Kanani is printing out the new messages
as the students begin to collect in the classroom.
"Did we get any survey responses?" asks Marie as she looks through
"I saw our topic heading on part of the message from Virginia. I
think on the second page. Oh, and there's a message from Alaska,
"Have you moved them to the editor's disk?" asks Kathy.
"Not yet, will you go and get it and I'll do it as soon as we're
Michelle watches as students eagerly read through
the messages. She is pleased not only with her students' work
but with the level of responsibility they have shown on this project.
The students have taken over the task of printing the messages
and posting them on their Learning Network display under the names
of each location. They take down the old messages and put them
in the Learning Circle binder under the school name.
The messages with material for their project are
put on a special "Project Disk" so that they will be able to locate
all of the materials and responses for their final project summary
for the Circle publication. She got them a bright red disk so
that it is easy to find. Survey responses are added to a large
data chart in the back of the classroom.
"Today," Michelle begins, "we are going to start
planning how to present our information. We have asked students
to send us responses to six questions. Many of them listed the
same or similar ideas in their responses. How should we present
them? Do you want to make a complete list of all of the responses
to one question or do you want to list responses by location?"
"On our chart we've been adding the answers so that we have a
total list for what everyone has sent. Do we want to just type
in the list?" asks Ariel.
"I don't know, Ariel. What do you think we should do?" responds
"I think we should indicate where a response is from," Sarah offers.
"But what if two classes write a similar response but with small
differences, should we list it twice or just put both names by
one response," asks Nainoa.
"But what if they are similar but one school adds something a
bit different," worried Al.
The discussion continues as the students begin to consider the
options. Mrs. Tanaka helps them to understand that these are decisions
that adults often face and there are no absolute answers. She
suggests that they consider what is the best way to represent
the information to others who will not see the survey responses.
Michelle had asked all of her students to write
a short essay describing why they did the project. She has one
editing group reading the papers and finding the best ideas. They
are underlining sentences and marking paragraphs they think are
good. Later she will work with them to formulate the ideas into
an introduction for their project summary. There are six groups
each working on one of the survey questions. Two of her students
have volunteered to do some sketches for the section. They decide
to sketch on paper while other students use the computers. Michelle's
idea is to have the whole class work on the conclusion. She will
try modifying an idea that her Learning Circle coordinator suggested.
He has students offer ideas while he types their ideas into words
on the computer. He uses an overhead projection screen with his
computer, but Michelle doesn't have this. She plans to take a
few minutes to read back to the students what she has recorded
on the computer.
Mrs. Tanaka's classroom is not as quiet as it once
was, but the noises are far from distracting. Each student is
involved in a task that they care about. They know that their
names will appear in their final publication and they share a
sense of pride in their work with others.