Last week a group from Gretchen Thomas’s EDIT 2000 class at the University of Georgia partnered with Caitlin Ramseyer’s 2nd grade class to work on research for the students’ GeniusCon projects. Students are answering the question: If you could change one thing about your school, what would it be?
Students topics range from improving the lunch menu to healthier options to adding additional playground equipment to eliminating homework to starting school later in the day. Even students who share the same topic are taking different approaches to what they would change and how they would do it.
Today, a new group of Gretchen’s students came to work with the 2nd graders. Last time, most 2nd graders went through their lists of questions and answered them with their own thinking. Today’s focus was to move to researching online and in books as well as developing next steps.
I loved walking around and seeing some of the online reading that students were doing with their partners.
I also loved seeing how the UGA students interacted with the 2nd graders and how they helped to keep our students focused and thinking. Of course, the UGA students learned a lot too about how much our students know about using technology.
Some of those next steps involved created Google form surveys that could be emailed out. Some students crafted emails to send out to the lunchroom or the principal. We asked students to wait before sending anything out. The main reason in doing this was to spend a little more time thinking through the content of the email or the survey. For example, one student had one question in her Google form asking students if they would like more access to the 3D printer. She was ready to send it out, but after talking with me, she realized that if students wanted access to the 3D printer, we would have no idea what they wanted to do with it. Our conversation pushed her to think more about her survey before sending it out. Similar conversations were taking place all over the library.
At the end, Caitlin pulled her class together to debrief what they had accomplished.
Catilin’s students will continue working on this project and our UGA partners will return again.