Monday, February 27, 2012

Animal Research - Part 8, Team-Building, &

In our last last blog posting (Part 7), we finished organizing our defense mechanism notes.

Our journey continues as we learn to be mindful writers of research. Today I modeled for students how to draft a paragraph from their organized notes. We focused solely on the habitat notes and drafting the habitat paragraph. I had already written up my paragraph ahead of time so that I could really EXPLAIN how to expand notes into complete sentences using both my notes and my own words. I highlighted each of the main ideas of each sentence so students could see that every one of my notes was expanded in my draft. I discussed how to include a citation like (R1), (R2), and (R3) at the end of a sentence to indicate which resource each idea came from. You'll also notice my blue arrows on my pink notes on the left. While I was drafting, I made a decision as a writer to actually write about my notes in a slightly different order than I had glued them down. I explained to students why I decided to do this and that good writers need to constantly evaluate the best order for things. As much as we try to stick to our plan, sometimes we make decisions later on that we believe are right for our writing, even if it goes against the plan or wasn't included in the plan.

Here's some footage of the kids as they attempt this process on their own using their own notes. Notice their eyes and fingers going back and forth from their notes to their draft. AWESOME!

A few still shots of students expanding their notes into complete sentences.

This student expanded each of her habitat notes to draft a paragraph about the habitat of wild horses. She added some of her own words to each of her ideas and included a citation at the end of each sentence to give credit to the source where she got her information!

This student followed the same process for the habitat of a lynx.
To see pictures and footage from the next lesson in this animal research unit, visit this blog posting (Part 9).
Visit my TpT site if you're interested in getting all the student sheets used in this animal research unit.
In social studies today, students worked in their tribes to brainstorm different uses for items the Europeans brought to trade at fur trading posts. Each member took a turn writing. This lesson helped the tribes work together. Their evaluation skills will be applied as they have to prioritize and rank which items their tribe believe are most important and least important to trade for in our mock fur trade later this week!

Our lessons in health/guidance right now is about nutrition, advertising, and healthy habits. I reserved the lab so we could visit There are some great activities in the 'Move' section of the site. Students can go on a scavenger hunt by him or herself or against a sibling or a friend, do a fitness challenge, or invent a dance. Either way, all kids need is a COMPUTER to GET MOVING! Imagine that! It's a perfect site for kids who are bored with nothing to do at home...

1 comment:

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