Weather or Weather Not?
This project will take
place in a fourth grade classroom..The
project takes place throughout the school year.It
will focus on the standards from the science curriculum.Particularly,
it is a inter-disciplinary unit centered around weather.The
curriculum goals range from the students gathering information to predict
weather to formulating a multi-media presentation to report findings.The
length of the unit is about one month.After
a month, the project will rotate to another teacher.Each
science class period is about 40 minutes.However,
since it is inter-disciplinary, parts of the project will be completed
in all of the other core subjects.
The students are ìhookedî
into this project by their principal asking them to produce a weather segment.This
segment will be broadcasted on the schoolís morning news and announcements.The
students have discussed in their groups how they should tackle the project.They
have also discussed how to meet the demand placed on them by their principal.The
groups have elected chairpersons and formulated a step by step plan for
how they will accomplish their goal.Using,
graphic organizers they have developed a flow chart of what must be done
first, second, third, and so.The
teacher is the facilitator.She asks
questions that guide them through the process such as:
does the weather help you know how to dress?
activities depend on the weather?
about weather broadcasts, you have seen, what do remember about them?
do you think you will get the data for the broadcast?
type of information will you include in your broadcast?
The class discusses various
weather elements.They pay close
attention to high and low pressure, fronts, and weather symbols.They
discuss how they will gather and analyze their date for predictions and
relevance.They formulate the jobs,
roles, and tasks that will necessary to complete the task.With
the help of their teacher they decide on four teams.
Local Meterologists: They
gather, analyze and display local data.They
find sites and information in weather instruments through means of the
Internet.They use meteorological
tools in the school weather station.They
e-mail their data to other schools.
gather on-line data and consult experts.They
use Internet web sites and e-mail meteorologists to gain information.
Storm Team: They research
the types of severe weather that threaten their area.They
decide what needs to be in a family severe weather plan.They
go the FEMA and Red Cross for information.They
also get emergency preparedness guides that are sponsored by local news
investigate what is needed to produce the segment.They
become proficient with the equipment.The
media specialist, technology specialists, principal, and TV meteorologists
The teacher monitors each
group and offers assistance where needed.She
uses a rubric to assess students.She
has already explained the various rubrics that will use.The
students use a self-assessment rubric to analyze their work as a team members
and how their team works together.The
teacher shows students how to manage their data.She
has the technology specialist to come in and show students how to enter
their data into a database.They
are shown how to create various charts and graphs to display their data.The
technology specialist also trains students on how to use Powerpoint.This
is the presentation software that the class will use.The
students record their progress and questions in journals that they share
at the end of each day.The teacher
proofs and edits the presentations for broadcast.
The culmination of the
project is the presentation of the broadcast.It
is an on-going process, since they must broadcast each day.The
groups produce a severe weather safety plan for their homes.The
teacher assesses the students using a rubric.Teachers,
principal, and students have a round table discussion as to how the broadcast
can be improved.
Created for the FermilabLInC
program sponsored by FermiNational Accelerator
, and funded by UnitedStates
Department of Energy
Board of Education
Technology in Education Consortium
whichis operated by North
Central RegionalEducational Laboratory (NCREL)
, and the NationalScience
Author(s): Wanda McMichael
School: Sheridan Elementary School, Orangeburg, SC
Created: February 15, 2001 - Updated: April 18, 2001