Project Summary -- This project is an informational web site about Mount Everest. It involves three fifth grade students. One is in my classroom, another attends our same school and the third is from another school within our district. As part of working towards Oregon State Benchmark Standards my students complete several research projects each year. I encourage my students to use whatever medium they are interested in to present their findings. Last year my student, Jeff worked on an intensive web site project in cooperation with students at an elementary school in Alaska. It was a very successful project, earning the students local and national honors. Jeff is in my split grade classroom again this year and in September expressed his interest in again building a web site project. He seemed to know from the start that he wanted to learn more about Mr. Everest. Last year, my class participated in an online project, following the first successful ascent of Mount Everest by a handicapped person. Jeff was hooked on this project from the start. He knew that he wanted at least one partner and we explored the possibility of working with his Alaskan partner from last year and hooking him up with a partner in Ecuador. One of our building teachers from last year teaches in Ecuador. Logistics being what they are, these partners did not work out and Jeff selected local partners instead.
Project Planning Process - Jeff began planning his project in September. We discussed his project at parent conferences in October. He began doing research immediatly. Jeff is a savy user of the web and spent considerable time searching online for information. He began to build storyboards in November. In December Jeff and I selected his partners and they began to work together as a team. Kevin and Johnny did not have any experience building web pages so Jeff took on the role of mentor and instructor. To his credit Jeff decided in January to switch to Windows platform from Mac and really carried this decision on his own. Our school is primarily Mac platform and I have very little experience with Windows. Becuase Jeff has Windows at home and Kevin has Windows at his school they decided they could spend more time working on their project in this platform. Jeff, Kevin, Johnny and I learned together to navigate and use technological tools in the Windows platform. Our District TAG Coordinator worked with the team two hours a week beginning in January. The boys kept an audio log of their work which they will later convert to written form. They used a variety of resources including local libraries, videos and magazines. One of the boys had a hard time sticking with the project and seemed to lose motivation at the end. Throughout the project Jeff was the driving force, urging his partners to do their part to complete the project.
Project Goals Addressed Through This Project - The student objective for this project included both the process of development and the completion of the end product; the web site. The process included work towards Benchmark Standards and the product is a Benchmark scored work sample that becomes part of their student portfolios. Specific Oregon Benchmark Standards (Grade ) addressed by the project are:
Ask questions and make predictions that are based on observations and can be explored through simple investigations.
Design an investigation to answer questions or check predictions.
Collect, organize, and summarize data from investigations.
Analyze, interpret, and summarize data from investigations.
Locate information and clarify meaning by using illustrations, tables of contents, glossaries, indexes, graphs, charts, diagrams, and/or tables.
Identify relationships, images, patterns, or symbols and draw conclusions about their meanings in printed material.
Analyze and evaluate information and form conclusions.
Convey clear main ideas and supporting details in ways appropriate to topic, audience, and purpose.
Use correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalizations, and paragraphing.
Social Science Analysis
Examine an event ,issue, or problem through inquiry and research.
Gather, use and document information from multiple sources.
Explain characteristics of an event, issue, or problem, suggesting possible causes and results.
Identify a response or solution, and explain why it makes sense, using support from research.
Social Science - Civics and Government
Identify how citizens can make their voices heard responsibly in the political process.
Assessment: The end product is evaluated using the Oregon Speaking and Writing scoring guides. Jeff, Johnny and Kevin will present their project orally to their classmates. Also, the storyboards which the boys created are a valuable tool in performing assessment of the standards. Conversations with the boys as they worked on their project provided me with a understanding of their level of growth and the develpment of the skills they have gained as they went through this process of creation.
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