Project 1: Project Groundhog

  General Information

Lead Teacher(s): Darrell Stacey - Computer Resource/Grade Three
(dstacey@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)
School: Bishop's Falls Elementary
1 Canning's Lane
Bishop's Falls, NF
Grade Level: Grade Three Students
Number of Students: 18
Project Start and Finish Dates: Six weeks commencing February 1998

  Project Overview

Bishop's Falls Elementary will be involved in a project that involves the children in a vast telecommunications endeavor. It promotes technology through a meaningful approach and makes a means whereby curriculum is received through inquiry rather than solely with direct instruction. The name of this project is entitled, Project Groundhog.

  Curriculum Connections

Project Groundhog is aimed at covering most curriculum areas. Its main focus covers objectives in Science, Math, Social Studies, and Language Arts.Even through the project is organized in such a way that participants must follow set requirements, it is also designed for the creative participants as well. Project Groundhog requires the students to explore the nature of Groundhog Day. They gather predictions, while they explore whether or not the Groundhog is a good weather indicator. Weather analyst look at the Groundhog myth to predict the remainder of winter in various parts of our country. Children learn about this and determine for themselves the reliability of this ancient indicator.

For a period of six weeks, participants will monitor and record daily temperature and the sky conditions for each day. They learn the process of data collection and organization, basic statistical analysis, graphing, and the interpretation of it. All weather patterns are recorded and it is of special interest if weather conditions warrant school closure. All of this information is recorded and shared on a weekly basis with other participating schools. We will share temperatures and conditions on a regular basis via electronic mail. Not only have we decided to share weather, but also other curriculum related information that interest the children.

  Resource Connections

This project is providing opportunity for the children to:

  1. Examine weather patterns by exploring the issue of reliability and accuracy.
  2. Use various mathematical skills to record and graph their weather data on a daily and weekly basis.
  3. Assume responsibility to maintain their data sharing with other schools.
  4. Learn the importance and reliability of telecommunications technology as a means of correspondence.
  5. Use and effectively monitor telecommunications software as a means of data delivery.
  6. Share with other students provincially, nationally and internationally, emphasizing that telecommunications can bring our world together.
  7. Complete work online and discover the advantage of it through a 'hands on' approach.
  8. See learning as an inquiry approach through a variety of possible techniques.

  Evaluation

The project is organized in such a way that children are directly involved with correspondence as they collect data and report on it. This procedure will be ongoing for a duration of six weeks. Every day the students are in school, they record the temperature with their outdoor thermometer and the weather condition of the day. This data is recorded and reported at the end of each week. The class is responsible to create their own groundhog and give their imaginary friend a name. Adding a personal identity to this project through their imaginary groundhog will motivate the children to pursue other activities associated with this idea. activities through Language Arts, Science and Social Studies have emerged through the first week of the project. Motivation level is very high. Even though this project is designated for a six weeks duration, our intention is to have the children continue their correspondence online with schools currently involved with this project. Our purpose in doing this is mainly for regional comparison since each part of our world continues to go through climate changes throughout the year. Our class will be responsible to share their findings through telecommunications and keep a personal log of their climate compared to that of others around our world.

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