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  #1  
Old 06-24-2010, 08:45 AM
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amakaye amakaye is offline
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Enrichment Project Ideas

I'm thinking about how to do a better job enriching and challenging my higher students next year, and I'm trying to figure out a way to do some individual inquiry/research projects during choice time.

My basic idea right now is to have them choose a topic they want to learn more about, and then have some sort of packet or form for them to gather information on. When they have finished their research, I would like them to be able to choose how to share what they've learned.

Has anyone done anything like this? Any tips for making this independent and engaging, yet providing enough guidance for them to be successful? Ideas for organizing this? I'm also thinking we could start the year by all doing one together...
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  #2  
Old 06-24-2010, 09:22 AM
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Teaching Grace Teaching Grace is offline
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I like the idea of a packet. I think I would some how limit their topic choices such as a science or social studies topic that you covered previously that they would like to know more about. I would include a type of performance piece like doing a diorama, brochure, or other project. You could even have them do a short 1 page paper in addition. Then you could have a rubric for the paper and a rubric for the project portion. They could be required to do both or choose which they would like to do. They would love the independence of being able to have a say in what they do!
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  #3  
Old 06-24-2010, 09:35 AM
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amakaye amakaye is offline
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I was trying to think of ways to limit it, too. I'm thinking I'll have a packet for a couple different categories. That way, the packet could be kind of tailored to the topic. I'm trying to think of early units to review or also ways to preview things we will do throughout the year. Right now, I'm thinking either plants or animals and some type of famous places (maybe geographical landmarks--Mt. Everest, etc.). That way I can easily change out the topics as we cover new things or their interests change. I'm also toying with the idea of adding in some sort of 'fun' units that we don't really get to cover but are related to things we do--for example, we read The Whipping Boy, so I might do something with castles/knights then. This just started floating around my head yesterday, so at some point I'll really have to sit down and figure out how to make it work!
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:00 AM
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Danny'sNanny Danny'sNanny is offline
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I would just have my kids write me a letter - what they wanted to research and what help/materials they would need from me.

If they couldn't find the info easily in our classroom/school library/ computers, I would pick something up at the public library on my next trip.

My kids really liked having research as a choice activity, and my walls were covered with posters they created!

I would have them share their poster during morning meeting for a few minutes.

I really did almost no work for these... helping find a book or website occasionally... And I did have veto rights on their topics - in their letters to me they had to explain why this project would help them grow and learn. (So, a report on different kinds of lizards was fine, "Why I Want a Motorcycle" got turned down... now maybe if he'd wanted to do "how a motorcycle works" or something like that...)
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:20 AM
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amakaye amakaye is offline
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Danny'sNanny--did you give them any direction on how to research or what kind of poster/project to create?
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  #6  
Old 06-24-2010, 04:46 PM
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Danny'sNanny Danny'sNanny is offline
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I really didn't (is that horrible of me?)

We have 3 big research projects during the year, and a few small ones (for the kids that have finished their big project to work on while we wait for the stragglers)

So they pretty much knew how to read for information and where to look.

Each person/ group (they could work in 2-3 if they wanted) had a very different looking finished project. Some wrote papers, some typed them, some made posters, some typed things and glued them onto posters...

What I liked best was that it was very student driven. It was their 'extra' time, so they were self-motivated and creative!
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  #7  
Old 06-24-2010, 05:27 PM
Scout About Scout About is offline
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Mastery Club

I am going to try a Mastery Club for the first time. It's great because the topics are fairly simple (I teach third grade), there are 84 enrichment ideas, there is no teacher prep work, nor is there any time-consuming grading. I've been contemplating it for a few years, but I was hesitant to do an all on-line type of enrichment. Last week, I came across a teacher's website that just had the questions posted in her classroom. The students could choose to research on-line or using books. If you want more info, just google Mastery Club or Whiz Kid Club. The one that I am using is called Young Einsteins club.
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  #8  
Old 06-24-2010, 07:12 PM
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Hoot Owl Hoot Owl is offline
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INteacher posted this link in another thread and I've found it priceless.

Here it is:http://daretodifferentiate.wikispaces.com/Choice+Boards
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Every day of your life 1) Meet a new friend 2) Ask an intelligent question 3) Learn something new
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  #9  
Old 06-25-2010, 09:24 AM
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amakaye amakaye is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny'sNanny View Post
I really didn't (is that horrible of me?)


What I liked best was that it was very student driven. It was their 'extra' time, so they were self-motivated and creative!
Not at all! I'm glad to hear they were able to be independent and still successful--that's what I was hoping to do Thanks for all of the ideas...

Hoot, what a great site! Already bookmarked

I've toyed with the idea of the mastery club, but I want to do something that encourages kids to dig deeper into a topic.
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