Friday, February 5, 2010

574-Project 1

I am finding the whole process to be frustrating and confusing.  I don't think my project is hard or frustrating, but I think the model is frustrating to follow.  I know I probably shouldn't say that since our professor is the one who created it and has published it, but its too much.  I am a very simple person when it comes to looking for information.  I don't need or want all these steps and I feel like I am repeating myself a lot.  I would love to go back to my Super 3 model....3 steps...I can focus on that sooooo much easier!  We all learn differently and I definitely don't learn well when I am overwhelmed.

That being said, I will attempt this Weaving bit. (I feel a little better, had to vent!) :) 

I organized my information by using NoteStar.  When you find your sources it allows you to take notes as well and creates the equivelant to the old fashioned note cards I used in high school to organize a research paper.  Each note card on Note Star gives me the information I decided to keep from each website and it organizes it inot topics and sub topics.  When I got to create my final project I just have to reword the information on those note cards...simple!

I have discussed this project quite a bit with my boyfriend and best friend since they know my obssession with elefantes.  I doubt they find herd life as interesting as I do, but at least they are willing to listen.  I have even mentioned different aspects of the information I have found with my students.  They also know I like elefantes (which they love that I use the Spanish word since 1/2 of my kids are Hispanic) and when we search things online I always use elephants as my example.  Right now the first and second graders are learning how to take images from the interent and place them on Word.  They have loved seeing all the pictures I have found of baby elephantes and their mamas.

Since I have been particularly interested in herd life, I have found some sad facts about elephants lives in a zoo.  On the IDA website I read that "There is little opportunity for the development of normal social structures."  Many zoos do not have enough space for the elephants to move around like they should and their health is affected by this.   "The confinement, isolation from family, lack of freedom of movement, and absence of a normal social structure take an intense physical and emotional toll on elephants. Captive elephants commonly suffer from foot and joint problems, stress related disorders such as impaired immune and kidney function, stereotypic behaviors such as weaving, and aggression, sometimes directed at keepers to frequently fatal ends. Elephants in captivity die young."

As much as I love visiting the elephants at the Indianapolis Zoo, reading this information has me wanting to help find ways to make their quality of life better for them.  How horrible it must be for them to not have the social interaction that they are accustomed to.  Since breeding in zoos is difficult, they may only be one baby at a time at a zoo.  In the wild, they are used to having a large family with many babies running around together at the same time.

The information from my ask-an-expert also gave me an interesting tidbit.  He found that when an African and Asian elephant were made to breed, the baby only lived for a short period.  That has me curious to find out if that was just a fluke or if mixing the breeds was the cause of this.  That question will have to be answered on a different inquiry!

Since some of my students have taken an interest in animals (since that is what I tend to use in my examples), I have thought about creating a project for them to work together in groups.  I would use the Super 3 model since they are little and well who am I is simple enough for both them and me!  When I do projects with my kids, I have noticed that most of my ILS standards are easily met through the process.  The below standards are what I use when I create my lesson plans.


Information Literacy

The student who is information literate

ILS 1: accesses information efficiently and effectively.

ILS 2: evaluates information critically and competently.

ILS 3: uses information accurately and creatively.

Independent Learning

The student who is an independent learner is information literate and

ILS 4: pursues information related to personal interests.

ILS 5: appreciates literature and other creative expressions of information.

ILS 6: strives for excellence in information seeking and knowledge generation (generates knowledge).

Social Responsibility

The student who contributes positively to the learning community and to society is information literate and

ILS 7: recognizes the importance of information in a democratic society.

ILS 8: practices ethical behavior in regard to information and information technology.

ILS 9: participates effectively in groups to pursue and generate information (shares and collaborates).

In our Curriculum Connections text they talk about Communities of Inquiry on page 36.  After reading that paragrpah, I agree that it is important to have a community of inquiry in schools.  The first sentence really caught my attention: "Communities of inquiry are created when teachers and students build a shared purpose for learning, when they embrace a diversity of perspectives and ingage in the process of developing new understandings, when they share responsibility for supporting and challenging each other, and when they connect their learning experiences in school with the outside world and their futures."  Students have to much to teach us just as we have to teach them.  I feel that if you have the established relationship or community information sharing will be flowing and learning will be a certain.  I would like to get this idea familiar to my teachers and principal so that they may see how important it is do projects that incorporate so many different subjects and ideas to learn instead of always just doing worksheets and taking tests.

Well that concludes this morning's attempt at the 8W's....the snow is beautiful, but I guess I should get to school....the half day I took off is coming to an end....

Go Colts!

1 comment:

  1. I hope your frustration with the many steps in the 8Ws model abates soon! However, it's definitely your prerogative to choose your own model for when you're doing inquiry in the future. At least now you know that the 8W model isn't for you, and you already know you like the super 3!

    I've noticed doing this project that sometimes my steps overlap have a lot more flow that an 8 step process would imply. It might help to think of your research for this like the super 3, but then just figure out which Ws align with the super 3 steps. Good luck!