Today was the second day spent with Mr. Etscovitz’s 7-3 Social Studies classes. Mr. E’s students came in yesterday, and I taught them how to use NoodleTools’ online notecards for a mini research project on Ancient China. The students were planning to create three online notecards with citations, along with an introductory paragraph and an image for their project.
We reviewed how to create citations using NoodleBib, how to use print sources, as well as how to use the Marshall Cavendish Exploring Ancient Civilizations database. In addition, I also showed them how to use Gale’s Student Resource Center database, which they will use in greater detail once they reach 8th grade.
The students worked with desktops and laptops to complete their projects. They had chosen from a list of diverse topics Mr. E. put together on China and Ancient China which included historic figures such as Bruce Lee, Mao Tse-Tung, and Marco Polo as well as important events like the Tiananmen Square Uprising, and historic topics like The Forbidden City, the Shaolin Monks, the Yuan Dynasty and many more choices.
I look forward to hearing about their progress in the coming days. Good luck cluster 7-3!
Happy April. I know it’s Springtime in New England because it snowed most of the morning today. This is not an April Fool’s Day joke.
Today was a very busy day, as I double-booked myself to be sure I was able to fit in both Ms. Driscoll’s 8-3 Social Studies classes and Mr. Ciccolella’s 7-2 ELA classes.
Ms. Driscoll’s classes were first to come to the library after Advisory, and I spent the day helping them create thesis statements and locate print sources, while answering their questions and helping them write research questions. I also helped students locate valid and pertinent information using databases, books and Google so as to get answers to their questions. We also worked on creating clear, concise online notecards and citations using NoodleTools.
After all of Ms. Driscoll’s classes left for the day, Mr. Ciccolella’s classes came to visit. His students are working on a Google Earth research project on the Silk Road. I showed students how to use our Marshall Cavendish databases on Ancient Civilizations, as well as the Student Resource Center Junior database. I reviewed NoodleBib online citations, and went through step by step directions on how to create online notecards. Their project will require at least 7 notecards, so we practiced creating a few of them so they could familiarize themselves with the process.
For the first time ever in 7th grade, the students also learned how to “share” their research in NoodleTools with Mr. Ciccolella. Up until today, “sharing” had only been done with the 8th grade Social Studies teachers as they worked with their students on their Research projects.
With their projects being “shared” with Mr. Ciccolella, he will now be able to see all student work by simply logging into his own NoodleBib account. The students can write him messages/questions using the “My Ideas” section of their online notecards, and Mr. Ciccolella can write them back using his account. Their research can stay completely online, no printing necessary, because their teacher can view their work and offer help/advice with the click of a button.
After the lesson, the students logged into their accounts to “share” with Mr. Ciccolella then worked with both print and online resources to locate information. Sometime next week, they will learn how to use GoogleEarth so they can input their Silk Road research into specific locations on a virtual map of the Silk Road.
Good luck to both cluster 8-3 and 7-2. It’s Research Season!
Today I worked with Ms. Pickering’s 8-2 Science classes. Ms. Pickering has a Geology project she designed at a Summer Teacher Tech Camp, with the idea behind the project being to have Students teaching Students.
To begin the upcoming Geology unit, students work in pairs with assigned Geology projects like Volcanoes, Tsunamis, Glaciers, Earthquakes, etc. I came to her classes today to show students how to cite images in NoodleTools, how to use the Marshall Cavendish Digital Science databases, how to export their bibliographies, and remind them of needing to create online notecards with their information. We’ve been working almost every day since the beginning of the month on creating citations and making online notecards with Mr. Mock in their S.S. classes, so I didn’t spend time on the online notecard portion of the lesson as I felt they were well on their way to knowing what to do in that area and I didn’t want to “reinvent the wheel.”
I spent the day with Ms. Pickering’s classes helping, encouraging, nudging, and making sure they had enough information on their notecards to use for tomorrow’s lesson – when they’ll meet with our Technology Integration Specialist, Mr. Cournoyer. He will show them tips and techniques for creating a Keynote presentation. Their Keynotes need to consist of 6-8 slides, with Title and Works Cited slides not included in the total. Each slide also needs to include at least one image.
When all Keynotes are completed, students will give a 2-3 minute presentation to their fellow classmates. By the end of all the presentations, students will have a working knowledge of the information they will be covering in their Geology units – courtesy of their fellow classmates.
There’s definitely ” a whole lotta shaking going on” in Ms. Pickering’s classroom. Keep up the good work everyone!
It’s been a very busy week working with Ms. Webering’s 8-1 Science classes for a Technology Integrated Project. Since Monday, the students have been researching data for a Global Warming project. They spent part of their time searching for specific questions related to the issue of Global Warming, then will spend the rest of the week focusing on specific areas of renewable and non-renewable energy. When they have gathered all of their data, they will spend a couple of days working with Mr. Cournoyer to create a Keynote presentation to teach their classmates about their findings.
