Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mapping Date Details-April 9th

The project-based learning planning process is so much better with a group. Everyone sees the project from different perspectives. This allows the project to have richness and depth. This aspect really shows its presence in this meeting.

Our meetings are much more fluid now that everyone knows the big picture and are excited about the effect it will have on the students. Currently, our team has most of the lowest performing students. The majority of the students are Hispanic with English as their second language. Regardless of demographics, most of the students are at a 4th grade reading level. Many of the students also do not perform well in mathematics. With this in mind, I am curious how much of an impact project-based learning has on low performing students. I am going to research how I can successfully track the results of this project.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss any changes to the rubrics and map out specific deadlines. Our meeting began with an examination of most of the rubrics. The menu rubric was not discussed because no one had received a copy yet. We started with the research rubric since I had a question about it. The research report rubric seemed more like a formal paper than the planning process Deann (science) presented in a prior meeting. She agreed and decided to change the title as well as some of the other components.

Discussion how the research would focus on the scientific method lead into the true elements of the survey. Instead of looking at questions and proper calculation, the students will look at questions on how students would want to change the cafeteria as well as culturally relevant food. Students will provide questions to create one survey. Ben suggested to get at least three questions from each group since their actually may only be one good question in the questions. Therefore, the survey rubric will need to reflect an emphasis on question amount and formating. This also changes the graphing rubric to include proper calculation and diagramming in it instead of the survey.

The business proposal rubric was decided to remain unchanged. However, turning my review once again of the rubrics, I thought sources should be added. This was on the research rubric but seemed even more appropriate with the business proposal. I discussed this with Ben and he said teaching them correct referencing may be too much. I suggested that it did not need to be extensive but just something so they an be aware of not taking others words as their own. He said he would rather not teach them at all then have them unlearn the wrong way. I wonder if this is really the right direction.

Time quickly flew in this meeting with the majority focused on the rubrics discussion. We quickly moved through setting dates. I was glad I had an agenda for everyone to see what we needed to schedule and time frame. With the Microsoft Outlook calendar projected on the screen, we went through who would be responsible for obtaining and dates of interviews/products.

Interviewing the cafeteria manager and principal will be a combined session as soon as the project starts. We decided to see their availability for April 28th to May 2nd. Mary (special education-English) and Debra (social studies) led the way for acquiring these confirmations. Deann's research strategy would be done by April 29th. The survey questions are done by May 1st with the actual completion of the survey done by May 9th. We are going to use Zoomerang or InspireData for the collection of the responses. The remaining dates were menu for May 16th and final business proposal on May 23rd. There may be a rough draft of the proposal but this will be left up to Ben.

As the meeting was quickly ending, I proposed one idea for launching the project. On April 25th, we would take the students to the cafeteria. It will be used as the launching pad to discussion and brainstorming. I asked everyone to think of any additional ideas for the next meeting.

If you want to see the rubrics, check out under documents.

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