Today was one of those AWESOME days in the library. I was co-teaching with a fourth grade teacher. Today was the 4th time working together in this particular project. It started last week with an intro to research using the Super3. Yes, I know that Super3 is aimed at primary grades. However, the teacher and I are new to this type of research model. We all have to start somewhere, so this is where I started.
The kiddos came to the library last week with their group pre-determined by the teacher. We created a plan for their research and gave them a checklist of what they needed in their final project.
They already knew which simple machine they were going to study. Instead of handing them the book they needed, the kiddos had to use Destiny Quest on our library iPads to locate the books themselves.
During the next few work sessions, they researched their simple machine in books, on websites, through BrainPop videos. They learned to write a definition in their own words and come up with real life examples of their simple machine. Some of them even took pictures of their simple machine in the library with the iPads to be included in their final project. They learned about Creative Commons and copyright.
Today we started putting all of their research into a ThingLink and they were rocking it! I was so impressed at how great they were doing! They were SO excited! Kiddos that finished the required number of tags continued to search out more images, videos, and sites to add to their project. It was amazing to watch them evaluate the videos... the teams were questioning if what they were looking at matched what they were researching. The students were using what they learned and applying it.
The kiddos were so engaged that there were no behavior problems. There was no arguing about one partner hogging the computer. Nobody was off task. "Give me a break!" is what you are thinking, but I'm serious, the kiddos were working like well oiled machines, pun intended! Look at their faces in the pictures, pure joy...WHILE LEARNING!
I really believe that knowing that their projects are out there in cyberspace ready for ANYONE in the world to look at increases work production! The classroom teacher agreed that work production with this group has improved since we started working together and producing works for a global audience.
On Friday we will finish up this project by citing our book sources with a tag with a bibliography. They will use easybib.com to create the citations. The kiddos will be given their rubric to self-evaluate before the teacher does a final evaluation of their work.
I don't have the ideal situation for co-teaching. I'm on a fixed schedule. To work with classes on projects I sometimes give up my "duty free lunch" in order to work with their block schedule. On days like that I pack easy to munch on snacks so I don't starve. I don't mind and happily do it over and over because of experiences like this! I make the best of the situation I have and it is great!
I LOVE MY JOB!