do your kids do projects?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by clynns, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. clynns

    clynns Companion

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    Jul 28, 2010

    I am interested in having my students do more hands on and projects this year. I am looking for ideas of what types of projects you all have had your students do as home assignments. Thanks
     
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  3. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jul 28, 2010

    We do a lot of projects in class (probably one per week) but I don't like to send them home to do. Parents don't like them and also, the kids obviously don't do most of the work on them.

    One thing we do is a unit on Flat Stanley where the kids send a flat "Johnny" to another place. They also invent an insect using any materials they can-some of them are really creative.
     
  4. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jul 28, 2010

    Kinder-that was just what I was going to say! My philosophy on homework is that it should only really be things that they didn't get done in class due to their own lack of motivation-they were given the time, but didn't get it done.

    That said, we're pushing to teach responsibility this year, so I'm making canvas 'independent study' bags filled with books, hands-on items, etc. that relate to different topics. The kids can pick one each week, work on the accompanying activity sheets and then give a short speech on Monday discussing what they learned. Or talking about if they didn't like the topic after all. This will combine the ability to learn about things we aren't necessarily touching on in class with responsibility with a public speaking aspect. So I guess that's a project! ;)
     
  5. njteach41

    njteach41 Middle School Social Studies Teacher

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    Jul 28, 2010

    i agreee, 90% of my projects are done in class. Students have the option to work on them at home (research, writing, etc). When I used to assign projects to be done at home, it wasn't as effective... pieces were missing, they weren't done at all, or they were done wrong.
     
  6. clynns

    clynns Companion

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    I never thought of the things you all have said. I thought at home projects would give students more ownership. I have a lot to think about now. hmmmm
     
  7. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Please allow some choices in your project assignments. My boys would have rather written a 10 page typed essay for a book report than do a crafty shoebox diorama. I can't tell you how many angry words were uttered around my dining table while working on projects.:2cents:
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    ...and be sure that, should you give home assignments, that the materials don't cost a small fortune (more than a few angry words, and some that can't be printed here, have passed my lips when my children have had to complete projects for which materials cost well over $30).

    I also steer away from projects that are completed primarily at home because there is no way for me to evaluate and grade those projects other than for completion.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 28, 2010

    I don't like 'home' projects- too much parent involvement!! Hard to judge a project that a kid did on his or her own compared to a polished, beautiful, professional project done by mom or dad!:eek:
     
  10. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Jul 28, 2010

    Yes, some of my parents have done very well over the years. :lol:

    Example project from last year. (If I can find them and some one is interested, I could post up the actual assignment). Grade Six. All done at home.

    1. On a full sized poster board, draw a scale model drawing of any building in China (they were studying China in history). Color or paint it to look like the actual building. Calculate the square footage. Calculate square footage of the buildings on the list I gave to the class. Make a bar graph comparing all 10 buildings.

    or choice 2

    2. On a full sized poster board, draw outline of China to scale. Make a mosaic (use construction paper, old magazine pages, color your own paper) using geometric shapes. (1 sq in the largest piece permitted) Make it a relief map by varying the covers. Calculate sq miles/meters of China. Calculate square miles of countries on the list I gave to class. Make a bar graph comparing 10 countries.

    That's what I do. Now, some people may think it too complex or too involved. Then for them it is. At my school, this works. Additionally, no advantage is given for the artistic look. Of course, you always have some kids who feel the need to go to Michael's and buy $30 worth of glitter letters. I discourage it and do not give added points for things of that nature. I emphasize the process over the product. I encourage them to speak about how they got what they got. After all, it was primarily a Math assignment.
     
  11. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Jul 28, 2010

    It really depends on what grade they are in.

    I assign about 6 per year. This year I think I am going to bump it to 8.
    The middle school I feed to does a TON of projects- kids will have 3 or 4 going at a time, and some teachers assign 2 a month. So, I feel like I am better preparing them for MS by assigning take home projects. Plus, they always enjoy them.

    I do have some totally parent completed ones. I am always tempted to give 'Susie' one grade and 'Mom' another :lol:

    I am VERY mindful about the expense of these projects. I very rarely require anything more than a posterboard, some construction paper, or a shoebox. Of course, I always get very elaborate ones.
    Now, I work PT at a MIchaels store in a very wealthy area (not the area I teach in) and am always flabbergasted at the amount of parents buying $40 (or even $100) worth of stuff for a project! I have never assigned anything that has to cost more than $2 or $3!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 28, 2010

    I'm curious--not trying to be "smart", but genuinely curious--how are you able to grade work that is done entirely at home?

    My children's $30+ projects-
    -a scrapbook containing at least 50 student-shot pictures on a specific theme. At least 3 sizes of photos needed to be used and all needed to be creatively displayed in a scrapbook using a variety of papers, decorations and lettering.
    -a foam-core display board showing the plans for a "dream house". For at least 3 of the rooms and one outside space the students needed to include samples of all materials (some are free, some are not) used to decorate the space.
    - an edible model of all components of a computer--all parts needed to be edible and there needed to be enough to feed a class of 30 (This was the stuff of nightmares!)
     
  13. clynns

    clynns Companion

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    Jul 28, 2010

    The projects I was first considering when I posted this was like posters, picture webs, etc. I wasn't going to ask the parents to buy anything extra. I'd make sure I could provide what was needed unless there was something they wanted to buy. I was going to do these projects for mainly science/social studies that they could share with the rest of the class.
     

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