Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tried it Tuesday {Research Reports}

I'm linking up with Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried it Tuesday. I'm loving the idea of this linky party and can't wait to read what everyone else is trying. 


This past week I began working on research projects with my 4th graders. This is usually a subject that causes me to run in the other direction, but I have tried something that has changed my mind. Back during the Super Bowl Sale on TpT I bought something called Take the Madness out of Research Projects, created by Dragon's Den. You've got to click over and check this out - its such a neat idea! 

As soon as we launched these projects I had students asking when we were going to work on them again and even if they could take them home and work on them! Yes, you heard right, I had students begging me to take them home so they could do MORE research at home. 

One thing that I think really helped add an element of excitement to our projects was the people we were researching. In 4th grade social studies we learn about Virginia History and there are 6 important people from the 20th century we study about, but most of my students have never heard of them until now. I didn't give away any information about the people, just assigned students their person right before class ended one day and the anticipation and wonder was killing them! It was so neat to see my students speculating on what their person did and why they were so famous. 

I'd made some group statements, like one person lived near where we do, another person was a sports star, etc., so they were very anxious to see if their person had done any of those things I'd mentioned. 

Now, the bad thing about this?  I have 20 very excited, motived students (but thats good, right?) and today is our 2nd snow day for this week, we have 2 benchmark tests to give this week, a Spring party on Friday, and Spring Break next week. Time is not our friend right now. It is looking like we will most likely not be able to finish these reports before Spring Break. Don't you just hate when that happens? You finally get something good goin' on in the classroom and then it seems like every outside force works against you? LOL  


  1. How wonderful that they are loving their topics and want to work at home. I will have to check out that item at TPT. Thanks for sharing. (Try to enjoy your snow day.)
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. Hi Courtney!
    Thanks for sharing this resource! I'm sure your kiddos will be just as excited to finish their research projects after break--it'll give them something to look forward to :)

    teaching, life, and everything in between

    ps: I love the look of your blog! Super cute :)

  3. Hi Courtney! I am so glad that you linked up and I found your blog!! It is so adorable (I love owls too!)

    This is great idea for research projects and I added the resource to my wish list already. It is a bummer when snow days put a damper on your plans:( Although, you may be thankful that your plans are done when that Sunday night rolls around at the end of your break!!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  4. I'm with you on the snow days interfering! Now that I am Title I pull-out, it messes up my schedule even more because some of the teachers will keep their kids longer to make up work that they missed. Plus our 5th grade is doing the Writing SOL today and tomorrow, so I'm not pulling ANY groups tomorrow. I'm going to have to check out this product.

    Thrilled to have found another VA blogger, especially one in the upper grades! I teach outside of Richmond!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late

  5. Thank goodness for TpT, right? Research projects can be so overwhelming, so it's great that your students are enthusiastic about working on their pieces!


  6. Mother Nature has not been very kind to y'all up North. I grew up in KS and occasionally miss snow days. It has been a few years, since we had a few hurricane days in Texas, but I know how a few missed days messes up all of your plans. Maybe you will get some nice weather for Spring Break!

    I am your newest follower! Love your blog name! I am a BIG fan of polka dots!



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