Friday, February 17, 2017

A Polar Bear Project: Collaborative Knowledge Building with OneNote

This month, during a Skype call with Mrs. Caldwell's class, the Oak Lake Kindergartens told us that they were learning about polar bears and planning to participate in the 2017 World Wildlife Fund Polar Bear Walk.   The kindergartens asked our grade 1 class if we would like to collaborate with them for this special project.  The grade 1s were very enthusiastic about the idea, so we agreed to start by doing some research about polar bears.  We decided to use Microsoft OneNote so that we could take notes and collect resources collaboratively.  Mrs. Caldwell set up a shared OneNote file with sections for facts, resources, questions and project planning.  Having a shared file is working very well for this project!

Our class has really enthusiastically started researching polar bears.  We've been doing a lot of reading and writing about polar bears.  Many of our read aloud sessions focus on reading non-fiction texts about polar bears.  As we learn new things about polar bears, we write or type new ideas into the shared OneNote file.  We also read the new ideas that Mrs. Caldwell's class has added from their research.  In addition to our whole-class research and reading, students have also learned new things while listening to reading (recorded books from Epic) and during guided reading lessons.  We have found some interesting educational videos and we like to watch the live polar bear cam from Churchill, MB.  We continue to build our knowledge and share our findings with our partner class.