On Monday, I used specific databases (Gale’s Environmental Studies & Policy Collection) and several Marshall Cavendish Science databases to lead students towards finding their answers. I showed them tips on how to do Advanced Searches in both databases, how to tell the difference between abstract and full-text articles, and how to search for full-text articles. The Environmental Policy database is more advanced than Marshall Cavendish, and allows for searching among Journals, Newspaper and Magazine articles, as well as other Multimedia formats. Since the reading level is a bit higher than 9th grade, it is meant for a more advanced reader. I wanted students to be able to see both types of databases so those who are on a higher reading/understanding level than others would feel a bit challenged and want to challenge themselves while using this database.
We also reviewed their NoodleBib citation skills and reviewed how to use books as resources for supplemental information, since some students may feel more comfortable searching a “hands on” book instead of using the internet.
Keep up the good work 8-1!
Congratulations to Cluster 7-4 for creating a blog for their students and parents to know what’s happening in the cluster. In this blog, readers will be alerted to announcements about school-wide activities, cluster activities, and other important information. To find out the latest news about Cluster 7-4, check out their blog.
I can add a blurb to this news about cluster 7-4′s blog: they were well represented in the Library today with Ms. Ashley, their Science teacher. All of Ms. Ashley’s Science classes worked with me to review their NoodleBib skills, including learning how to re-validate their accounts after a year’s absence. They also learned ways to search using the Marshall Cavendish Science databases, and some even went on to explore the Gale General Science database for some advanced searching. In addition, they did research with a cart of books I’d prepared for them on various Biomes. Tomorrow, they’ll conclude their work with me.
Congratulations, again, Cluster 7-4 on your new blog!
Today was my first time entering the world of research with our new 7th graders for this school year. Ms. Cuddeback’s 7 -2 Science classes came to my classroom in Inner Space to begin their Biome research projects. To begin, I introduced the concept of them needing to re-validate their accounts the first time it’s used every year, and gave them the necessary username/password information for this.
In addition, I showed them the new Library website, and we chose the Marshall Cavendish Science database from the list of available sources so we could prepare to do a sample search on the Tundra. At the same time, I let them know I would be teaching them more about the rest of the databases in the 7th grade Technology elective classes next week. Once we were on the Marshall Cavendish Science database site, we chose a Tundra article which contained 100% worth of information on our topic from the Marshall Cavendish Earth & Physical Sciences database.
We discussed a few things of importance to NoodleBib’s new look for 2010, which include a “Dashboard”/”Project” feature, then practiced citing a sample article and an image about the Tundra from Marshall Cavendish. I had them tell me how best to look for information in a book when the title didn’t match their topic (check out the index, table of contents, and synonyms for their topic), then the group split off into the Library to begin their research using the cart of biome books as well as the desktops and laptops. The students will continue working with Ms. Cuddeback tomorrow, and I will work more with them next Tues.
Have fun researching!
A major goal of mine from last year was finally realized today when I finished teaching Ms. Elliott’s 7-2 Social Studies classes. When her class left at 2:10, I was thrilled because it meant I had taught every one of our 400+ 7th graders to use the online notecard portion of NoodleTools.
When I first started at Pollard last year, I met with the high school librarian to find out what skills the 7th and 8th graders would need to know to succeed with their high school research. One of the skills mentioned was to have students get a working knowledge of the online notecards and citation portion of NoodleTools. I was able to successfully teach all of last year’s 6th graders how to use NoodleBib to cite their work. I was only able to reach two of the 7th grade classes last year with this citation skill during a Science project, and two of the 8th grade Social Studies classes used it with me on their Research Reports. The other 8th grade teachers felt that they couldn’t do as much as they wanted to with the online notecards and citations if most of their students didn’t have a good base from previous years.
Thus, this year, I made it my goal to speak to all of the 7th grade Social Studies teachers to let them know of the importance of having me teach the beginning skills of online notecards to their students. Since the students had already learned how to create online citations in 6th grade, the next logical step would be to introduce online notecards in 7th grade. As a result, in 8th grade, I would be able to teach them more involved ways of how to use these online notecards with their Research Reports in Social Studies and Science along with the other skills they would need to know to complete these projects.
To prepare for this talk, I searched through the entire collection, and created carts of fiction, nonfiction, videos and DVD resources for 7th grade Social Studies to show the teachers all of the resources that are available to help them with their lessons. In January, I met with all of the 7th grade Social Studies teachers to explain how I could be used to help them expand their lessons and explained why teaching their students how to use the online notecards would not only be beneficial to them in the 7th grade, but would help them in 8th grade with the tremendous amount of work they do with these notecards and would take alot of the pressure off the 8th grade teachers to prepare them for high school.
In March, Ms. Kuhn (7-1 Social Studies) was the first to bring her students to learn how to use these notecards. Her students worked on a project where they looked for information on religious holidays which related back to the different religions they’d studied in class. The students used their online notecards to make a small presentation in class.
