Tomorrow in Class

Illinois State Achievement Tests! Yikes. I really don’t want to say more about that so….

Last week the kids worked on a survey of three STEM resources. The sites included the Minnesota STEM site, the Congressional Research Service Reports for the People, and Educate to Innovate from the White House (see links).

WHY? My students and their parents deserve to see why my school applied for and received a STEM grant.

The kids are working on getting their statistics by reading and analyzing charts. The kids read and took notes from the sources. The rubric specifically says “Find Statistics!” What is so cool about this is they find out the rationale for the grant….very authentic, and then they show their parents.

Tomorrow we finish the research and then the fun starts. I show the videos on Connect a Million Minds. I offer  a choice of two activities. They can make their own movie explaining why they are not like the American kids portrayed, or they can make a linear slide show, explaining to their parents what is STEM and why we have the lab. By the end of the week (?ISATS?), we invite in the parents, we upload to our wiki or the gaggle accounts and it’s show time.

Stop here unless you are looking for some boring but important stuff.

Specific Common Core Standards include

  • Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. Kids have to read the sources, analyze the statistics and make inferences about what they have read. 
  • Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text. Kids evaluate the relationship between the sites and determine an opinion. 
  • Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events Kids will explain to parents why we have the lab or they will use the statistics to explain their own interest in STEM. 
  • Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced. Kids must decide the statistics they want to use and how they will use them in the products. 
  • Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.     
  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience
  • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
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