This year we will work every Friday on a special, student-created, project of their choice. Projects will be based on the unit or themes we are currently working with. Students will learn how to further their personal inquiry, interests and passions within the context of our social studies explorations.
Projects will be something students have a lot of control over. Some students will choose to stay with one topic for the tri-mester and others may choose to do a few many projects. The criteria for grading will be be based on turning in a completed project by the end of each tri-mester. When we turn in our projects students will present 1-2 minute shares about what they learned and what they enjoyed about the learning. So, there is both a project grade and a speech grade for this long term project. If a child chooses to do more than one project he or she will need to turn in all of those projects and speak to all of their experiences. Students will NOT be allowed to work in partners for the first tri-mester.
Students will work with the teacher to write a proposal for their projects. They will design the criteria and rubrics by which I will grade their final projects. Students will be allowed to create their own learning and be the creators of their own explorations. In addition to all of the above, students will also be asked to present their projects to their parents at home which is a great opportunity for parent-child to connect on this educational topic!
Don't worry there will be much more discussion and direction regarding this topic. For now, look at your social studies book and start to think about what topics you may want to dig deeper in and through.... The first tri-mester is early humans and the world's first civilizations. Your choices are early humans (NO NOT DINOSAURS) and Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Kush, and Ancient India. The second trimester choices are Ancient China, and Ancient Greece. The last tri-mester is Ancient Rome. Students will work with the teacher to craft a specific topic within the studies. Students must choose something more in depth than will be covered in the classroom objectives. For example, a student may wish to look at women in Ancient Egypt, dig deeper into cuneiform cylinder seals and archaeological finds in modern day Iraq, etc...
Students will be encouraged to create a blog first tri-mester where they can blog post about their personal reflections through out the school year. If students do not create blogs, they will be asked to keep a notebook of ongoing posts from September to June. For each project students will be required to do a blog post or one page reflection for each month of the school year. So, they will have a total of ten required blogs or reflections of their journey and discoveries.
Projects must be creative and show the personal views and voice of each child. Cuting and pasting of information into a PPT is NOT ACCEPTED. Students will create projects that reflect their learning.... much more information to come. This is just a sneak peek! We will start exploration projects after Back to School Night so you have time to think about this!