Native Cultures Project

I believe that projects can help our children learn a great deal.  When structured properly, they can facilitate learning and let students show that knowledge in a creative way.  Enter our Native Cultures Project.  First is the description of this project and each students’ personal organization as we begin.  This will be completed on Thursday in class (the primary objective is the selection of a Big Question to answer through this research):

Next, my list of due dates.  I have checkpoints every couple days to ensure that no student is lagging behind, and that groups/partnerships are productively working towards completion of their Big Question:

Here are some project ideas.  As long as students are working productively towards their Big Question, any of these (or more) are suitable presentations of such learning ):

And finally, the rubric.  Be sure you check yourself to make sure everything is done!


Confusion, Frustration

Tuesday in class we began what I thought was a simple assignment: break into groups and complete the following WS:

When we would finish the WS, students will share what they learned with their classmates and we would have a completed, collaborative chart comparing the Native Cultures.


Great design, but a couple things went wrong.  One, the preceding discussion in some classes went too long, leaving us a little time to complete the WS.  Two, The WS just took too long!  I made it, and didn’t realize that it would take so long.  I’m very sorry that some students tried doing this all for homework, and and that I assigned it to some classes!  It was too much, and I rarely do this.

In addition the WS mistake, another problem showed up.  I teach 6 classes, and not every class is always at the same point every time.  Some discussions go GREAT, and we carry them for the duration of a class.  Others end sooner, so we begin with our lesson.  For this reason, some classes may have homework while others don’t.  This can be confusing to some kids – and parents who try to make sure their students are doing everything they should be.  I will be explicitly clear in my blog directions from now on… my vague homework hotline blog led to some confusion between students who followed my in-class directions, and parents who followed my homework hotline directions.  I’m sorry for that confusion.

As a result of ALL THIS :) our project roll-out will be at different places today.  By tomorrow, we’ll be all evened out and everyone will be on the same page.  I’ll blog about THAT tomorrow!!