Monday, February 26, 2018

4th Grade Collaboration

We all talk about collaboration - and it's one of the things that drove me to this career change in the first place - but in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of an elementary school, it can be tough to actually carve out the time to, well, collaborate. 

I'm lucky that the 4th grade classrooms are right across the hall from me, and that a number of research projects dovetail into library skills = a great candidate for collaboration. 

I had a really great example last week - in Social Studies, students are in the middle of their immigration unit, where they had to interview someone who immigrated to the United States and then do research on their country of origin. Helping with the research was a natural fit but I was able to go a step further with my 4th grade colleague's input. 

Their final project required them to tell their interviewee's story, including their feelings during different points of their immigration journey, but the classroom teacher felt her classes could use some practice identifying the beginning/middle/end of their stories. Enter a perfect opportunity to use some of the excellent immigration titles we have in the library. 

Immigration stories I used as part of this lesson 

My lesson was pretty simple - I read My Name is Sangoel aloud and we worked on this graphic organizer as a class (I modified it a little, where we listed major events in the story on the left side of the box, and then brainstormed how the character was feeling on the right side of the box). 

I then read The Name Jar, which had similar themes to the first story, and students worked in groups to complete a graphic organizer on their own. They were really into it, the modeling worked great, and it was a perfect preview of what they were going to be asked to do on their own at home. Win, win, win! 

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