Students Become Teachers - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Students Become Teachers

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Students at Lincoln Elementary got to be teachers for a change. 
 First graders picked one animal they thought should be in the Dakota Zoo--and then took charge of everything; from researching and writing, to presenting why their animal should be put in the Bismarck Zoo. 
The schools calls this method; project-based learning -- a way for students to take charge of their own education.
Ben Smith let the students tell this story..

"Hippos weigh up to 4000 to 8000 pounds." said Lukas, a Lincoln elementary first-grader
"So the project based learning is really about kids taking knowledge and skills that they've acquired and applying them in some way to a real life problem or a real life situation." said Shelly Swanson, the principal of Lincoln elementary
"They eat 80 pounds of grass each day."
"But its a lot of fun.  "There is a lot of technology pieces in it.  The students are leading it, its not a teacher driving thing so they love to do it."
says teacher Ashley Mastel
"Its fun because I got to use very squishy clay." says 1st grader, Julia Hanson
"I really liked thinking about what I was going to put in there.  I put some green grass right here, and then I put in the water and mud and the trees and I put some blue sky and then the sun and clouds..."
"We've done research on penguins, and walruses and some are saying; 'I found out that my animal really can't live in our zoo.'"
"I don't think we should have a hippo at the Dakota Zoo, because we have too many cold months."
"We also have some people from the Bismarck Zoo here, who are listening and getting ideas"
"We've looked at several presentations today and they've been pretty well researched and pretty well presented."
"Hippo means river horse."
"They're very independent when it's project based and they get to choose their learning and they get to choose what they want to learn so it makes their learning really fun."

Principal Swanson was surprised at the large turnout, and said the event was a success.


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