Tuesday, October 9, 2012

First Day of IBL

After a few weeks of build up we finally started our first week of in class projects. Last Friday students were given a question and a project proposal sheet. Questions varied but were all topically the same. The unit we are studying is Mesopotamia so one question was: What features would an area need to give birth to and encourage the growth of a civilization? Be sure to include information about Mesopotamia and why it is called the "cradle of civilization."

The proposal sheet asked students to think about what information they already knew, where they could find additional information and ultimate what kind of project they were going to create to demonstrate the answer. I'll put a copy as a tab off of the main page.

I was really excited for students to start researching and working, I knew from experience last year that despite the fact I'm constantly circling and checking in, many students would stop working until i could get to them, or in some cases follow me around. I saw an elementary school teacher on Pinterest that used different color cups to signify when a student needed help, I adapted it with flags for my class today and it worked great:


Green = I'm all set and working hard
Yellow = I need help but I can keep working, check in with me ASAP
Red = I need help and I cannot keep working. Check in immediately.

I tried to emphasize to the kids that most questions would be "yellow flag" questions and to only use red if it was something I needed to leave their classmate to come and help them with. It worked really well, I only had one red question all day, and it was an actual red flag question. The flags helped me to see who was struggling and use my time more efficiently. 

Here are some pictures of the students work today, all of these projects were thought of and developed by students, I'm excited to see how they turn out:


This was only the first day so these are all still in the planning/first steps phase but so far so good!

If you flip your class what do you do with your new found class time?

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