25 students (12 female, 13 male)
Homogeneous classroom culture
No English Language Learners
50% qualify for free and reduced lunch
Mostly 11-13 years of age
No major behavioral issues
Special Learning Needs
2 boys on individualized educational plans- low learners, have never showed academic growth. Undiagnosed ADHD
7 students in reading pull out programs
1 student works with a speech therapist
4 students can qualify for Talented and Gifted services in reading/ 3 in TAG math
Kinesthetic/audio/inquiry based learning
Only short attention spans for direct instruction
Have had iPads for more than a year
Familiar with basic functioning of their iPads
No internet research skills
Standards and Objectives: English: Language Arts Common Core
Writes arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence
Introduce claims and organize the reasons and evidence clearly
Support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text
Establish and maintain a formal style
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument presented
Production and Distribution of Writings
Use technology, including the internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboard skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Gather relevant information form multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism.
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
Research Information Literacy
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
a) plan strategies to guide inquiry
b) Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media
c) Evaluate and select information and sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness of specific tasks
d) Process data and report results
the 6th grade students should write a three page persuasive paper on a topic of their choosing with a minimum of grammatical/ mechanical errors. Students will complete a poster/presentation (maybe something else) at the conclusion of their writing.
Select Instructional Strategies, Technologies, Media and Materials
First of all, since my students have a very short attention span when it comes to given instruction I would give them the very minimum of information about the project they are about to embark upon. Along with this I would give them a written rubric that they can have to follow as well have it posted on a google document that they can all access.
After I have given them instructions I would put them in groups of 2 or 3 and have them decide upon the topic that they would be researching and remind them, daily, that though they are presenting and researching together they are all required to write an individual paper. Once they have come to a decision on their topic I would allow them to do preliminary research on their iPads. Before they leave class that day I would ask them to write on a single sheet of paper the names of everyone in the group, their research topic, and what each student would be in charge of doing while not at school.
The next day that they come in to class, I would give them a short “crash course” lecture on use of the internet and research. I would then take them down to the library to use the computers and any print resources that they can find on their topics. I would encourage them to exchange email address so that they can put together a Googledoc of all the information they are finding.
The assignment would span 3 to 4 weeks, with the first week for research and creating a first draft of their paper, at the end of the first week they would turn in their first draft to me for suggestions and minimal editing. The second week they would make revisions on their paper and begin their poster or power point presentation. If more time is needed for this we’d use the third week to complete them. Finally, the last week would be used for student presentations of their topics.
Use Technology, Media, and Materials.
As the students are doing their research, ideally I would be wandering the room giving the groups feedback on their research techniques and perhaps the credibility of the sources they are finding. I might require them to find two places that have the same information in it rather than just taking the first one as truth.
Evaluate and Revise
The students would be graded on how well they collaborated and worked together.
They would be grade would also be based on how well the filled the parameters of the assignment; for instance was the paper 3 pages or at least only a couple words away from being 3 pages? Did they have a minimum of grammar and mechanical errors? And was the assignment completed and turned in on time.
A lot of kids are terrified to stand in front of a group of people, especially their peers; and simply do not thrive in those sort of situations. Because of this the presentation grade will be purely effort based, so the outgoing, lively, kid who loves being the center of attention and giving presentations could very well receive the same grade as the quite, shy kid, who breaks down in tears whenever they have to do a presentation.