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Research Projects, Revisited

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Research Projects, Revisited

  1. 1. Research Projects, Revisited November 11, 2010 Jessica Fries-Gaither Beyond Penguins is funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0733024.
  2. 2. A – Classroom Teacher B – Librarian C – Administrator D – Higher Education E - Other Answer using the poll buttons underneath the participant window! What best describes your professional position?
  3. 3. What grade(s) do you teach? A – Grades K-2 B – Grades 3-5 C – Grades 6-8 D – Grades 9-12 E - Other Answer using the poll buttons underneath the participant window!
  4. 4. From where are you joining us today? Answer using the stamping tool to the left of the whiteboard!
  5. 5. Research Projects, Revisited Download these slides at:
  6. 6. Today’s presenter Jessica Fries-Gaither Education Resource Specialist The Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology School of Teaching and Learning
  7. 7. About Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears •Online magazine •Professional and instructional resources •Science and literacy integration •Aligned to national standards •Multimedia
  8. 8. Today’s Agenda • The role of research in the ELA Standards • Challenges and solutions for research projects with elementary students
  9. 9. Research and the ELA Standards “Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.” -Standards for the English Language Arts
  10. 10. What’s most challenging about research projects? A. Students are disorganized! B. Plagiarism C. Students aren’t motivated to do their best work. D. Assessing student work is difficult. E.Other Answer using the poll buttons underneath the participant window!
  11. 11. Students view research as a rigid, prescriptive process. Challenge School Assignment Library/Web Report •Contrived, artificial purpose •Set procedure to be followed •Reference books are only source of information •Rigid and restrictive rules •End result is a letter grade
  12. 12. Redefine/restructure research projects. Solution •Authentic questions •Multiple sources of data •Hands-on investigations •Observations •Interviews •Text •Creative problem solving •Authentic, meaningful product •Grade is only part of the end result “Students need to learn creative and multifaceted approaches to research and inquiry. The ability to identify good topics, to gather information, and to evaluate, assemble, and interpret findings from among the many general and specialized information sources now available to them is one of the most vital skills that students can acquire.” - Standards for the English Language Arts
  13. 13. Challenge Students have trouble organizing information. World’s Messiest Office Cubicle Discovered in Colorado Jeffrey Beall, Flickr
  14. 14. Solution Provide an organizational tool that helps students sort information. Manila folder with eight library card pockets attached to inside of the folder. Labels reflect type of information to be stored in each pocket. Notes are taken on index cards and stored in pockets. Learn more at
  15. 15. Students tend to copy from books and web sites when taking notes. Challenge Computer class Woodley Wonderworks, Flickr
  16. 16. Teach students to take “JOT notes.” Solution Learn more at Sample index card about a yak. JOT = just or one two No more than three words per line!
  17. 17. Provide materials at appropriate reading levels for all students.Solution •Reading levels above and below your grade •Variety of nonfiction genres and formats •Teach students to use “5 finger rule” to self-select books •Teach students to use glossaries and dictionaries •Teach students to skim
  18. 18. Students don’t want to use multiple sources or fact check information. Challenge Day 60 of 366 The evil monkey, Flickr
  19. 19. Conduct idea circles as part of the research process. Solution •Small group researches a topic or question •Within a small group, each student selects a book according to interest/reading level •No books repeated within a group •Students read and share information •Group completes one graphic organizer compiling their information Graphic organizer available at: What we learned Where we found it
  20. 20. Students struggle to form sentences and paragraphs from their research. Challenge Homework Ritual Woodley Wonderworks, Flickr
  21. 21. Model and practice sentence building. Include time for students to practice orally before committing thoughts to paper. Solution Learn more at
  22. 22. Students aren’t motivated to do their best work. Research reports are tedious! Challenge Finished Chris Blakeley, Flickr
  23. 23. Consider alternate formats. Solution •Alphabet (ABC) books •Letters •Question and Answer books •VoiceThreads •Blog posts •Wiki pages Second grade writing class Woodley Wonderworks, Flickr
  24. 24. Student writing is “flat.”Challenge Taking a Test Peruisay, Flickr
  25. 25. Use children’s literature as “mentor texts” to help students learn how to write engaging expository text. Solution Nonfiction Writing From the Inside Out By Laura Robb
  26. 26. Assessment What will you assess? •Completion •Writing style •Mechanics (spelling, grammar, punctuation) •Number of sources •Supporting materials (notes, outline, etc) How will you assess? •Rubric Will students self-assess during writing process?
  27. 27. Coming Soon! Thursday, December 9, 2010: Citizen Science and Inquiry If you have a schoolyard habitat or garden and would like fresh ideas about how to use it, or are simply interested in getting your students outside to experience their environment in meaningful and educational ways, this session is for you! Presenter: Jennifer Fee
  28. 28. Thank you! Jessica Fries-Gaither: Today’s slides available at: Archived recording at:

Editor's Notes

  • Mary Henton
  • Mary Henton
  • Mary Henton
  • Mary Henton
  • Both 45 seconds
  • Jessica
  • Jessica
  • Jessica
  • Both