Sunday, January 31, 2016

Capstone Projects - Taking Notes #resvt #vsla #tlchat

How to take notes
  • Read a section of text
  • Think about the new information until it makes sense
  • Ask yourself, “Does this information help answer my research question?”
  • Connect new information with what you knew before
  • Write down the important words

Fact Fragment Frenzy (Click on Demo)

Adapted from Grade 4 Writing Workshop model by Calkins and Cockerille. Bringing History to Life. Heinemann, 2013.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

How to Turn a Good Topic into a Great Research Question #resvt #vsla

The next step in our fourth grade enrichment library classes is for the scholars to create research questions for their Capstone Projects. Scholars will start by asking themselves, What do I already know about my topic? And what am I curious about?

A good research question:

1) Needs information from sources other than yourself

2) Can be researched—you can find information to help you answer it

3) Broad enough for you to learn a lot about your topic - a Yard Question, not an Inch or Foot Question

4) Narrow enough to answer in three or four classes of research - a Yard question, not a Mile Question that would take forever to answer!

5) often (not always) begins with “why” or “how”

6) clearly worded

7) encourages deeper understanding of the topic

8) you want to know the answer!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Capstone Project Introduction #resvt #vsla #vted

Fourth graders are beginning Capstone Projects in their Enrichment Library classes. They will be spending the next five months working on these individual research projects on topics they choose themselves. The scholars will be completing the following steps as they learn and present their new knowledge:

  • Choose a topic
  • Choose a research question
  • Research and take notes
  • Choose how to present your research findings 
  • Create your presentation to share your research findings
  • Evaluate your presentation with a rubric

Here's a presentation we viewed with the scholars about the Capstone process. We look forward to sharing more about these projects as the spring goes on!

Examples of Capstone Projects from previous years
Erickson Capstone Projects 2015
Berliner Capstone Projects 2015 
Senning Capstone Projects 2015 

capstone image from Ceridwen. "Gwal-y-filiast Capstone." Wikimedia Commons, 5 Mar. 2011. Web. 22 Aug. 2012.