Thursday, March 23, 2006
Tomorrow will be the last day my students have had to work on research projects. We have spent three weeks on research and it has been different than I expected. I love research, personally. My thoughts on teaching research are varied. My big research experience comes from my high school APLAC paper written on breastfeeding (that was fun to share with my students) and from anything I did in college. When teaching the whole research process, part of my wanted to slow down and teach it very well. The other part just wanted me to get done with it. This part also realized that these are ninth graders and it doesn't have to be a college level paper. The final product in this process is not a paper. Well, it is a paper, cut out and posted on a poster.
I have enjoyed seeing the little light bulbs going off during class. I have seen students finally realize what parenthetical documentation looks like or say to me that they cited something, so they wouldn't be plagerising. I have convinced several students that it is not always best to start a paragraph with "This paragraph is about" and "I think that" has no place in a research paper. Then there is the clarification of topics. One of the possible topics is Elizabethan Music and Dance. For several weeks I have been trying to convince a certain student that the this is not about what Queen Elizabeth's favorite kind of music is and how she likes to dance in her spare time.