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POTD 3.27.13

Back to school. . .

I began a big project with the kiddos before Spring Break.  We are studying our state standard, "Understanding the Patterns of Human Settlement" and I added "in the United States" because our book has a little 4-5 page section on it. . .I feel that in order to understand patterns of settlement (I teach culture and geography) that the students first need to understand how OUR country was founded and settled -- both culturally and geographically.  But it's a lot of work -- I think I ended up with 15 different "sections" within the section.  So I assigned each student a section to research and teach :)

We had the computer cart for about a week before Spring Break and they researched their topic.  They were then supposed to come up with a visual aid (including certain information across the board) and a 10-point worksheet for their classmates to complete on their topic.  These are some of the worksheets already turned in that I have copied and are waiting.

I love how this project is moving along.  They are taking charge of their own learning!!!  (That's my podium in the back of the room -- taking notes/grading them as they teach.)  These girls added a topic that wasn't on my list (Civil Rights) and were very motivated.  Their visual aid, obviously, was a power point.  They also put a video clip in there about Malcom X -- they felt like during Black History Month (last month) we concentrate on just a few "popular" leaders and not enough on other ground-breaking individuals.  Here I think they had a slide and information on someone in basketball?

If the student got the same topic as another and they *wanted* to work together they were allowed that option.  In that case they created a 20-pt worksheet and presented together.  Some did that and others chose to do it on their own. 

This is definitely something I will do again in the future -- it was really nice not to have to come up with all the material on my own!  And the students (7th grade) were very receptive to learning from one another.  For the most part all projects presented so far have been very well-done.


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