Today is the day we compile information and create presentation posters. I once again remind the students that we began with the task of learning something in such a way that we could teach it to someone else.
Today the question is: "What do we need to do today to organize all of the information we have gathered?"
Scientists are constantly, and necessarily, sharing information with one another and the world. Today we will prepare to share our important knowledge.
When I give students a creative task, I try not to model too much. Third graders want to please, and will copy whatever I do and try their hardest to give me the answers they think I want to hear.
So instead, I decide to tour student work around our room as a member of the group. I asked them to observe all of the different learning posters and displays in our room, and I make a point of doing exactly that as I tour.
When we complete our silent tour, the children discuss with their shoulder partner the characteristics of the displays that stood out for them.
I then explain that they would need to use some of those same strategies in their teaching and presentation. Some of these are:
As the children work, I listen in. Partly I am assessing, and partly in order to probe and reteach. In this series of videos, you will see how I deal with a misconception and then push the students even deeper into the analyzing and application of information. I also justify their research by guiding them to go back to it, and guide them to ask and answer "why".
The girls in this clip are doing a wonderful job with their plan, using their notes, and creating a poster. I check in, and based on their work it would have been easy for me to move on, thinking that all of this means they understand their content. However, I did catch a misconception that told me to stay. Listen in and see if you can find it.
After noticing the misconception, I realize I need to keep asking why. I also don't let the girls off the hook by giving them the answer. Scientists keep digging, so I spend some time helping them "struggle comfortably" to make sense of the facts they have gathered. I have them go back to the resource and pair that information with the facts they gathered the day before while viewing videos.
As our share, we have set up a 15 minute visit to the first grade class. The purpose of this is to give the children a reason for their learning and "those that teach, know".
While the children were sharing, I moved around with the first grade teacher and asked questions of the third grade students and the first grade children. We focused the first graders on learning to ask questions of a presenter when they are interested or confused. We focused the third graders on answering questions by explaining something from their research in a new way to help the questioner with understanding.