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The primary purpose for this service learning experience was to teach the students that every choice we make, no matter how small, has an impact on the earth and that if each of us does our part to save water, there will be enough for future generations.
Building academic skills as well as relationships with older individuals through letters and visits was the primary purpose for the fourth grade students.
As a teacher, my primary purpose is to incorporate service learning into academic and social lessons in my classroom.
Our pen pals gained increased interaction with others and a sense of purpose because the children are eager to listen and learn from their elders.
How does your life compare to the childhood of your pen pal?
How would you describe your pen pal and how has events in his/her life influenced this description?
How does your pen pal, as a primary source, describe or recall an event in history? (for example. immigration to Texas, civil rights movement, The Depression, WWII.)
As a teacher, my primary purpose for this project was to show students that they could make an impact on worldwide goals at a community level. In order to do this, I had my students read the book "Zoom" by Istvan Banyai. After reading this picture book, I asked the children how it changed the way they looked at things. After we discovered that we didn't know any International Days, I asked the children how it made them feel. Both of these questions paved the way for wonderful classroom discussions.
The primary purpose for the students was to see the world from a different perspective through reflection, research and action. Their passion for this project gave them inspiration to show others that even the little things that we do in our community can make a big difference. That is why they created the slogan, "A Little Bit Goes a Long Way."
The project was part of a unit on viruses. The service-learning project keeps students engaged and ties their learning to their decisions outside the classroom. As the students learn and teach others that their behavior can spread or prevent illness, they can effectively incorporate their classroom learning into their daily lives. The goal of limiting the spread of virus-related diseases benefits everyone.
I relate service-learning to my class and lesson plans because this is the best way for the kids to learn communication skills and actual job skills. Students would have to develop an idea and explain to me why they thought there was a need out there for them to do their project. They would then come up with an action plan. From there, they would contact a representative from a place where they were looking to perform service. They would schedule a day to perform the service (usually a Friday) and then they would take the necessary steps to prepare; they would miss school for this so they had to check with their teachers to find out what they were missing ahead of time.
The purpose of this project was for students to think about the effects of their actions on the local environment. How do human actions, specifically related to chemical disposal, affect water quality and the health of the surrounding environment?
Without powerful lobbyists or veterans left to help promote a national memorial on the Mall in Washington, students can learn and honor history by raising funds and bringing attention to the situation.
Many of our students will visit Washington in their lifetimes. This involvement really makes that monument have deeper meaning. They can experience that knowledge that collectively they had made a contribution and the personal satisfaction of "making a difference."
The opportunity to research their own family history through genealogy charts generated conversations that usually don't occur between middle school students and their parents and relatives. Sometimes we all wait too late to have these conversations. Stories were shared and connections were made. Many were placed on a school blog set up for that purpose.
Students had opportunities for public speaking, created flyers for distribution in the community, created artwork and performed music of the era in a celebratory final patriotic assembly.
The primary purpose as a teacher was to give my students a great opportunity. Our school is located in an urban setting, and the turtles' nesting site is about two hours from the school on a beach. This project, in essence, brought the beach environment to my classroom. This project also aligns with the life science curriculum. Instead of reading about scientific inquiry, environmental issues, and animal adaptations, my students were active learners in the process. Global warming was no longer an issue they simply heard about, but one they could study with hands-on experience. As a teacher, I believe that because my students have had this experience, that they will become more conscientious citizens when it comes to environmental issues in the future.
For the students, the project had, and still has, different meanings. For many of the students they know they have made a difference in the environment through Project Terrapin. Students have said that projects such as Project Terrapin help others to think of pre-teenagers in a positive light, rather than just unruly middle school students. Other students feel by participating in this project that they have contributed to scientific research and have become scientists.
The community has benefitted from knowledge gained through student presentation on the terrapins. For many adults this creates a greater connection to the environment that we live in.
As a teacher, my primary purpose is to demonstrate to students that they can make a difference. Another purpose in this situation was to learn about the wildlife on our school grounds and realize that we can protect it. Essential Questions included: How do we influence public policy? What is the life cycle of the sandhill cranes? How can we best share our concerns about the cranes with the public? What technology will help us?
The primary purpose for the students was to see the signs actually go up. The students also wanted to share their story to show that students can make a real local impact regarding an authenticated need. They were eager to apply their technology skills to create movies about their project. As a result, the students participated in Project Citizen and showcased their Sandhill Crane Project for the state. They won at the District level and then they came in second in the state for their collaborative process. This was the first year we participated in Project Citizen and the students were very pleased that they won second place honors. In addition, one of the students spoke about his success at the National Youth Leadership Council in Minneapolis, MN in 2008 as he contributed his ideas with the Generator Schools Network. The primary purpose of our collective efforts for the community was to increase awareness of the plight of the sandhill cranes. Audubon Society and various local environmental groups encouraged our contributions and supported our cause. Both the newspaper and television media supported the students in their exceptional work.
Motivation! Working with students with severe special needs, we must find subject matter that truly engages and entices the students to want to learn. As teachers we must be willing to challenge our creativity and think outside the box. We go to where the student is feeling successful, or where their interests lie, and start there. Animals were a topic that interested most students on some level. We discovered this when we had a reptile man bring his animals to our school. We observed this again when we brought in a petting zoo or visited the zoo. Reading about Shannon Farm, we felt we found a perfect match, a place in the community where our students could apply their heartfelt caring with meaningful actions. As teachers, we wanted to create an ongoing experience that all students could participate in and was appropriate for personal development. Some students would do the research and some students would hang flyers. As teachers, we saw it was possible to involve every student. As we began engaging in service-learning, we asked: What can our students do? How can we engage all the students when there is such a discrepancy in skills? Where is it safe to go? How can we ensure reciprocity -- that the actions benefit students and community?