Friday, May 30, 2014

Kristen Powell - Summative Assessment Project

Project Description
I chose Project Based Learning to create a summative assessment for our new 4th grade Social Studies units which we will implement next year. Students will study the human and physical geographic features of North American regions. They will also learn about the migrations/immigrations of people and make connections to the influence of human and physical geography on populations. In this project, students will collect data via interviews with people they know who have chosen to settle in a variety of locations across North America. They will compile the anecdotal data with economic, political, and physical geographic information to select a region in which an immigrant/migrant family might happily settle. Students will present their recommendation and rationale via Google Presentation or other presentation tool.

For a step-by-step break down of the process and the standards addressed, see the BIE Project Planning Form included below.


Project title:_Immigration/Migration in North America - "How did we end up here?"___

Teacher(s):___Kristen Powell_______________________________________________

School:_______Creek Valley Elementary - Edina Public Schools_______________

Grade level(s):_4________________________________________________

Subjects:_Social Studies; Language Arts____________________________________

Buck Institute for Education
Begin with the End in Mind
Summarize the theme for this project. Why do this project?

People relocate all over the world for a wide variety of reasons. Students will learn about the factors that influence relocation and apply their understanding of geography (physical and human), economics, history, and political systems, to make a decision about where a modern day immigrant family should choose to live in North America.
Identify the content standard that students will learn in this project (two to three per subject).

Social Studies - Grade 4

Geography - Geospatial Skills
2. Geographic inquiry is a process in which people ask geographic questions and gather, organize and analyze information to solve problems and plan for the future.

Geography - Places and Regions
3. Places have physical characteristics (such as climate, topography vegetation) and human characteristics (such as culture, population, political and economic systems).

Geography - Human Systems
6. Geographic factors influence the distribution, functions, growth and patterns of cities and human settlements.

Language Arts - Grade 4

Speaking, Viewing, Listening and Media Literacy Report on a topic or text and avoid plagiarism by identifying sources, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive
details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace. Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes. Create an individual or shared multimedia work for a specific purpose (e.g., to create or integrate knowledge, to share experiences or information, to persuade, to entertain, or as artistic
Craft the Driving Question
State the essential question or problem statement for the project. The statement should encompass all project content and outcomes, and provide a central focus for student inquiry.

"How do people choose where to live?"
Plan the Assessment
Step 1: Define the products for the project. What will you assess?
Early in the Project:
(Before students begin the project, they will build content knowledge in North American physical and human geography. They study immigrant stories and develop an understanding of "push/pull" factors that influence immigration/migration throughout history. Assessment on this content will be in the form of quizzes.)

Students will generate/write appropriate and specific interview questions that will enable them to gather real world examples of immigration/migration stories. These questions will be posed to two individuals (eg. one family member and one non-relative) to learn about how they and their families chose to live where they do and what they see as the advantages and disadvantages of their location/region. When possible, the two interviewees will be located in different geographical regions of North America.

Another option: Questions could be created as a class. Then students could create a Google form to collect information. A link and request could be shared via Twitter to generate data from a larger and broader pool of participants. The Google Form data could be linked to a Google Map for students to explore in the next phase of the project.
During the Project:
Students will conduct interviews. They will then compile information collected from their interviews and previous study of NA regions in a group data-base/map. Students will look for commonalities and differences between the regions.

Together with the teacher, students will develop a rubric for the analysis/application/presentation portion of the project.

In pairs, students will select one of the immigration stories and analyze the family's needs, assets, etc. Their analysis will be compared to the information gathered regarding regional features/assets, in order to make a recommendation for where that family would best be located if they were to choose to settle in somewhere in North America today.

Students will create a presentation (via Google Presentation, Prezi, or other presentation tool) to share their analysis and recommendations.
End of the Project:
Presentations will be shared with classmates and via the class website. Applying their rubric, students will evaluate their own and their classmates' work.

Step 2: State the criteria for exemplary performance for each product:
Product: Interview questions

Questions are clear and specific. They are appropriate for the topic/interviewee. They will invite responses that will address the needed information (push/pull factors; geographic, economic, cultural, and political advantages/disadvantages of regions).
Product: Location Recommendation

Recommendation is clear and specific. Rationale addresses important criteria for family's needs/wants and limitations. Recommendation is a "best" choice for the family (=there is no "clearly better" match).
Product: Presentation (oral and via tech tool)

Information is clear, specific, and well-organized. Volume and pace are appropriate and easily understandable to audience. All participants speak. Students are well-prepared and are able to use eye contact (not overly reliant on notes). Students answer questions from audience comfortably and with appropriate depth. Presentation tools are visually appealing, easy to read/interpret, and contribute to the communication of the information presented.
Optional activity/product:
Students could write a personal narrative recounting the immigration or migration story of one of their interviewed subjects.

