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ERIC Number: EJ773932
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1056-0300
Say "I Can" and Use Research Skills
Robinson, Karen S.; Wenner, Jenny; O'Reilly, Beth
Social Studies and the Young Learner, v20 n1 p11-13 Sep-Oct 2007
Children at Alcott Elementary in Westerville, Ohio, have a new habit of saying, "I can!" In the last few years, educators in the district have carefully translated the standards in their elementary courses of study into "I Can" statements. During the fourth and fifth graders' recent study of government, the authors of this article used "I Can" statements to integrate reading, writing, research, mathematics, and social studies. The fourth graders were studying state government, and the fifth graders were studying the Preamble and Article II of the U.S. Constitution. Their teachers, Jenny and Beth, collaborated with Karen, a professor at Otterbein College. Karen's undergraduate students in Middle School Education partnered with Jenny and Beth's students as "research buddies." In small groups (one college student with five or six elementary students), research buddies used their research skills to learn about the branches of state government (in the fourth grade), or the purposes of the Constitution and the steps toward becoming President of the United States (in the fifth grade). Their "I Can" project resulted in two important lessons that they would like to share with other educators. First, well-crafted standards, chosen by educators and integrated into the curriculum, allow social studies to receive its deserved prominence in the classrooms. Second, extra hands in the classroom allow the children to "dig in" to complex material, and allow them as teachers to differentiate their instruction in ways that are difficult to do when a teacher is alone in the classroom. (Contains 8 notes.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street 500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800: Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4; Grade 5; Intermediate Grades
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio; United States