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Adventures of 6th

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Research Reports

Posted 02-10-2011 at 05:32 AM by imalith

Our fabulous librarian provided a book talk of nonfiction books. I love having her do that because she always has a different take on it than I do. Quite an interesting mix of books were presented. Many kids picked off the shelf.

My morning group, the more academic of the two classes, picked a wide variety of topics. The PM seemed to pick animal books. In the past I excluded animal books because I know that is about the only type of report kids have done in the past. I cringed when I discovered that three of my top kids picked an animal book. Oh well, maybe they will be good role models for taking it to a higher level.

Today we wrote down the topic on a plain, white piece of paper and set the book beside it. Students then moved around and wrote questions for each topic. Anything that came to mind was fair game. It was a great icebreaker for the reports and made the kids think.

Today we are making folders, thinking of potential thesis statements, deciding 3 possible sections of report to answer the thesis, and setting up the notes.

My note set up has evolved after years of practice. In the past I tried using notecards for notes. I even created folders with cut out envelopes that were organized inside a folder to hold the notes. What a nightmare. Notecards were everywhere and there was no rhyme or reason to them.

Now I start with an outline. Thesis statement or question. 3 section titles. Then we just take 3 pieces of plain notebook paper and make T charts (t-charts are how we practice notes all year). They write each section title at the top. Then when they come across a note that fits in that section, they write the information on that page. It works great.

Friday we go to the library to learn to write references. I developed a system for writing down references that has been really effective. It basically involves colored strips of paper for each different type of resource. (website, book, encyclopedia and magazine) They write down their resource and later when the report is almost finished, they compile the results.

The following week we simply read and take notes. I'm crossing my fingers that everyone finds a book they like. It really makes the project fun.
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