Project-Based Learning!

So picture’s Friday afternoon, and our thinking caps have been on high all week.  My kids have spent the morning working through spelling and vocabulary assessments and I could see that they were close to their wit’s end.  However, I wanted to make sure that the students had a clear understanding of our comprehension skill for the week  (which was character/setting/plot), but when I announced that we had one more assessment, I heard a cry from the peanut gallery “oh momma mia!”  I couldn’t help but break out into laughter.  So we decide to put those privacy folders back on the shelf and move into some project-based learning.  I allowed my kiddies to select a book from my “teacher favorites” book bin… and what do you know… they chose David Goes to School by David Shannon (a clear favorite every year). 

We gathered on our reader’s rug and I read them the story.  From there, students were placed into cooperative learning groups and asked to work with their group to plan and design their project.  Below is the project based learning worksheet I used from Jeremie Tharp called First Grade ELA Common Core Assessments Part One.  The driving question behind this assignment was, “How do we, as first graders, show that we understand the characters, setting, and plot in a book to others?”

Students were given a few tasks… first, they choose their project type (poster, model, or writing)…second, they discuss the materials they will need for this project…and third, (with my guidance) they determine group member’s roles and responsibilities.  However, I must say their favorite part was choosing the materials.  From around the room I could hear cries of excitement “smelly markers”, “googly eyes”, “pompoms”, “glitter, glitter and more glitter!”

The assessment ended with the students presenting their projects to their classmates.  

I must say... you know you've had a successful week when all your students thrive and soar while participating in the task.  Not to mention you will definitely receive more hugs too!  I have added a freebie for those who are interested.  It is my Student Self Assessment rubric for projects and presentations. Enjoy! Check out our TPT site here for more freebies this month. 


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