This project started on 3.22.11



This will be their end of the year project and is going to not only be AWESOME, but AMAZING. I will have project requirements posted soon along with some photos of the kids in action.

Final Preparations:

Time is coming to a close. Be sure to wrap up work on your projects.
  • Don't forget your name
  • Don't forget to have a list of resources available including who you interviewed.
  • Practice your information

Week 5 Schedule: April 18th - 22nd



I am trying a new format to the updates. I hope you like it. It always good to try something new to see how it goes. Enjoy and keep me posted with any questions or concerns.


I would like the Research Form turned in this week. Please have your child bring this form completed to class this week. Thanks.




Week 4 Schedule: April 11th - 15th

Monday - Get yourself ready for ELP class
Tuesday - 4th grade - Students will need to be wrapping up research and thinking about how to assemble projects. We will be spending class time making sure everyone has interviewed or has one set up, has a location figured out to observe, and making preparations to bring research to life in their Showcase Project.
Wednesday - Mentors come again today!! We have an awesome activity planned to help students learn more about this area. Second half of class will be used to make sure students know what they are doing for their projects. Time to start bringing everything together.
Thursday - 5th grade - This week we need to make sure everyone is brought up to speed. Last week not everyone was as far along in the research as expected. We made good strides last week and will look to do the same today.
Friday - Mentors and activity as we did on Wednesday.

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Week 3 Reflection - April 8th, 2011


What a busy and amazing week! I was thinking back to what we all accomplished this week and one would never think that we only meet twice a week with these kids when we start to think about all that we do. We really do have some amazing kids and parents for all of this to happen. As week three comes to a close students should really be to a point where their research is about finalized. I know some have appointments for interviews and tours and that is fine. However, don't be waiting to the last minute to do this project. We expect a high caliber project to be displayed on our Showcase night. You have about two weeks left to finalize everything. Week 6 your project needs to be completed so we can set up during our two class periods together and do a practice run.

We were able to secure tours to the Joseph Bettendorf mansion this week. What a fantastic tour! Here are some images. We learned so much. This was a great trip for students to learn about their city and more importantly how to listen, take notes, ask questions, and observe.

Here are some photos and video from the mansion. I plan to add descriptions when I have more time, but for now ask you kids to explain them and see what they recall.



Here are the kids with their mentors. This was such an educational experiment that blew me away. The mentors were so prepared and did such a great job. Seriously, these are the moments that make education powerful and you forget that these are 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th graders. It was high level learning, social engagement, and questioning like you would not believe. I will add the 5th and 8th graders as soon as I get the pictures on Tuesday.




Week 3 - April 4th - April 8th: Schedule

This is the halfway point of the project. Research should be wrapping up and plans on visiting location and interviews need to be put into place and scheduled. There will only be two weeks left after this week to finalize research and project requirements prior to the last week which is designed to set up the Showcase night.


Monday

No ELP class so I will working behind the scenes to ensure that everyone is ready to go this week and make sure all phone calls and emails have been answered.

Tuesday(4th grade ELP class)

- Gather as a class and share out another fact or two about what we have learned about our project since last week.
- Skill Work: Talk and discuss about how to hold an interview, types of questions to ask, documenting the interview, etc.
- Spend time with each group about their interviews and on location travels
- By the end of the class I want to know that we have everything finalized in terms of interview and location visits

- Provide time to further research and work

Wednesday

- meet with mentors for the first time

- Gather as a class and share out another fact or two about what we have learned about our project since last class.
- Check out research and see where each student is in terms of information- Class activity - Put together an action plan between now and when we meet again next week

Thursday (5th Grade ELP)


- Gather as a class and share out another fact or two about what we have learned about our project since last week.- Make sure each group has finalized their contracts and projects
- Skill Work: Talk and discuss about how to hold an interview, types of questions to ask, documenting the interview, etc.
- Spend time with each group about their interviews and on location travels
- By the end of the class I want to know that we have everything finalized in terms of interview and location visits
- Provide time to further research and work

Friday- meet with mentors for the first time

- Gather as a class and share out another fact or two about what we have learned about our project since last class.
- Check out research and see where each student is in terms of information
- Class activity - Put together an action plan between now and when we meet again next week




Week 2
Here is the Brainstorming and Research Packet. Feel free to provide suggestions and ideas.


We have finished up with our 5th grade bus trip around Bettendorf courtesy of Mr. Collet and I think the students really gained some valuable insight into the city and a few have even decided to change topics and explore some different avenues in their research. I will have some pictures posted on the wiki this weekend. We visited the location of the Bettendorf airport, the flat train at the library, architecture at the library, Bettendorf brothers homes, old Bettendorf factories, Duck Creek, atlatl, and info on pre-historic Native Americans.


I wanted to send this information out to outline how things are going to develop this week. As you know we have early release on Thursday and no school on Friday so we will not be able to meet with our 5th grade class so I think we have devised a plan that will work out the best.

I am going to provide everyone with all the materials in case some want to get a jump on things. This will also be loaded up on the wiki page as well.

