AIM on Tuesday

Know & Go

Happy New School Year!

Today was a big day for our class. We started an eight week research project that will take us right into Spring Break. This project idea came about from my own experiences (frustration) with my daughter in college. I have been reflecting on what skills I wish she was stronger in as well as evaluating what our class needs to improve on. Thus, this research idea. Each week we are going to focus on a particular part of the project and I guess you could say we are going "old school". In general kids today are really good at finding research but they have developed a really bad habit of copying and pasting (and just changing a few words) or starting the project with an idea already in place before looking at what kind of resources they have available. So today they picked a general Civil War topic and then went about finding scholarly articles about that topic. I required them to print out each article and THEN read each one (with a highlighter) to try and narrow down their topic. (So for example if the topic is golf, after researching they might decide that their focus will be the rising popularity of golf among women). For some It was a hard habit to break as they kept giving me a narrow topic before researching but it was sooooo cool to see them working away to dive deeper into their projects. In the upcoming weeks we will look for patterns and organize their research into 3 subtopics, write a thesis, etc., find primary and secondary sources to support their writing and FINALLY build an interactive display for Open House. Each got a fancy leather-looking portfolio to organize their work (donated by a parent) so that kind of added to the "professional atmosphere".
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