Friday, October 3, 2008

2nd grade

My 2nd grade group is really enjoying working on the "Where in the World is Pat Flowers?" PBL Kit from CERTL. We had to wait a while to get this kit, since it was being refurbished, but it was worth the wait. Students are so involved and can't wait to come to class and find out what we are going to do next. Students are on a game show and can win a free trip if they can find Pat Flowers (a news reporter). She "sends" us clues each day. I put the clue on PowerPoint. We review the clues we have gotten already and the information we have disovered (discovery chart) each day before opening the new clue. After reading the clue, we pick out key words and ideas to help us with the search that day. We then go to the resources (books, maps, globe . . . ). We do a short lesson on which resources to look at and why (ex. don't look in the food book if the clue says nothing about food). Then we start reading and thinking. I do somewhat of a think-aloud to get students engaged. They are coming up with some of the best ideas and statements. One girl told me yesterday that we should not waste out time listing the places that she could not be because that would be way too many, so we should list the places she could be. We are listing possible locations each day. We looked at the globe and talked a lot about the equator the first day since the clue dealt with the equator. On the second day, the clue talked about a country that was once part of the British Empire. We looked at the map and listed possible countries on the Equator (combining clue one and two). Then we looked at some books on some of those countries and found one that used to be part of the British Empire. The clue on day 3 talked about being on the plains and seeing elephants, leopards, and giraffes. So the lesson that day focused on looking for countries that had plains and those animals. The country we listed from the day before did have all those things. The students enter class asking if we got a new clue yet. They are really engaged. I also think they are learning a lot about geography. We watched several videos on maps and the globe (included in the kit) before starting on this problem to build some background knowledge. I think I made a wise choice in requesting this kit. I have not even finished it and can't wait to do it again next year. Maybe I could do an expanded version with another group this year . . .

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