Monday, January 12, 2015

Loved that Lesson - Individualized Research Projects

I'm very excited to be linking up for Loved that Lesson!

In December, I went to a PD on technology.  We learned about the Nooks that we have available in our school.  Our media specialist showed us how to use the Nooks and let us explore the book titles that were already purchased and on the devices.

I was hooked immediately!  So I signed up to use them in my classroom for 4 days.  My main purpose was to motivate my students to stay quiet during independent work time so I could run my reading groups without interruption.

But it turned into so much more than that...

At that time, we were reading books about space and getting ready to work on our ABC book about space.

I came up with a last minute idea for my early finishers.  They could research a planet and create a poster using the information they learned.

Students picked the planet that they were interested in learning more about.  Then they wrote 4-6 questions that they wanted answered.  (Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of this step.)  I helped a few come up with some questions that I thought they'd be able to find answers for.

Then it was time to research!  This is where the Nooks came in to play.

Our school has a subscription to PebbleGo (more on that later as a tech tip) so I had the students log in to the website on the Nook.  You can see below that my student was researching Mars, so he read about it on PebbleGo.  (He actually completed this step after he had read about Mars in books, so he has a lot of information written already.)

You can see what he learned about Mars.

After completing the research, my students started their posters.  (I don't have a picture of this step because this was done when I was working with my reading groups and I couldn't easily walk around the room to snap pictures.)

Since this has been an early finishers project, the students don't get to work on their posters every day.  In fact, I don't have any finished posters yet.  I hope they can get them finished soon because they were so excited to research using the Nooks and work on their posters.

I was so excited about this lesson because it was something that came to me at the last minute, but it seemed to be successful.  I was very impressed with the effort my students gave to come up with questions and research to find the answers.

I'd love to try this again as a whole class assignment later in the year.  Definitely would be a good motivator in March when we're counting down the days until spring break.

I'll keep you posted if I do this project again!  Make sure you head back over to the Teacher's Studio so you can read about other lessons and link up with your own!

What was your best lesson that you threw together at the last minute?

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1 comment:

  1. What a great activity for your students who finished early! I bet the Nooks were a hit with your students! :)