Writing Standard Write narratives and other creative texts to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
Map the Project
What do students need to know and be able to do to complete the tasks successfully? How and when will they learn the necessary knowledge and skills? Look at one major product for the project and analyze the tasks necessary to produce a high-quality product.
Google Presentation

1. Accessing Google Apps; opening a new file in Presentation; naming the file

2. Selecting a template

3. Creating new slides

4. Choosing an appropriate slide layout

5. Adding text to slides

6. Adding pictures to slides


7. Editing slides

8. Citing sources


9. Reordering slides


10. Adding/embedding video clips

11. Adding audio


What project tools will you use?
□x Know/need to know lists
□x Daily goal sheet
□x Briefs
□x Task lists
□x Problem logs
□ ________________________________
□ ________________________________
□ ________________________________
□ ________________________________
□ ________________________________
□ ________________________________

List the key dates and important milestones for this project.

Teach units on Geography of North America and Origins of People.
  1. Introduce Driving Question "How do people choose where to live?" Discuss possible factors/influences.
  2. Students will generate a "What do we need to know?" list to guide them in creating effective interview questions.
  3. Develop interview questions designed to gather information about factors/influences from subjects. 
  4. Students will identify potential interviewees based on location/relationship. If possible, the class may wish to plot locations in order to ensure representation from a variety of North American regions.
  5. Students will create a class data gathering tool (eg. map, white board chart, SMARTfile, or spreadsheet) to collect and organize information (both learned in the previous unit and gathered via interviews).
  6. Students will conduct interviews and add data to the group database.
  7. Students will study and summarize the data by region.
  8. Teacher and students will design an appropriate rubric for the project/presentation.
  9. Student pairs will select one of their interviewed subjects or their own family as their focus. They will then list the needs/wants for their selected individual/family. Comparing these to the features of the NA regions, students will select a suitable location for that family/individual.
  10. Students will create an oral and visual presentation (using Google Presentation, Prezi, or similar tool). The presentation will introduce the subject, his/her/their characteristics, needs, and wants, and the rationale for the recommendation of location. Students will practice their oral presentation, making sure that both participants are contributing equally.
  11. Students will present their work to their classmates and post their work on the class website.
  12. Students will evaluate their own work and classmates's work via the group-designed rubric.
Use the Tuning Protocol with other teachers or a group of students to refine the project design or guide you further in your planning. What other thoughts do you now have on the project?

To be completed with grade level teammates after the new/unwritten Social Studies units have been prepared and reviewed.

Manage the Process
List preparations necessary to address needs for differentiated instruction for ESL students, special-needs students, or students with diverse learning styles.
Interviews can be completed via Skype, audio recording, or in written form (eg. via email) and in any language understood/spoken by both student and subject. An adult could scribe for a student interviewer as needed. Where a written account containing the relevant information is available (for example a grandparent's family-published autobiography), a student could gather information without interviewing their subject directly.
How will you and your students reflect on and evaluate the project?
□ Class discussion
□ Student-facilitated formal debrief
□ Individual evaluations
□ Group evaluations
□ Other: Interview subject feedback

How the Assessment is Authentic

This assessment poses a real-world problem that individuals and families often face - "Where is a good place for me to live?" In this project, students interact with people who have made the decision to locate in a particular region. They are gathering primary source accounts and compiling their data with demographic and geographic information to construct an understanding of the human and physical geography of North American regions. They are then using their understanding to select a good fit for the needs/wants/circumstances of a family, much as people do, and have done, throughout history.

Personal Reflection

When I first dove into the PBL materials on the BIE site, I was rather overwhelmed by the scope of the sample projects and the vastness of the resources. It was hard to imagine that I could manage to make time in the school year for my 4th graders to tackle an undertaking the size of those I was exploring. Talking it through with colleagues was an essential element in coming up with something that felt meaningful and appropriate. The dialog helped to both add enhancements (Thank you, Becky Huberty!) and trim the unrealistic and/or less worthwhile portions. I really believe in the value of teaming when it comes to curriculum work. 

While students will take advantage of Google Forms, Google Maps and Twitter, I am still on the look out to find additional ways to incorporate technology. As we learn which on-line materials we will be using with students in the new geography unit, there may be some good options for how to display aggregated data on maps.
I think the opportunity to converse with people about their real life choices and to analyze/aggregate data will be worthwhile and authentic experiences for my students. I'm looking forward to implementing this project next year along with our new social studies units. 

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