We are finally ready to dig into our first research project!
This week your students will be forming groups for their first Mock Performance Task. All fall we will practice the skills necessary to complete the College Board Performance Tasks they will do later in the year as their official AP assessment. These "mock" performance tasks are the perfect opportunity to learn, make mistakes, and try again.
For this task, students will work in group of 4-5 students. Each group will have a research f area and each student will focus on a specific element of the area. For this task, we will all work on research areas related to our unit theme of Money. For example, if students wanted to zero in on the impacts of money on the public education system, group members might focus on different elements of the research area:
Students will do individual research and write an individual report of their research findings. Then, they'll reassemble as a group and pull it all together into one cohesive presentation that makes an argument about how we should address a problem they've identified.
It's a big, overwhelming task. Not only do they have to tackle some pretty advanced research, but this is their first chance to start working on group dynamics and holding one another accountable.
The best way for you to help is to ask lots of questions at home! Encourage your students to talk through their confusions about their research. If they're struggling with group members, help them think through how they might approach their peers in mature, direct ways. And always, always, nudge them to ask for support and help when they need it!! I'm here to guide them through this big task, and the more they're willing to ask for help early and often, the easier it will be.
This weekend your students should be blogging about potential topics for their research and reading their small group books. If you're lucky, they might share those blogs with you.
Have a great weekend!
Mrs. Hattie Maguire