Thursday, February 12, 2015

Capstone Projects - Taking Notes #resvt #vsla #tlchat

When you take notes, you are trying to take out just the important words and ideas you will need later. Here's a video about taking notes to get you started:

Fact Fragment Frenzy (Click on Demo)

Things to remember:
  • write the big idea in the box
  • write your supporting details on the bulleted lines 
  •  write a citation on your bibliography page the first time you write down anything from a source

Monday, February 9, 2015

Capstone Project Research Questions #resvt #geniushour #vted

RES fourth graders have been working on their interest-based Capstone Projects, and they have each developed a research question they will use to focus their investigations. We are so impressed by the thoughtfulness of the questions! Our students have a great breadth of interests, and we can't wait to see the results of their research!

-Mrs. Rankin and Mrs. Redford

Capstone Project Research Questions

  • How could the cars of the future be different from cars today?
  • How was Magic: The Gathering created?
  • What are the top three endangered animals and why are they endangered?
  • How did Stan Lee create his comics?
  • How does the human brain work?
  • How are fossils made?
  • Why have animated cartoons changed over time?
  • Why was the Roman army so effective?
  • How do dogs and puppies communicate with humans?
  • Why did dinosaurs go extinct?
  • Why are there so many categories of magic tricks, and what are the differences between them?
  • How were the Greek and Roman armies the same and different?
  • Who built Stonehenge, and why and how did they build it?
  • How do people make video games?
  • How is American Sign Language different and the same from baby sign language?
  • How are different special effects made in movies?
  • How did Lea Michelle become famous?
  • How do marine animals get injured and how do they get rehabilitated by people?
  • Why are wolves almost gone from America and are they coming back?
  • How do you get touch screen electronics to work?
  • How are the engines in muscle cars the same and different as engines in sports cars?
  • How does bats' echolocation work and why do they have it?
  • How are card games made compared to how board games are made?
  • What are the differences between various species of seals?
  • How do you make an iPad game that makes sense and works well?
  • What do you need to learn to decorate a great cake?
  • How do magicians do magic tricks and illusions?
  • What is the history of firefighting how is it different today?
  • How do you build different types of pyrotechnics?
  • How will people travel in the future?
  • How will new technology affect America in the future?
  • How has space gear changed over time?
  • How does ADHD affect your body?
  • How is a Russian child's day different and the same as an American child's day?
  • How has Jennifer Lawrence's life changed over the years?
  • How do different mammals communicate in different ways?
  • Why do different people eat different food in different countries?
  • How do artists design and create pottery?
  • How did the plague affect society in the Middle Ages?
  • How do movie makers create special effects and makeup in the Harry Potter movies?
  • How and why do people build convertible sports stadiums?
  • How are different styles of houses designed?

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Big6 Steps for Information Literacy #resvt #vsla #tlchat

Big6 logo.png

Fourth grade students will be using the Big6 steps for information literacy as they research and prepare their Capstone Projects. The Big6 steps are:

#1 - Task Definition

What is my research task? What types of information do I need?

#2 - Information Seeking Strategies

What are possible sources? Which sources are best for me?

#3 Location and Access

Where is each source? Where is the information in each source?

#4 Use of Information

How can I best use each source? What information in each source is useful?

#5 Synthesis

How can I organize all the information? How can I present the result?

#6 Evaluation

Is the task completed? How can I do things better?

The Big6 approach was developed by longtime educators Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz as a way to help students structure their research process. More information about the Big6 is available at

Students are currently completing Step 1 by developing their research questions. They have come up with some amazing research questions already, and we plan to share these questions on this blog in the next few weeks.

Big6 skills and image are from