The class is beginning their independent research reports….

This is a long term project.  As we get going, time will be provided almost every day for students to work on their reports in class.  They will also be expected to work on them sometimes for homework on the evenings and on some weekends.

Today most of the kids signed off on their topics – a few are still thinking.  As long as the topic is not something they have covered before, is not “to big or to small’ [ask your child what that means 🙂 ], and they are sure that book can be found with information about their topic – they can pick any topic they choose!  It’s important they choose a topic they are personally very interested in learning about, as they will be working on it for about two months.

The marking criteria was handed out yesterday.  It’s in the students’ new “Research Report Duotang”.  Today the concept of brainstorming topics for their report was introduced.  I call this “MindMapping”.  Their homework for tonight was to finish their MindMaps.  The MindMap does not include questions students are wondering about, only topics.

Tomorrow students will be guided to use their MindMaps to make “WonderTrees”.   Using my WonderTree process, the students will generate questions to add to the topics they brainstorm tonight.

Then, the map and tree is used to help the students create a framework for organizing the notes they take.

After that, students will be taught how to take notes (I always say, “You are not human photocopy machines!”).
BTW – To discourage cutting and pasting of information written by other authors, student’s notes must be printed or handwritten.

As well, students will receive tomorrow guidelines for formatting the report and timelines for the overall project.   Parents are asked to initial these so that they can confirm they know about the project.

To say that the class is excited about this would be an understatement!!