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An HTML white paper on "Why. " Learning in a group is not a new idea, but the Web provides a new way of collaborting that makes this method of learning more practical and universal.
Jackie Applin is a third grade teacher at Newberry Elementary School in Newberry, MI, and was recently awarded the 1995 Ameritech Michigan Teacher Excellence Award for her use of the Internet to support projects in her classroom.
- Worm Bin Project
Includes a detailed description of the unit. In this unit, students will learn about decomposition and the life cycle by creating worm bins.
- Lesson One: Introduction to Worm Bin Project. Students observe the decomposing process of the food chain. Students observe whether the type of food fed to worms will affect the castings given off during the decomposition process.
- Lesson Two: Collaboration Online. Students will work collaboratively to exchange data with their peers (groups of students at other schools). They will discuss differing findings and hypothesize reasons for these differences.
- Lesson Three: Growing Plants with Worm Castings. Students test the worm castings for content and use them to grow seeds. Students hypothesize which castings will best sustain seed growth. Students observe growing plants to test their hypotheses.
- Lesson Four: Decomposition, Soil, and Life Cycle Research.Students conduct background research on the decomposition process, soil composition, and the life cycle using the resources provided for directed Internet searches.
- Lesson Five: Presentation of Findings.Students compile and format their findings from the worm bins, the plant activity, and their Internet research on related topics into "scrapbooks."
- Heart Rate
Includes a detailed description of the unit. Students will gather information and interact via the Internet in collaboration with other students to search for relevant information about heart rate, culminating in a research project that will include oral presentations and written work.
- Lesson One: Classroom Heart Rates. Students will check and record heart-rates of other classmates. They will then compare and design questions to explain the differences in their findings.
- Lesson Two: Local Heart Rates. Students will determine the type of data needed to test their inferences from lesson one. As homework, they will check and record heart rates of fellow students, teachers and family members. During their next class period, the students will enter all data into the database.
- Lesson Three: Collaboration on the Internet. Locate another class via email that is willing to work collaboratively with you on this project. There are listserves that you can join and post an interest in a particular subject/idea or project.
- Lesson Four: Research and Report. In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website.
- Lesson Five: Application. Based on their conclusions and research, the students will give an oral presentation that applies their findings to a lifestyle change.
- Growing Plants
This unit is designed to encourage students to develop the scientific skills of observation, predicting, controlling variables, experimenting, inferring and recording information as they study the effects of water, soil, and sunlight on growing plants.
- Lesson One: What Makes a Healthy Plant? Students will make inferences, form a hypothesis and a plan to test their hypothesis about what makes a healthy plan.
- Lesson Two: Planting. Student groups will conduct experiments with plant seedlings to test the effects of sunlight, water, and soil on the growth of these plans.
- Lesson Three: Collecting and Recording Data. Plants will be measured and compared to a control plant. Students will keep a journal to record their data in a Science Journal.
- Lesson Four: Sharing and Validating Results. Students will collaborate with another classroom via the Internet to share data, questions, results, and to check the validity of their testing procedures.
- Climate and Weather
This unit was designed to introduce students to variances in temperature relative to time of day and time of year.
- Lesson One: Where to look. Students will become familiar with on-line weather sources and weather terminology by using Websites. They will also practice using and interpreting a weather database, determining the effects of time of by and time of year on temperature.
- Lesson Two: Is Temperature Effected By How Close You Are To The Equator? Students will participate in a collaborative project to gather data from other schools to see how average daily temperature is affected by how close someplace is to the equator.
- Lesson Three: What Causes Irregular Temperature Patterns? While examining the weather and climate database, students will recognize a general relationship between latitude and temperature (for a given month).
- Colorful Indicators
Students learn about acids and bases by creating a solution to test for them and by using the Web to ask questions of scientists and/or to conduct Web-based research.
Tips & Techniques. Collaborative learning allows students to share their knowledge and experiences with others and to develop their own skill and expertise within a supportive learning environment.
Related Resources provides teachers with places to visit to enhance the activities and units available at this site.
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