During the Cue Set, scholars review their project proposals. They set a goal for what they want to accomplish today based on the materials they have. No scholar can begin working on their product until their project proposal is signed-off by me. This ensures that scholars have thought through the project carefully and that they are not planning on using any materials that might be harmful to themselves or others.
We take a moment to reflect and plan out our day so that our time can be as productive as possible. Scholars may have forgotten to bring something in and this gives them an opportunity to create a contingency plan before they get to work. This will make work time more productive and it will help me to identify scholars who may need support.
Scholars have 3 minutes to reflect and create their plan. Then, they share with their tables. Finally, I take 2 friends from my cup and 2 volunteers to share plans. As they share with tables I circulate to get a sense of scholars' preparation.
I model how to use the materials available to me appropriately to create my product. I model because it is important that scholars be reminded of basic classroom procedures and expectations.
Working to create something new is exciting and fun. Also, it is the end of the year and scholars forget some of the most basic rules. Therefore it is very important to MODEL!!!! Here is a video sample of my modeling.
During the Guided Practice, scholars work in their product groups to begin creation. Scholars work together to create their products. They need to have at least 20 items to be sold at the market. Next week, fourth grade scholars will visit our market and purchase our products. As scholars work together to create their products, my ELL co-teacher and I circulate and support scholars to finish up proposals and we also finish up any individual IRI's (running records) as needed. Here is an IRI overview.
This is very motivating for them since they will be SELLING their products. All students want to create a quality product and as long as their project proposals were thoughtful and the teacher provides students with meaningful feedback, this will be a fun and productive lesson.
Here are scholars hard at work!
During the closing, scholars reflect on the progress that they made today and set a goal for tomorrow. Here are project goal lists that scholars use to help their reflection. They write down any additional materials that they need or that they might need to bring in from home. As they reflect, I circulate and sign each one to ensure that they are brining in school-appropriate tools and that they're setting ambitious and attainable goals.
Also, if they did not meet their goal for today, I help them reflect on why that is (i.e. they were playing instead of working hard). Reflecting on progress toward a project helps build problem solving skills and it helps scholars keep track of where they are in attaining a bigger goal. This is an important life skill. It will also help make in-class time more productive and focused. Here is a sample of a student reflection.