Here is an update with what the students from Bettendorf will be working on this week and next week.
I hope everyone is healthy and taking care of themselves. I know that the flu and sickness is dropping students like flies around the schools so please do your best to stay healthy with eating properly and getting good sleep.
I wanted to just briefly update everyone with the progress of our big projects this quarter and let you know what to expect heading into next week.
This week students were able to finalize and figure out their idea for their independent project. We did some serious brainstorming and think we have things figured out. At this point we are not concerned so much with their actual project/showcase display. Rather we wanted to confirm their ideas so they can begin to dig deeper and become experts on their topic. We believe that as they continue to research, talk with experts, and explore different avenues they will naturally create their final project display for our bald eagle showcase night. So if you don’t know their topic it might be good to talk with them about it so you if you come across anything that could help them that would be great.
In addition to the independent study, students are beginning the initial stages of the global project on bald eagles as well. I am working on getting them all into teams based on their independent study topics. We have had some new classes join the project which is very exciting. We now have classes from Texas, North Carolina, Illinois, and the Netherlands. This week students have logged into a website called Edmodo where they can connect with all the students. This week and next week are the “handshake” phases where they are getting used to using the site, asking questions, and just getting a chance to get to know one another. There are some cool things happening on the site. Edmodo is a very secure and safe. All teachers receive an email every single time a comment is made so we can screen and monitor. There is not direct messages allowed so anything shared is seen by everyone in the group. I have used this site for several global projects and it works great.
Last, don’t forget Bald Eagle Days is this weekend. This might be a wonderful opportunity for students to talk with experts and find some information about their topics. Take pictures, take notes, take handouts, etc. If you find an expert that could be helpful be sure to take a business card or write down the contact information. I think this is also something that we should share with our global partners. If you do go maybe take some pictures so we can share with all the students. I am hopefully going Saturday to see what I can learn and who I can try to connect with.
Also, if you happen to see any birds of prey around your house or neighborhood take some pictures. We had a student yesterday bring in pictures of a hawk that was eating what appeared to be a rabbit on the roof of a house. These things are very fascinating and are also things we can share with our global partners.
Looking at next week here are the goals that we have for class
1. Check Edmodo and place all students into their teams so they can see what students they will be working with for the global project
2. Provide time researching their topic a bit more and possibly find some experts to contact for an interview or meeting.
3. Organize our thoughts and ideas into some graphic organizers/folders.
Here is the project page – http://eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com/