Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Discovery Fair

Since my first day at my school in Costa Rica, my students have been working on something called "Discovery Fair."  This is something that all students participate in until sixth grade with their class.  They research a topic, create some type of project, and present it to their parents and other classes.  This year, the topic was crystals.  My class was researching how crystals are formed, what they are, where we can find them, and the molecular structure of some specific crystals.  When I first arrived, they were still in their researching stage.  I would look over their written notes and correct errors in spelling and grammar.  Once the research was finished, they copied their notes into a homemade brochure.

The students were split into four groups, depending on the specific crystal that they looked at.  The groups were ice, diamond, salt, and sugar.  In their groups, they created a PowerPoint with what they had learned.  Over the last two weeks, we have practiced and gotten ready for the actual Discovery Fair which has been occurring over the duration of this week.  When I say we have practiced and gotten ready, I actually mean that is basically all we have done for the past two weeks.  It seemed to be a pretty big deal.

Last week the students decorated paper crystals as one of their science stations. (I had glitter all over me for days).


I used their crystals to create bulletin boards outside our classroom to welcome the visitors who would come to learn about crystals and see the work that the kiddos did.

"Welcome to Crystals Through A Lens" with science facts about nano-technology


They also made invitations to take home to their parents, inviting them to come see their presentations.


Other than their brochures and PowerPoint presentations, the groups also made enlarged molecule representations of their crystal with sticks and foam balls.



Yesterday morning at the beginning of class we made sure everything was set up for the parents.  Soon after school started, we welcomed them into the room and the students presented for their parents. They didn't think that their parents learned enough the first time so they presented a second time just to make sure!  The kids were so excited to share with their parents what they had been learning.  They loved being the experts and teaching their parents something for once.  They even got badges to wear during the Discover Fair.


After the parents left, we had a long recess then got ready to present again.  This time, one of the second grade classes came up and the students shared with them what they had learned.  The second graders researched different aspects of crystals so it was fun for them to see what the third graders had done.

Today we went down to the second grade classroom and listened to their presentations.  They had their room set up to look like a mine.  They even had on headlamps and smeared coal on their faces! It was too cute.

My teacher says that once Discovery Fair comes around, it basically signifies the end of the school year.  They have four weeks left until they are done.

I got to teach the whole class for the first time today.  Although I have already been here for nearly four weeks, it has been very crazy and we've hardly even had any whole class instruction (due to our assembly, Discovery Fair, and the fact that my teacher only actually is with them a maximum of 3.5 hours each day).  My teacher had to leave early today on very short notice so she asked if I would take over for her.  Of course I said yes, we only had one period left anyway, so I taught math.  We had made catapults in Science this morning so I had students launch off foam fruit loops then measure the distance that the fruit loop went.  I made a little competition out of it which was fun, especially since the remainder of math was going to be book work.  Overall I think it went well.  I just have to remember to slow down when I talk to them because although they are pretty good at English, they don't have the skills that the native speaking kids at home do.  

Tomorrow is the last day for this week (hooray for four day school weeks!) and we are headed to Montezuma in the evening so expect a post and pictures on Sunday/Monday!





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