A Midpoint Inquiry Check in 1st grade

As you may know from Katie’s posts, we are up to our elbows in inquiry circles across the school!  On Friday we will have our once-a-year, doors-wide-open inquiry celebration for grades PK-8.  Get ready…

Currently, I have 10 inquiry circles up and running around Ancient China.  Each circle has 3 students, with the exception of 1 group that has 4, since I have 31 students.  I’ve got kids studying the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Buddhism, education, emperors, marital arts, Terra Cotta Warriors, the zodiac, Silk Road, and food.  There is a lot going on in our classroom!

We’ve asked questions, done research, had minilessons on collaboration and made our work plans. Last Thursday we started to take our thinking public with projects.  Today,  with only a few days left to work, I had my students complete a midpoint “check-in” to assess how it was going.

Using Google forms, I surveyed my students and asked them to complete the following information:

1. Name

2. Topic (Shown as the first column below)

3.Supplies/Materials needed

4.How it was going with their collaboration (on a scale of 1-5)

5. How much work they still had to do (on a scale of 1-5)

6. Which jobs they’ve completed (check all that apply)

7. Are there any issues or concerns you’d like me to know about?

Here are the results:

Google forms provided me with a lot of information in a quick, at-a-glance format.  I was impressed with the detail and nuggets of information my students provided.  From this data collection, I was able to take the information and plan how I would support each group in the coming days.  I even accessed it after school at the craft store to see what I needed to purchase for my students!

Each child completed this form on their iPad.  Once again, I see kids who are inspired to write more when presented with a digital format.  I’ve had my students do midpoint check-ins previously on paper and with pencil; I’ve never received this much information with earlier status checks. I’m thrilled with my students’ ease of interaction and use of digital tools.  I remember what a challenge it was for them to navigate the screen and send an email in October…just look at them now!  Experts at the Google form!

Looking closely at these 2 entries, I can see that both students are confident in their topic and project choice.  The first entry explains that she is “doing a life-size Emperor Chi and he was China’s first emperor.” The child has 2 simple requests (using nice manners)–silk and paint.  Her group’s collaboration is going “so-so,” getting 3/5 points and her work is almost done.  She wasn’t quite sure if there was anything I needed to know about, “Well, I don’t really know if we’re ok…is that fine?” This comment shows me that she is self-monitoring her progress and work flow and is looking for reassurance that she is on track.  Tomorrow I will check-in with her group on their collaboration and let her know that she is on target for completing the project.

The latter entry again provides detail about the silk road project and materials they need to accomplish their work.  This group is having great collaboration (5/5) and his inquiry circle is half way done with the project.  He shows his enthusiasm by announcing in uppercase letters, “WE ARE DOING GREAT!”  Tomorrow I plan to provide the materials requested and encourage them to journey on with their project.

This Google form provides valuable self-assessment information as students monitor their work and collaboration.  This will aide me in completing their inquiry circle rubrics after this cycle ends.

I can’t wait for my students to take their thinking public on Friday!  They are ready to show their thinking and learning.  Get ready Explore More!  Here we come!

About Kristin

Kristin Ziemke has spent her career teaching and learning from children in both urban and suburban school districts. A first grade teacher in Chicago, Kristin engages students in authentic learning experiences where reading, thinking, collaboration and inquiry are at the heart of the curriculum. Co-author of Connecting Comprehension and Technology, Kristin pairs best practice instruction with digital tools to transform learning in the classroom and beyond. An Apple Distinguished Educator, National Board Certified Teacher and Chicago’s 2013 Tech Innovator of the Year, Kristin seeks opportunities to transform education through technology innovation. She inspires educators around the globe as a staff developer, speaker and writer. To learn more about her work follow her on Twitter @KristinZiemke.
This entry was posted in 2.0 Tools, Active Literacy, Assessment, Collaboration, Inquiry, iPad, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

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