Meeting Minutes 8/11/08

Skype Call

Conference Notes – 8/11/08 Thanks Jamie

Crista Lawson- 5th grade, Eugene, OR
Jamie Nicholsen- 5th grade, Eugene, OR
Sarah Jones- 5th grade, Willegillespie Elem, Eugene
Denise Phillips- 5th & 6th, Elk Grove, CA
David Cosand- 5th grade, Medford, OR
Jane Krauss- RPBL teacher, Eugene, OR
Linda Nitsche- Gifted support k-6 South Beach, Pennsylvania
Erin Van Guilder- Gifted Support K-6 Chester Springs, PA
Ginger Lewman- Charter School 5th-8th Euphoria, Kansas-Doing some roll playing of candidates to see who does the best job representing
Lisa Parisi-5th grade, New York
Christine Southard- Co-teacher with Lisa, Spec. Ed., New York
Paul Bogish? Holding a debate, 8th graders, Lisa’s 5th grade would ask questions, they would have to come up with questions to ask the debaters

Kids becoming informed voters, ultimately when doing mock elections how they came to their decisions compare to another class, reflect on the way they arrive at their voting decisions, comparing civics education

Helpful tips to getting started with PBL…

What makes a project good, and then will it work collaboratively (Lisa)
Start with project collaboration outside the walls (Lisa)

Do we want to start by telling them what the issues are? Or, do they do research to find out the issues, gather information, display on a wiki

September- Constitution Day

What if the wiki had separate pages

Kids do research
Look at issues and how does that effect our kids in our community
They have to learn (Ginger)
Look at polling practices- election process, students becoming more critical thinkers (Denise)
Look and see who is polled, how do they choose who they poll, and is it a good representation (Sarah)
Look at national poll, here is the question that was asked in the poll, then take it home, or conduct a poll to find out if the nat’l poll represented our area, and Analyze data (Lisa)

Survey monkey, doing our own poll, then also have students cast a vote in a mock election (crista)
Need to do a transfer, look at issues, local and nat’l, map to candidates

Transfer learning to the mock election
Important for them to vote, the authentic piece, connecting all of the work done before to the vote (Linda)
Kids Vote in Pennsylvania


Assessment, could put a poll in the Wiki, look at whether our students go along with the areas voting took place, do they care about the issues in our area
Demographic profile of neighborhood
Kids did a classroom ranking in the degrees of importance, then compared the rankings

You don’t have to teach government to teach about the election
1. teaching the government how it is set up
2. teaching about the election and on the issues, candidate


We will teach about election, issues, and candidates
• Working in groups
• What polling is
• What issues are
• Candidates
• These could be mini-lessons along the way
• Casual light weight, getting students minds ready (few days before brainstorm)
• We brainstorm with our students what the issues are by looking in newspapers, talking with parents, listening to commercials, we could download You Tube on teacher computer, RSS online newspapers, Time for Kids, CNN for students, RSS on politics
• Add these issues to a Wiki page by a date early in September
• Then we meet again on a conference call and decide as teachers what 5 or 6 issues we will focus on as a class
• Create a Wiki page for each issue
• Then come back and compare issues between states, different or the same
• Then connect the issues to the candidates
• Identify where the candidates stand on the issue
• We should have issues well looked at by November. Then we can look at the electoral process the days before the elections

How will we explore the electoral college and how it works? Should we have the electoral college anymore?
-create a page on the wiki
-looking at the state map, red and blue

Culminating Project

Create a message for the candidate or president we are the future this what we think you should be doing, comes together with the issues – 2 minute video or podcasts, voicethread, blabbercise
Each issue gets covered throughout all the regions and we could collaborate to make a video together

Look at Flat Classroom for a process


January 20th-Inauguration Day we could have the video done to share
After election- make comparisons and analyze vote
Election Day-
October 30th- Mock election vote
October 27th, 28th, & 29th – share with classroom their wiki, explain issue to class
October 24th – ALL research has to be done
October 1st – 24th Research and
September 29th – Classroom Brainstorm, conference call
September 22nd- 26th – Getting kids minds ready (come back to this)

Next steps

Google calendar add to wiki
Lets create a dicussion thread on wiki- continue with this discussion
Guidelines for research
Interviewing people in their area
Then looking at the issues according to the candidates

Next Skype meeting – September 29th, 3:00 pm PST

Meeting Minutes June 30th, 2008

Skype Call

Contributors: Crista Lawson, Jamie Nichelson, Jane Krauss, Linda Nitsche, Derek Brandow

Purpose: Learn what government is about and tie it into what is happening today

Discussion: Kids learn about role of goverment (functions, and how it serves us), voting, freedom

Collaborate on a wiki (wikispaces) to see what parts of the project kids want to do: sharing ideas on a common topic
Collaboration was difficult in the past: provide a template and framework for what they produce, scaffold simply, give a foundation to tackle bigger ideas
Maybe do a timeline on a topic, ask students if they want to stay on a topic and research further. What is happening on that topic today? set up a current RSS feed
From there what to the candidates say and who would you want to vote for

Straw poll on survey monkey: How you get a representative sample, how does your area vote compared to other places-connections to math and statistics

Great to get some representation from the south and southwest. It would be really interesting.

Continue this conversation and put ideas on this wiki.

Meeting Minutes September 29th, 2008

Skype Call

Contributors: Crista Lawson, Jamie Nicholsen, Linda Nitsche, Lisa Parisi, David Cosand

Linda and Lisa shared their addition of Hot Issues to the Election Wiki. Jamie and Crista will add their classes Hot Issues.
Shared how we found the Hot Issues or Red Issue by asking students to share the issues that their families feel are important in the upcoming election. Crista made a table for each classroom to add their issues.

We then discussed how exactly we were going to have our students dive into the issues and record the information.
It was decided that we would break our classes into groups to research an issue they are interested in. Each group will become an "Expert" on their issue. We made a template on the wiki for the groups to add information to as they research. Important that groups don't duplicate information on their wiki page.

Student groups will be researching the following:
Where do the candidates stand on the issue?
Why is this issue important to our area?
Why is this a Hot issue?