Here are the goals that we hope to accomplish next with both 4th and 5th grade
  • 1. Finalize research topic
  • 2. Finalize what final project is going to be so I can begin to make arrangements for the showcase night
  • 3. Begin to gather information from books and internet to build a foundation of our knowledge
  • 4. Brainstorm and gather contact information for interviews and locations to explore

Schedule of the week

Monday

- no ELP class so I will spend that time organizing some potential field trip visits, gathering tour information, and possible people to interview based on any contracts finalized.
- spend time reading and working with any contracts that have been sent my way

Tuesday(4th grade ELP class)

- meet with each student individually to discuss research topic and final project
- provide the rest of class to research and brainstorm
-Teachers provide some guidance to help direct students where they have questions
Today we finalized the contracts. The students came prepared with some excellent topics and ideas.
Here is a list of the 4th grade topics
  • Whitey Ice Cream
  • Palmer
  • Joseph Bettendorf Mansion
  • Corn and Soybean Farming
  • Arsenal - Prison Barracks
  • Central Fire Station
  • Isabel Bloom
  • Buffalo Bill
  • QC Involvment during Civil War
  • Niabi Zoo
  • Mississippi River & Wildlife
  • Architecture
  • Putnam Musuem and Mr. Putnam himself
  • Wildlife - raising quail from the eggs
  • Shoots and Park
  • John Deere - history of the company
  • Wapsi Environmental Center
  • Bix Beiderbecke
Here is a list of the 5th grade topics submitted to me so far.
  • Blackhawk Hotel
  • Nuclear Power Plant
  • Joseph Bettendorf Mansion

Wednesday

- meet with mentors for the first time
-as a class share out what we have learned, questions, concerns, and expectations of project between Wednesday and next Tuesday
-provide time to further research and work

Thursday

-no class so hopefully providing an update to everyone in terms of where we are and where we need to be

Friday

-enjoy a day off

5th graders since we do not have a chance to have class I think are best method for finalizing your contracts is to simply email me.

Send me an email with your topic Try to provide me a direction of where you want to go with your topic. For example, don't just write down Arsenal. Be a little more detailed and tell me what aspect(s) you plan on covering in your research like character study of important people in National cemetery. Also, please provide me a description of what you are going to do with your final project.

I will email you back whether or not I agree with your topic and ideas. I may provide alternatives or some guidance to make sure that we don't have any overlapping topics.

5th graders you will have to gather your research on your own this week since we don't have class time. You don't have to have all of your research complete, but I would recommend getting a start. When we meet the following week I will be looking to see your research packet and track your progress with research, interview potentials, and location visits.

This is not ideal for 5th grade, but there is nothing that we can do about it so we have to make the best of the situation.

I have attached the research packet above. Feel free to take notes in a different method. This is not the best research format, but at least gives you a starting point. I am requiring that you do fill out the Brainstorming sheet.

If you have any questions please let me know. The kids are excited and I am excited and I cannot wait to see what they unravel.



Week 1
  • Day 1: Explain project, go over guidelines, ask questions, begin to think about topics
  • Day 2: Bus Field Trip around Bettendorf to spark interest and show students how much history is sitting all around them(photos coming soon)
    • The bus trip was conducted by Mr. Collett who is not only a great asset to the program as bus driver, but has more information in his head than many of us combined. He took the students around to see
      • Bettendorf Airport(where it used to be)
      • Duck Creek
      • Train @ public library along with discussion of the architecture
      • Pre-Historic Native Americans
      • Geology
      • William Bettendorf mansion(Rivermont today)
      • Gilbert and Lillienthal
      • former parts of the Bettendorf factory
      • view of Joseph Bettendorf mansion
      • Here are few photos from our tour. I have included titles and descriptions on the individual pictures if interested.
  • Wednesday Evening: Meet with parents at 4:00 to discuss project and bring them on board, field any questions
    • Handout was emailed prior to the meeting so we did not have to waste time go over handout
    • Parents are amazing and we are lucky to have such a strong supportive element to our program
    • At the parent meeting I had this blog post up on the overhead. I came across this just that day and thought it fit in perfectly with this project. Here it is for those that could not attend the meeting.


Idea tourism
It's possible for a tourist to visit Times Square in New York City, see nothing new or unexpected, and leave the city unchanged.
Same with the Eiffel Tower in Paris or a shopping mall in Dubai. Tourism doesn't always open your mind, but when it works the way it supposed to, it sure does.
Which brings us to the notion of idea tourism.
It's possible to do a drive-by of some of the big ideas of science or politics or technology and see only what you want to see. I don't think there's a lot of point in that. If you want to truly understand Darwin, then go to a lab and do some experiments. If you want to understand a gun lover, go to a shooting range for an afternoon. If you want to see how social networking will actually change the way ideas spread, go use it. Intensely, and with a purpose in mind.
Only when we try the idea on for size and actually use it do we understand it. With more ideas offering visitation rights than ever before, learning how to empathize with an idea is critical.
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/03/idea-tourism.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2Fsethsmainblog+%28Seth%27s+Blog%29


Resources

This section will be the place for us to share good resources for others to explore.
Things to include here
  • websites
  • books
  • people to talk to
  • tours
  • locations
  • anything else I am not currently thinking about

Kids in Action

This section is to show our kids hard at work. Feel free to submit photos, slideshows, videos, etc. of the students out in the area hard at work. The more we share the more we learn.

Questions and Concerns

If you have a question or need help with something then this might be the place to post so others can give advice and answers. If you don't want to post here remember to simply email me at aarmau@gmail.com or amaurer@bettendorf.k12.ia.us