Monday, April 14, 2008

I think we’ll get an A

Lisa and I spent a big chunk of the weekend putting together her project on Troödons. The project was to pick an animal (prehistoric, African or endangered), find two sources of information (book, magazine, internet, encyclopedia, dvd, etc.) and write a report. These were the full instructions for a grade 2 project.

We approached it a little backwards by first seeing what sources of information we had on our own bookshelves, then picking the animal. Lisa’s very analytical approach to picking an animal was looking in the dinosaur book we have, noticing that the Troödon has an umlaut (the two dots over the o) in its name [as does Lisa’s real name], then… well, that’s it. That was the extent of the selection process. As good a reason as any, I suppose.

I clearly remember kids bringing in projects in the younger grades that seemed so polished, well beyond the talents of a primary grade student. I would hand in my lame little project with pictures cut out from a magazine or hand-drawn, little labels printed by me and a self-designed title page, bound with yarn. One project on the Olympics in grade 4 had me panicked that I would fail because it seemed so amateur compared to so many of the others. But, I didn’t fail. In fact, the mark given was A++. The teacher, Mrs. Snow, showed it to the class as an example of how the project should have been approached and how she knew that many of the projects had been done by parents, not students. Not that my parents didn’t help me. They helped me every step of the way, but the work was ultimately mine. Mrs. Snow’s lesson that day stuck with me.

So this weekend, Lisa and I worked side-by-side, culling the pertinent facts from our sources, searching colouring books for good pictures to include (like a cute little frog to show what the dinosaur ate), and deciding in what order the construction paper pages should be bound. Lisa had some awesome ideas. My favourite was to show the size of the dinosaur’s tooth by making a diagram that showed the juxtaposition of the Troödon’s tooth and her own tooth. She also used glitter glue to make the title page “extra special”, as only a 7-year-old girl can do.

At the end of the day, that kid knows all there is to know about Troödons and she is extremely proud of her project. I’m hoping we... I mean she gets an A.

16 comments:

Welcome to our World said...

Ooh projects for school make me nervous already! I used to have my mom or dad help me when they were around and those were always the ones that did the best but now I think mostly because they helped me, cared enough to do that, that is made me super excited about the project, if that makes sense. GO 'A' for (you and) Lisa ;)

Tessie said...

Oh, this type of stuff is going to be up BR's alley, not mine thank god.

It sounds GREAT! There was even GLITTER GLUE! So cute.

SLynnRo said...

Okay, so now I'm dying to know Lisa's real name!

SLynnRo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chantal said...

That is so nice, and so true. I remember in my pre kid days visiting a friend who had a son in grade 2 and "they" were working on a project on butterflies and I distinctly remember finding it funny that my friend referred to it as "our" project, when really it was his. I will try and remember this lesson when it comes time for my D to start those types of projects. It is so easy to get all wrapped up in our kids worlds.

LoriD said...

slynnro - it's not a secret or anything... I used to use it on the blog. It rhymes with Joey and starts with a Z. :-)

Artemisia said...

That sounded - almost fun! Truly, this is the the stuff that fills me with dread when contemplating ever becoming a parent. But the tooth idea? Kind of made me melt a little.

Banana said...

Lori = Awesome mom. It's nice to read about how thoughtful you are with your children. I give you an A for sheezy.

saly said...

I'm with Tessie- I'm bored and claustrophobic just thinking about doing a project all weekend. That is all Hub.

I'm glad for you and your family time though---it sounds like you guys actually had fun.

Also--I hope you don't think I was complaining about the "Canadian Invasion"---seriously, it was all Ontario plates in the lot. Nobody in NY has any reason to shop. :)

Misty said...

I had that exact same "Ms. Snow" experience when I was a kid. We had to decorate an apple and I made mine into a puppy with construction paper ears, drawn on eyes, and my stroke of genius? A fat 80's style ponytail holder for the collar. And I was sure I didn't have a shot against Cinderella's glittery coach, complete with footmen and horses. Or against the giant spray painted spider.

But I won. Because I did it myself. It is a great lesson to pass on to kids.

CP said...

I'm also firmly in the boat that a school project is the child's project to do, not mine. I'm there to assist if asked but the work is to be done by my child. Whenever one of them comes home with stories of overly elaborate projects, we always discuss how teachers know which projects were done by students and which projects were actually done by the parents. The teachers know and grade accordingly (like your Mrs Snow) for which I am so grateful.

PS- thanks for coming by and commenting. If it's OK with you, I'm going to add you to our links list.

ThePurpleSeal said...

Hi there,

Just incase it is of any interest to you i thought i would just let you know, a while back i found a british labels company who were selling plain labels and many other types of labels at a really low price. If you are at all interested then it may be worth taking a look at their website.

ThePurpleSeal said...

Hi there,

Just incase it is of any interest to you i thought i would just let you know, a while back i found a british labels company who were selling plain labels and many other types of labels at a really low price. If you are at all interested then it may be worth taking a look at their website.

Family Adventure said...

School projects...we have that issue at home, too. It is so hard not to get involved, but I try to back off and let them do their own thing. Still, when I see some of the things displayed on the walls of the classrooms, I have to wonder... :)

I love how Lisa picked her animal, and how she made the pages extra special with glitter glue. That's what projects are all about!

Heidi

Beck said...

I like helping the kids with school projects - the Girl did one on red pandas recently and I hung around wistfully on the periphery...

JMC said...

My oldest helped my second build a robot out of empty food containers this weekend for school. Having a child who is quite a bit older than the others is sometimes wonderful.