Project: 2015 Spring - Writing with Impact

Teacher: Melissa McGlasson
School: Timberline PK8
Location: Longmont, Colorado USA
Start Date: 01/15/2015
End Date: 05/14/2015
Project Plan
Unique Requests of
Participating Mentors:

We are interested in working with mentors who wish to assist a student develop research skills, and learn the skills of project management, collaboration and reflection. We are also interested in mentors who have an understanding of natural resources used in the local community.

Description:

Students will team with mentors to find the intersection between their interests, natural abilities and a real issue as identified by community professionals. 1. Students research natural resources used in the community and identify a research problem associated with this resource. 2. Students determine how writing can positively impact and address the research question. 3.Students develop a research plan with the mentor's help. 4.Students utilize expertise from mentors and topic experts in order to conduct research and answer research questions. 5.Students execute the plan.

Benchmarks:

Students demonstrate an effective use of research practices to generate and link knowledge across disciplines and in a variety of contexts. Students identify, locate, select, and use resource tools to help in analyze, synthesize, and communicate information. Students identify and employ appropriate tools, techniques, and technologies essential to conducting relevant and effective research. Students locate, select, and synthesize information from a variety of texts, media, references, and technological sources to acquire and communicate knowledge. Students use available technology to produce, revise, and publish a research project. Students cite references using MLA format as a Works Cited.

Duration:

20

Grade Level:

6

Content Area:

Language Arts

Student Outcomes:

Student will maintain a digital notebook with all correspondence and products. Students will share the process of this project with their mentors, local experts, and the community of people impacted by their work. Student work will go through multiple iterations of draft, feedback, draft with help from mentors. Students will reflect at a minimum of once a week. Students will reflect on their progress, their thinking, and their mentor will respond to their thinking in order to help the student clarify their thinking and/or deepen their thought process. Students will respond to their mentor about their thinking and process. Students will reflect on and share the gap between the current state of their work and the project rubric. Working with feedback from their mentor, students revise and edit their research project. Students share their working research document (through Google docs or a similar word processing program) a minimum of once a week. Students will assess their progress throughout this process. At the end of the project, students will look at their thinking at the beginning, middle and end so they can evaluate themselves and their progress. Students will also share their pre and post views of collaboration as well as the detailed help they received from the mentor.

Evaluation of
Student Outcomes:

Students publish a final research project meeting the Common Core standards based rubric for a research project. Student will write a 300-word letter to mentor. The letter will be a self- evaluation of the project, including what the student did well, how the project could be improved, and what the mentor contributed to the process.

Teacher Role:

Teacher's Role: Teacher will aid students in identifying research questions. Teacher will help student understand research processes including writing a thesis statement, evaluating resources, and composing cohesive introductory, body, and conclusion paragraphs. Teacher will evaluate student products.

Mentor Role:

Mentor's Role: Mentor will aid students in developing and researching the research project. Mentor will encourage student completion of project goals and edit student work before it is sent to experts or published. Mentor will encourage student thinking, help students evaluate their work, and communicate with the teacher when the process is both going well and when additional assistance is needed.