Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cool Stuff From Last Week - Part II

I am aware that "Last Week" is actually two three a few weeks ago, but I promised to report on it...

I mentioned in Part I, that the girls presented their Class Expert projects last week a few weeks ago. Pepper did hers on volcanoes and presented on Tuesday, and Norah did hers on The Great Wall of China (click photo to enlarge)

She and Max sat researching in front of the computer on several separate occasions. They started with the basics: what; where; when; why; who; how.

She jotted down the questions and answers and ended up with a pretty concise history of China as it is represented by the Great Wall. She then was able to present and discuss the subject in front of her classmates with ease.

In grade 1, she did an awesome project on the solar system. Her and Max started with a soccer ball as the sun, then did calculations to figure out how big and far away the planets would be away. They made them all out of plasticine, and for the presentation, Norah took the class out into the hall put the soccer ball/sun at one end and paced out how far the planets would be. If I recall, she was able to demonstrate Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter before she got to the end of the hall. She then had to explain the approximate location of the others, like "over on Fleet", and "at the community centre". Also: "the next closest star would be in Calgary"

In grade 2, she did a PowerPoint presentation with a video on taking care of her Betta, Nemo (still swimming, by the way!)

OK, so I realize this isn't the most stellar and fascinating of posts, but it's been "out there" picking away at me for while. Also I've got to post some dawgs every once in a while to showcase the awesomaucity of the rest of them. Consider this the plain bridesmaid in the ugly dress making the bride look even more stunning. It's got a nice personality, but, y'know.

[Does anyone else do a once-over of a hyper enlarged photo of things in your living room before posting to make sure there aren't any underpants on the floor, or beer-bottles or knives laying around? No? Just me?]

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  1. Nice presentation! She covers all the relevant bits well. But if she had asked me, I
    could have told her the most important aspect
    of the Great Wall today, and it is this: On the way up to the wall, the hawkers want $20 for their crappy t-shirts, but on the way down they'll accept $1!.

    My kids have done similar presentations but have had less freedom in the choice of their topics. So far I've seen detailed presentations created on porcupines, on peasants in medieval times, on Terry Fox, and on Iceland. I've made them do the work but have helped them find images online to illustrate their work. And I've asked leading questions to help them fill in the gaps that they don't realize are there. I assume that the teachers assume that my kids didn't do all the work, but honestly, I don't. And I made my eldest provide a bibliography for her latest project to prove she hadn't copied it all off the WWW.

    Any thoughts on how to inculcate anti-plagiarism mechanisms in your kids' brains? My fear is that with the WWW it's just too easy to do and kids might not learn what's right.

    Of course, being comparatively well-read on the topic of Icelandic emigration to Canada (fairly narrow category there, but when it pops up on Wheel Of Fortune I'm gonna clean up) I know a lot about historical Iceland off the top of my head. I provided a lot of wacky but true stuff on a silver platter and it was discarded in the "no way, you're kidding" pile, because even at this age there's no way Daddy can be right.

  2. In 4th grade, we each had to do a report on a country. I got China. I spent countless hours in the library using the Encycopledia Britannica 'cuz that's all we had. I think my report was a combination of hand written pages, maybe one or two photos, and some crayon drawings. For the day of the presentation (which was totally a BIG DEAL - I mean this was the BIG BIG 4th Grade presentation and could totally make or break your chances of going onto 5th Grade...), I also brought in cold noodles with sesame sauce and fortune cookies. I think I got an A. But that may had something to do with the fact that my teacher was 400 lbs. and really enjoyed the noodles. Not entirely sure.

    (So yes - I am marveling at the skills wee ones have today and feeling rather ancient...)

  3. Pleas ingore all fo my typoes amd gramatical erors. No caffeine eyt.

  4. Albert - I just learned a new word today, thanks. I had to read it twice, wondering why you would want to innoculate them from anti-plagerism! I don't know how to bring that message home. We have lots of discussions about copying in general. Norah has a plan to write a series of books that is a little too similar to a series of books she reads, so we've had plenty of "how would YOU feel" discussions - informal. I'm not discouraging her from writing them, I just told her she can't make any money on them! ;-)

    I'm more concerned with getting them to think critically about what they *find* "out there". How to decide what is fact and what is just some idiot droning on and on and on... No answers yet...

    Country Girl - You learned a valuable lesson early on: find their weakness, and exploit it. This was an especially important lesson in the days prior to "No Fail"! Also, I didn't notice any gremeticar ellrors until you made me go bak & luk.

  5. I always check for incriminating evidence in my photos! My eldest has just finished a poster on the nervous system. This time they had to do a poster. They usually have a choice of presentation model and he always chooses power point presentation, so I was glad that he had to have a crack at the traditional model.