Monday, May 27, 2013

Independent Research

Yes, it's me again!  I am still alive, believe it or not.  This week I had one of those "Aha!" moments.  The kind where your lesson went so well that you can't believe you haven't been doing this ALL YEAR! I was really excited about how this turned out!

We have been doing individual research projects.  Have you ever heard of Pebblego?    Anyways, with Open House coming up, we decided that each 1st Grade classroom would research a differnt habitat and display our for our parents.  As soon as I heard that, I jumped all over the rainforest.  Not only is it my favorite habitat, but there are so many cool things you can do with it!  Who wouldn't be excited to decorate their hallway with all those cool animals?  

Jessica, one of my teammates, found this amazing Sticky Note Research template.  She also introduced me to Pebblego.  We took an ENTIRE day on laptops researching our own animals.  This was like heaven for my kids!  There were huge gasps when they found out we were going to be on the computer ALL DAY! Lucky us, the rainforest has EVERYTHING!  It has insects, gorillas, birds, wildcats, poison dart frogs, etc.. Once they picked their animal, they used the sticky note template and found all their answers.  Its designed for K-2 so it was at their reading level.  

Once they finished their research, they wrote it into a report.  Here is the kicker!  They literally had to copy their sticky notes in order and their writing flowed nicely!  The very first sticky said, "Attention Grabber".  Some of them wrote, "Have you ever been to the Rainforest?  If so, you may know that a _____ lives there!"  Then it led them into describing what it looked like, what it eats, etc...  There stories were AMAZING!   

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