Friday, January 22, 2010

3rd Grade Planning Meeting! January 22, 2010

     Elaine, Bill, and I met today to begin planning for our social studies project using e-pals.  Bill and I drove over to Jay so we could meet in Elaine's classroom.  Our meeting was full of energy with ideas and threads popping.  We worked as a team, complementing one another and building off of each other's ideas.

     We agreed early on that we would uses e-pals because of the protection it provided for the students as well as the resources the service provides - mainly, the list of other schools enrolled in the program as well as the opportunity for students o progress from e-mail to blogging.
     We had also decided we would focus on social studies.
     After a brief discussion, we selected culture as our central theme.  Our decision is founded on the following beliefs.
  1.  Third graders are aware that people are alike and different.  However, because many are still so concrete students  need to be supported in building their understanding of the causes creating the sameness and the differences.  
  2. This aligns with the standards of learning in Maine.
  3. This is an essential learning in an ever shrinking globe - one these students will inherit.

     Instruction will focus on problem solving - students will team and work individually to answer questions by employing strategies - literacy and thinking - in an inquiry format.
     Right now, we are thinking we will have students identified by numbers or nicknames.  
     Teachers will pair them up based on profiles (interests, etc.) provided each student's teacher.
     A problem solving format will be established through e-mail at the beginning of the project when students will attempt to build a profile of their pen pal through a process of inquiry.  This process will be clarified and expanded as students explore the elements involved in creating a culture - i.e. natural resources.

We are planning to begin the project after February break.

Stay tuned.  More to come!

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