|Project Description ||This unit is designed for five first grade classes. The topic of this design is Insects, and it will focus on and incorporate the following components of a Learning Community as defined by Bielaczyc and Collins, 1999:
students have responsibility for their own learning and the learning of others
common goals - learning about insects and sharing what we have learned with others
continual questioning and discussion to examine progress
collective knowledge vs. individual knowledge
depth over breadth of topic
role of teacher as facilitator
This unit is a collaborative effort between five first grade teachers and the computer teacher. Students will work in their first grade classrooms and the computer lab to complete the activities. The unit focuses on identifying characteristics of insects, developing an interest and awareness of the benefits of insects and an appreciation of how insects develop. The BugScope activity (described below) also enables students to interact with scientists. There will be a diversity of expertise about this topic. Some students will have extensive background knowledge about insects and others will not. Allowing the sharing of knowledge about insects will be it will be beneficial for all students.