Saturday, January 10, 2015

Let the Research Begin!

After a wonderful Christmas break, we started the new year on Monday.

With research projects on the horizon in each grade level, it is important for the students to know HOW to find information and WHERE to find information. Our students have access to several different databases, but too often these are forgotten when research assignments are assigned. One way to make sure teachers don't forget about the paid databases is to go through the students. If I teach the students all of the databases then they will remind their teachers about it! 

One of the things that make accessing our databases so easy is MackinVia. This is what we use to house all of our e-resources. Students can access ebooks, online databases and audio books. With our recent update, students only need the User ID and the Password. There is no need to select a school.

Here students can easily locate our online databases without additional logins. Several of these databases also have read along capabilities which make them a great tool for Daily 5 time. 

We also looked at World Book online. This is our first year using this database. One aspect the students are really enjoying is the Dramatic Learning part. Here they can find plays and reader's theater  grouped by grade level, subject and title. 

We explored both World Book Kids and World Book Student. Students talked about the differences between the two, recognizing that sometimes it might be more effective to use one rather than the other.

Fifth graders are doing research on US regions, so that was our focus as we looked at World Book Online as well as TrueFlix. TrueFlix is a perfect tool for this, as there is an ebook for each region of focus.  Students can also easily find additional resources on TrueFlix, as well as a short video clip. Fifth graders will be presenting their research with either a Weebly website or a Thinglink.  Before Christmas break, students came to the library to learn about these two tools. I can't wait to see what they create!

Third graders have been enjoying PebbleGo Biographies, so we looked at the new PebbleGo Science and all it has to offer.  While looking at this, we talked about using key words to search for specific topics.  


In addition, we discussed the importance of citing sources while doing research. PebbleGo makes it easy for students to cite sources!

My hope with these lessons is to equip students with research skills that will enable them to get started on their assigned projects. As a classroom teacher, I remember it being difficult to teach research skills, assign a project and also have the time to actually have students complete the project. By teaching research skills to students before the classroom teacher assigns the project, it allows the teacher to focus more on the actual project. 

In future lessons, we will focus more on keyword searches and practice citing sources. 

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