time to start making a plan for taking action.