Sunday, February 15, 2015

Inquiry and Presentations

My class has been inspired by inquiry this year. We use inquiry across all curriculum. It seems like every question leads to another four or five.  I believe inquiry taps into higher level thinking and the students seem eager to learn more.

I asked the students to think of one question of inquiry they would like to explore.  The subject matter could range from any genre or topic.  We discussed some questions as a starting point.

Why do animals migrate?
Why is sand different on various beaches?
Why are ocean currents stronger in some places?
What causes wind patterns?
Why do some animals return to their birthplace?

I started my own path to inquiry. I came up with the following questions:
How are islands formed?
Are there different types of islands?
How does animal and plant life reach certain islands?
Why are some islands uninhabited?

I modeled how to find the information on the chrome books. We check them out once a week for an hour.

Students use the district search engine and I walk the room during the lesson to monitor progress.  Students will find articles, videos, images and other media that relates to their topic of interest.

Additional information will surface. Did you know some islands float?

Students keep track of their inquiry using the template pictured below.  If you like the data collector you can download from my TPT store free here.
They are allowed to note take on other paper as well.

Here is a sample of how my data collector might look.

Students are expected to present their information to the class.  They may do a traditional presentation. This is where the student stands at the front of the class and orally presents their research using index cards, charts, notes, bulleted points, etc.

Students in my class also have the flexibility to present the information anyway they would like. They might choose to make posters, charts or graphs.  Students may dress in character and play the part.  Some might opt to do a Powerpoint or Google presentation.  I showed the class how do put together a Google presentation this week.

The creativity is endless.  I only gave a few suggestions to the class as I didn't want to mention something they were thinking about for their presentation.  I wanted to let them be creative and surprise their classmates.

This project will target several Common Core Standards.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

Comprehension and Collaboration:

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge:
Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

Production and Distribution of Writing:

With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above

Key Ideas and Details:

Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.
Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension.

Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details.


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