Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Insect Fun!

This week I began my attempt at curbing end of year chaos through giving the kids more freedom and choice in the classroom.  Remarkably there were periods of absolute silence at times.  Granted they lasted about 3 minutes a stretch, but still an accomplishment.

We began learning about Insects this week.  I introduced the unit by reading a book on insects and creating a can, have, are chart for a caterpillar as an example.  We then used the smart board to model how the kids could use the computer to look for information about their insects.  I bookmarked a couple of cute webquests that focused on the group of insects that I had chosen, and we practiced how they could choose what they needed to look for.  We also modeled how to use non-fiction books to gather information.  Much of this was review, but it was the first time I was asking them to be accountable for finding and recording the information on their own.  Next, we decided as a class on three objectives.  1). We wanted to find out where the insect lived.  2). We wanted to learn what the insect ate, and 3) we chose to research habits of the insect.  Once this was done, I let the students sign up on chart paper for the insect that they wanted.  Each group had about 4 people in it.

We are on day three of our projects and each group has done much of their research and are now choosing how they are going to present that information to the class.  Some are creating a video, one is writing a song, and another is writing their own non-fiction story.  It has been lots of fun and the kids really seem to be enjoying the group work.  Here are some photos of the research part of the activity (I laid out butcher paper on the tables, gave them markers, and let them go to town!)

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