Friday, April 20, 2012

Collaboration and Higher Level Research

As I wrote about in an earlier post: choice is the key when allowing students to pick their own research topics.  The next big piece in our research is collaboration through our class wiki. This year we are using the wiki for three purposes.
a.  students explain why they chose their topic
b.  a place holder for their links that they will use when they compose their own wonder
c.  a place where students cam comment to each other and help each other with links they might find for their friend

Here are some snap shots of some amazing learning that have already occurred from our class wiki.

These virtual conversations really pushed the students to excel in their research.  They were excited to share links and help each other push their writing.  One student shared their 4th grade weather book with a friend. Connections with family trips as well as science class were amazing.  Then the conversations boiled over into our classroom the next morning. 
I would suggest considering research projects to extend beyond the classroom walls.


  1. How exciting! Thanks for the idea for a way to extend inquiry on to my class blog! We are starting another inquiry focus next week! :)

    Have you ever tried chain reaction inquiry? It is when a student researches the answer to one question. Then based on the information found researches another question. For example, I might research why the Ohio barns have the logo on them, since I learn they use scale drawings I might research more on scale drawings, then while researching scale drawings I find out that a famous artist used this method and I might research that artist. It is fun to see how they apply their new knowledge? Kind of sounds like...If you give a mouse a cookie :)

  2. I haven't heard of chain reaction but it sounds like a great learning process that is not so concrete. I like the fact they learn a new fact and then build on the new idea. Will have to investigate this summer.

  3. For sure we need to set some dates before farmer's markets, gardening and vacations take all of our time. I can hardly wait!!!