Friday, December 6, 2013

Science Research Project

Here is a long over due blog post!!! And it's regarding the science research project I HOPE you have heard about from your sixth grader!

The purpose of the assignment is to develop research strategies and time management skills. Plus, students have the opportunity to select a topic they are interested in, and create a project that utilizes their creativity.

Research Strategies: I taught the SQRRR research and note taking method. S: Survey the text. Q: Form questions based on what the text has to offer. Question words are the Five w's: who, what, when, where, why, and how. R: Read the text, focusing on the answers to your questions. R: Record the answers, include facts or examples. R: Review your notes, checking that your questions are answered. We practiced this method in class. Also, students have a packet with this information for reference, and was sent home 12/6.

Time Management: Confession... I am a BIG procrastinator; not so much at work, but at home. For example, I don't fold laundry till there are mountains of it on the couch, or someones on their way over to visit! In school there will be many times when students feel like they have all the time in the world to finish... until it's the night before it's due! Those due dates sneak up on ya! I have provided the students with a timeline of tasks and due dates, so try to take it one bite at a time!
This chart was sent home on 12/4. It should be in your child's binder.
Description of task
Due on or before
Done/Teacher approval Comments
Choose a topic and project
·         Complete a graphic organizer (provided) to show what you learned
·         List all websites and book titles (bibliography)
·         Begin work on your project
The graphic organizer is a worksheet I provide, and we will complete this mostly in class. I provide a rough draft of the bibliography, but students will type it or rewrite it at home.
Complete your project and bring to class.
Present your research in a 2-5minute speech.
Week of 12/16 or 1/6
The presentation will be the week before Christmas Break or the first week back in January. Students will sign up on 12/10.

Creativity and Choice: This project provides students more ownership of their learning since it hinges on their choices. Students can choose an astronomy related topic, and create any justifiable project. I am hoping to see some arts and craftsmanship talents shining through! Please allow your child to do the majority of the work. I know it's tempting to take charge or fix things. It should look like a sixth grader did the work! Parents should be the supervisor, not the worker bee. Be the coach, not the one making the basket! :) 

Research and Bibliography (continued below)
Rather than sift through 2,000,000 hits on Google, I've compiled some kid-friendly websites with facts and info about Astronomy. I sent this list home on 12/2.

National Geographic Education, Student homepage, search able like an encyclopedia

NASA- for students, search able by subject

Smithsonian for kids, searchable like an encyclopedia  The nice thing about this website, is it tells you how to cite the article for a bibliography!
Bibliography In class, we practiced finding publisher, city, date, etc. Sample Student Bibliography is listed below.  I also sent this home on Friday, 12/6.

Rewrite or type neatly using the format shown here. The requirement for the project is a minimum of two hard copies and two online sources.

Last Name, First Name. Name of the book. City of publication: Publisher’s name, Copyright Date.
O’Henry, John. Space. New York: Scholastic, 2001.

Magazine Article
Author. “Title of article.” Name of magazine, date, pages.
Markham, Lois. “A Gallery of Dwarf Planets.”
National Geographic for Kids, August 2010:6-7.

Encyclopedia (print)
Author(last name, first name). “Name of article.” Name of Encyclopedia.
City: Publisher, Copyright Date.
“Black Holes.” World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago: World Book, Inc. 2005.

World Wide Web
Author. “Title” Group Title. Date created. Institution.
Date you saw it. URL
Fuller, John.  "Why are there dozens of dead animals floating in space?"  17 March 2008. <>  29 November 2013

Any questions? If you have further questions on the expectations, please email me or comment below!