Sunday, December 11, 2011

Great Inventions

Well this week the grade six students presented their multimedia projects on Great Inventions.  As I watched these presentations it reminds me that we really need to look at what our aims are when designing projects.   I was a bit bemused about what they thought were great inventions (a bit candy obsessed).  Perhaps, I should have stuck to the suggestions in the Social Studies text book.  I also sent them for a period of research in the library so I imagined that they would have used a few print resources.  That did not generally happen.  I also didn't specify how many resources they had to use, and some only used one or two and seemed to be heavily dependent on Wikipedia.  I can see we need to do some work on search engines.  Quite a few did do their bibliographies correctly. 

Rather than have each present to the class, I let them present in the computer lab with half the class presenting and the other half watching their classmates' presentation and evaluating as they went.  Having presentation one at a time can be quite time consuming and often involves waiting for technology to kick in. 

But generally I was quite pleased.  There were a couple of presentations that I thought were quite perfect.  Now several students didn't come with their evaluation sheets so I docked them marks for that.  Most students did do multimedia presentations.  Most did prezis, some used bitstrips to create cartoons, There were quite a few models.  Those who did posters did a neat job.  One student created a big book.  Most students were knowledgeable on their subjects, some very knowledgeable.

We invited a grade five class to see their presentations.  Their regular teacher was away and they aren't the easiest group so I planned carefully.  Two students went to each presentation and then in about three minutes moved to the next (my class knew where to send them next).  That worked out really well.  I was a bit concerned because the one presentation I hadn't seen was because this student had been away.  It was supposed to be about  the invention of video games but mostly focused on Modern Warfare and had a few too many guns on that prezi and not great information.  I think I need to have a conversation with his parents about how he is spending his spare time and if they have closely looked at this game.

I do think the project was a good experience.  The students got lots done in a couple of weeks and learned how to use different media as well as learning how inventions came to be.  As a teacher, what I want most, are students who want to learn and know how to find information.  I think we have had a good beginning. 

The grade sevens (I don't currently teach them Social Studies)have been begging for projects so they are researching decomposers for science.  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

Mrs. A. Wong said...

Your Great Inventions Project sounds wonderful! I miss working with you. Is it possible to get a copy of the project sheet?