Introduction Getting Ready
Learning Circles Teachers' Guide
Open Circle Plan Projects Share Work Publish
Close Circle Overview

Organizing Project Work

Here are three ideas for organizing students review of Learning Circle project materials:

1. Creating a Database to Organize Project Work

Your Learning Circle project might provide an opportunity to teach your students how to use a database program. Here are some ideas of how to use a database either to analyze information collected for their Learning Circle project or to organize the review process of the articles received from the other classrooms

Analyzing Project Information:

Students can set up a database for the project and add information as it is supplied by the other classrooms. Help the students understand how to code, display and print different presentations of the data. In this way, students can see how this tool helps them understand the relationships in their information.

Organizing the Review Process

As each article is received, students can code it for site, topic, length. Two reviewers can rate the article for quality and interest using a set of criteria that students have agreed on. This information is entered into the database program. At the end of the period of exchange, the students display the information by school and use it to help decide which articles will be selected from each of the partner schools.

2. Team Analysis of Project Information

A team approach can be a very effective way of involving the whole class in the analysis of the information. Divide your class into teams so that there is one team for each of the schools responding to your project. As information is received, the team can send back questions about anything that is unclear. They will become the "classroom experts" on the distant location. Each team works on writing a short summary of their information. Then have a class discussion in which you ask the students to compare the results from your classroom, item by item, with the information from the other sites. Each team representing a different classroom should be able to see relationships between their own class data and that of the distant classroom. In this way, the group discussion should help everyone see the differences and similarities across the locations.

3. Individual Evaluation (Student Writing)

Another strategy is to put all written work in a special folder with evaluation sheets. Across the top of the evaluation sheets are headings like the following: Interesting Topic, Well Written, Rich in Details, Informative, Strong Beginning, Good Organization, Unusual Ending. At the bottom of the evaluation sheets are three lines for final recommendations: accept, accept with revisions, reject.

Whenever students have time, they read an article and make comments under the appropriate headings with their initials and fill out one line at the bottom of the page recommending an action (accept, revise or reject) on the article. When an article has been read by three different readers, with at least two people agreeing on a recommendation, the article is moved to the action folders. Students can create graphics to accompany accepted articles.



Copyright © 1997, 2002, Margaret Riel