At the end of the month, Mr. Ciccolella (7-5 Social Studies) brought his classes in so the students could do research on various cities and projects found on the Silk Road, including photographs. They put all their information on the online notecards and then transferred it to GoogleEarth and created a visual tour of the Silk Road.
As the months passed, I sent many reminder e-mails, talked to teachers in person, and worried that the year would pass with three 7th grade clusters not getting this important skill by 8th grade. However, last week, I was invited to work with Ms. Clark’s (7-3 Science) classes to teach them how to use the online notecards with a Biome project. I showed them how to use the “Marshall Cavendish Science” databases to locate their information and they used the notecards to record what they found.
Yesterday, I met with Mr. Berk’s (7-4 Social Studies) classses. He had prepared websites related to a controversy in NYC where a group wants to build a Mosque near Ground Zero. He wanted students to look through these articles and prepare a well thought out argument that would be either for or against the idea. They created an online notecard listing some of their ideas and/or summarizing an article, along with a one page paper.
Today, I met with Ms. Elliott (7-2 Social Studies). She prepared a lesson where students created two notecards summarizing two different articles which showed anti-Muslim racism since 9/11. I showed them how to do Advanced Searches using our brand new “War & Terrorism Collection” database, and they recorded their information on the online notecards.
Thank you to our four Social Studies teachers (Ms. Kuhn [7-1], Ms. Elliott [7-2], Mr. Berk [7-4] and Mr. Ciccolella [7-5]) and one Science teacher (Ms. Clark [7-3]), for taking time to help your students get a “head start” on their 8th grade work. Because of your efforts, the students will be better prepared for their research next year.
Overheard today by a 7th grader: “You mean these cards can never get lost? And I can use them anywhere I have a computer? And I can use them for anything I want? Wow! This is great!”
Yes, it is great.
Last week, I began a Technology Integration Project with Ms. Pickering’s 8-2 Science classes. Before my lessons began, Ms. Pickering and I met to discuss her expectations for the project, and to gain my input into her overall plan for the lesson. Next, she met with Mr. Cournoyer, 8th grade Technology teacher, because she planned to have their research put into a Keynote presentation and also needed his input into the best way to go about getting this done.
Last week, I worked for 2 days with Ms. Pickering’s classes on their geology project “There is a Whole Lot of Shaking Going On,” showing them how to use the Marshall Cavendish Science database, how to cite their sources, how to use NoodleBib, and how to export their citations. Afterwards, I came back for a couple of days and circulated while they worked on their laptops to be sure they knew how to do what I had taught them and to answer any questions.
For the next step in their project, Mr. Cournoyer came into the classroom a couple of days after I was done to show the students techniques and shortcuts for creating a powerful Keynote presentation. He also stayed with the students for a few days to work with them, answer questions, and make sure they understood what he’d taught them. Throughout the whole process, Ms. Pickering gave input, circulated amongst her students, and reinforced what Mr. Cournoyer and I were teaching her students.
Today, the students gave their presentations. It had to stay within a 3 minute time limit, contain 6-8 informational slides with a beginning and ending slide, as well as a citation slide. I watched as students confidently used the SmartBoard to go through their projects. Meanwhile, as they presented, their classmates wrote information on a sheet which included the names of those presenting, the title of their project, what they had learned, any interesting facts, as well as compliments for those presenting. When the students were finished with their Keynote presentation, they entertained questions from the audience.
The following students presented while I visited:
I was very impressed to see that their slides did not have an overload of information but were easy to read and understand, and contained clear and concise photographs showing what they had learned. The students also seemed very knowledgeable and poised, and I could see that they had really “learned their stuff.” I, especially, liked how they realized the importance of citing their sources, and had Citation pages that were full of information about what they had used for their research.
This was a fine example of Science + Research + Technology = Technology Integration. Ms. Pickering, thank you for inviting me to see the final project. Mr. Cournoyer and I enjoyed seeing the fruit of our lessons with your students. Congratulations to Ms. Pickering’s 8-2 Science classes for a job well done. Tomorrow, they will conclude their presentations.
Some of the 7th graders visited the library yesterday to research biomes. While there, they worked in groups to work with a cart of biome books. Some of the group members worked on Marshall Cavendish, our science database. As the class gathered their data, there was much lively discussion and interaction between those working with print media and those working online. They benefited from having the best of both worlds in their work.
Today, I worked with a 6th grade class on the second day of their library orientation. In teams, they worked with the online library catalog and various databases to find answers to tasks in the areas of Science, Social Studies and English. They chose their tasks then explored various databases to search out articles on Mummies, Bridges, Chemical elements, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, Mesopotamia, Author Studies, Poetry, Science Fiction/Fantasy and others. They also learned how to locate the citations for these articles so that when they work with the databases in the future, they will know how to cite their sources.