Community Super Investigators (CSI) Club: Mathematics and Literacy in Action

Brittany Slayton, Susana Salazar Velez, Cindy Jong, Kristen Perry

Abstract


This paper describes an after-school club aimed to engage elementary students in project-based learning by integrating mathematics and literacy connections within a community- based topic. Building on students’ backgrounds and interests, researchers created the Community Super Investigators (CSI) Club as part of an after-school program to explore students’ questions by using critical mathematics and literacy skills. Fourth and fifth grade students who participated in the CSI Club chose the topic of improving the lives of homeless animals in the community. The students’ main goals were to promote the adoption of animals and lead a donation drive for the local humane society. Students were engaged because it was a topic of their interest, they had choices, and they had the opportunity to collaborate on authentic tasks. Mathematics and literacy connections were made by using iPads to research questions, documenting data and reflecting in journals, and making the content relevant with the community connection. Recommendations for improving after-school club experiences and making the content more critical are also provided.


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