Monday, October 28, 2013

Ecosystems Brochure Project

First of all...I SOO greatly apologize for being M I A for over a month! Wow! I guess that just explains how crazy this beginning of the school year has been for me! 

My class is is my traveling that is taking over my life! Even though it is exhausting, I LOVE every minute it! 
One major event we traveled to recently was....
My gorgeous sister's wedding!!
Colleen and Kevin <3

I spent toooo much time in the photo booth with another sister...

Anyway, travels aside, we have been working reaaaallyyy hard in school! Ecosystems has been our Science unit this quarter, and we are about to rap it up this week! We just completed our brochure projects. I have done this project for a few years now, and I love it more each year! The kids get soooo involved with their ecosystem, and they do such a great job!

Students get to choose their own ecosystem to research! Deep Ocean was the popular one this year! I try not to let too many in each class choose the same ecosystem.

The rubric for the project is included in the pack. (The pink form you see attached to this student's research)

We start off by keeping our information on pieces of notebook paper. The 5 areas of interest that the students research are:
1. Abiotic factors
2. Biotic factors
3. Affects/Effects (of abiotic factors on biotic factors)
4. Fun Facts
5. Recommendations (fictional - things like "come visit...!")

I booked the computer lab for the first 2 days of our research. During these two days, I was able to ask our amazinggg librarian to gather ecosystem-related books for our class to use once we are done researching on the computer. She had a cart ready for us to keep in our classroom! Wow! I need to thank her again! 

When the students have completed their research (about 4 or 5 class times), they will then move on to a rough draft copy of their project. This is what we like to call our "pretend brochure". The students organize their information into paragraphs or bullets, their choice, and put it into the graphic organizer. They will even sketch a rough draft illustration on each flap of the brochure. They do not have to color it, but they need to have their idea on the page. 

I conference with each students. Checking spelling and sentence formation. We also talk about our information so that I can make sure they are understanding what they are writing, and not just copying from their sources. You would be surprised at the college-level research they can find when researching ecosystems! As their Science and Math teacher, this is a great time for me to be able to monitor their writing skills, as well. 

These final copies come out so AWESOME! These are the examples I have had up throughout the project with my class this year. It is always good to have fantastic samples of work from previous students. I have noticed that it makes my students more excited about doing work like their peers before them. If you look close, you can see that the one on the right is my personal sample...haha...I made that 4 years ago!! The kids always get a kick out of how I have created one, as well. First year teachers don't have previous students...we have to think of something! :)

I love the captions on the covers! It grabs my attention and makes me want to read their brochure!

Take a look inside...

 This student drew her pictures in lightly, behind her writing! She was a very verbose writer and couldn't help including all of her favorite information and research! I think she came up with a really cool way to write more and still have a drawing!

I will be uploading this project very soon! Keep checking Facebook for updates! I want to get some photos of my final bulletin display of the brochures before I finalize the pack!