Friday, September 14, 2012

Why I Love Teaching - 4th Grade Interest Inventory

This week in ELP we began to investigate what our students are interested in studying for the year. We follow a model in which we try to match our projects, units, and curriculum to their passion and interests. We have 16 4th grade students from our 6 elementary buildings in our class. We gave them a piece of paper in which they had to write down two things.

1. Interests about Bald Eagles(this is our theme for the year)
2. Student interest,hobbies, things they want to study that does not pertain to eagles(at least in their mind)

We gave them most of the class. During this time we talked about prior projects, potential projects, and some ideas we have as teachers. They asked lots of questions and their gears just turned and turned.

Here is the list of topics they came up with in about 20 minutes or so of brainstorming.

4th Grade ELP Interest Inventory

Body Parts - beak II, eyes IIII, feathers II, wings II, talons,
Nest II
Hunting III
Eagle Poster
Flight IIII
Eagle Website
Eaglets II

Student Interest

Skype Math IIII (4)
Penpals IIIIIIIII (9)
Lego Robotics II (2)
Owl Pellets IIIIIIIIIII (11)
Architecture II (2)
Study Cows
Mystery Skype IIIIIIIIII (10)
Goose Poop Study IIIIII (6)
Quail Camera IIIIII (6)
Animals III- pandas, bunnies, dogs II, monarchs IIIII, dolphins II, flamingos, komodo dragons, lions, gila monsters, aardvarks, platypus, cobras
Plays II (2)
Candy Factories
Animation - claymation IIIIIIIII (9)
lightwire II (2)
Eco-Meet IIIIIIIII (9)
Outer Space, Universe II (2)
Theory of Relativity
Safety Case for Chips(makes think of Pringle Challenge)
Egg Drop IIIIIII (7)
Website Creation
Geode Hunting IIII (4)
Greek Alphabet
Dissection IIIII (5)
Aerial Engineering II (2)
Electrical Engineering
Bettendorf Mansion IIII (4)
Language and Culture
Underwater/Ocean III (3)
Shark attacks 1916
Drawing II (2)
Secret Passages

Look at the wide array of topics. Look how awesome these ideas are to investigate further. The downside is that we don't have enough time to cover them all, but we will try our best. It is now time to craft some projects and units based around their interests and see what we can develop. I love this time of year. It keeps me fresh as a teacher. These students force to push myself out of my personal comfort zone to meet their needs.

We had a great first week together. I look forward to a fantastic year.

This is why I love teaching. The passion for learning from my students only fuels my passion to teach.

5th grade list will be coming over the weekend.

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