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November 1, 2010 / mommylok

High Expectations

My daughter’s teacher informed me last week that she will be giving the students a research project to complete.  Today, I received the 6 page document outlining what the project entails and how it will be graded. 

Let me remind  you, my daughter is in the 1st grade.  1ST GRADE!   She’s only 5 years old; she’s going to get graded on her research report, creative project AND presentation skills.  Am I wrong to think this is insane?  I know her teacher has high expectations for her students, but dang, we haven’t even entered the 2nd half of the year yet!

What’s bothering me right now (sadly to admit) is that I’m not looking forward to the work on my part that this will take.  I feel terribly guilty and selfish about this, but seriously, where am I going to find the time during the week to take her to the library (I’m already watching 4 kids after school!)

So this project entails a min. 3 page written report (if typed, the font size is to be 14pt – must font size be specified? I thought that was only an issue for college students when trying to play around with page margins, font size/type, etc.) using the Independent Investigation Method.  Anyone ever hear of that model?  At least 3 resources must be used.  And definitley no plagiarizing.  OK, so that’s a given, but I am interested to see how well my 5 year old will interpret what she reads in her research and how she will translate it into writing.  Part 2 is the creative project relating to Iceland (my daughter’s country of choice).  Part 3 is presentation.  There is a whole page describing how the kids will be graded on their presentation skills.  Nice.  My daughter is the smallest in the class and she must speak in front of 32 other kids (yes, the class size is ridiculously huge!) in a volume that’s loud enough for the entire classroom to hear.  Comprehension (student is able to accurately answer almost all questions posed by classmates about the topic) is also part of the oral presentation grade.  I’m actually really interested to see what kinds of questions her fellow classmates will come up with.  The last annoying tidbit about this – it’s due on her birthday! 

Well, I have about a month to help my daughter complete this monstrous project – so let me stop writing about it and start doing something about it…

PS – Please leave comments on suggestions on how you help your children tackle monstrous projects like these!  I’d appreciate any advice 🙂

UPDATE:

11/23 – My daughter has been continuing to write notes/gather data for her report.  Today, she takes out a book where she’s trying to find more information on traditional foods and asks, while flipping to the back of the book, “where is the index?”  Wow, this research project really is developing some basic skills…slowly becoming more impressed than I am annoyed!

12/1 – We finished the written report over Thanksgiving weekend.  Thank goodness!  We’ve been able to concentrate on memorizing the report for the presentation; there are six categories and my daughter’s well on her way to memorizing and reciting the first three categories.  I’m really impessed with the amount of details she’s been able to retain – now if she can only gather enough confidence to recite all those details in front of her class…my poor baby’s anxiety is scaring her into thinking she can’t do this.  But I know she can.

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4 Comments

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  1. Will Devine / Nov 1 2010 7:11 PM

    Just wait until she starts calculus next year.

    • mommylok / Nov 3 2010 9:29 AM

      If she starts calculus, I’m going to need to hire a tutor!

  2. Shoe / Nov 3 2010 10:50 PM

    What?? RESEARCH?

  3. Ms. Latina / Nov 15 2010 2:36 AM

    Oh my goodness what was her teacher thinking?! Most of the work has to be done by the parent- typed really? At that age kids need to practice writing! I have to admit my sons’ never rec’d so much work at that age…that said, I would try to do it in stages. You don’t want your daughter (or YOU!) to get overwhelmed!

    Btw, maybe you can speak to the teacher. It does seem a bit much for that age especially with the research, speaking and presentation.

    Let us know how it goes!

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