Thursday, January 30, 2014

Upcoming Digital Learning Day #DLDay in RES Enrichment Library Class #resvt #cesuvt #vted

checking sound levels in iMovie

On Wednesday February 5, fourth graders in Mrs. Rankin and Mrs. Redford's Enrichment Library Class will be participating in Digital Learning Day 2014 (DLD). DLD is "a nationwide celebration of innovative teachers and common-sense, effective applications of digital learning in America’s schools that support teachers, improve learning, and provide options for students to achieve at their highest potential." (from the official DLD website) Information on Digital Learning Day activities in Vermont and across the country can be found on the DLD Day 2014 Event Map.

During their year in Enrichment Library Class, scholars use technology to practice important 21st century skills such as digital citizenship, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. They also learn to use technology thoughtfully and skillfully to find and communicate information. So far this year they have

  • improved their media literacy knowledge by using iMovie to create their own commercials

  • Practiced their critical thinking skills by evaluating websites for reliability (a favorite was the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus site

thinking critically about the Tree Octopus website

During Wednesday's class, scholars will be researching, taking notes, and creating citations for their independent "Capstone" projects. As they do this, they will be practicing their skills in:

  • digital search strategies
  • evaluating online sources
  • digital citizenship

We will be posting pictures and information from DLD on this blog, so stay tuned on February 5! We will also be tweeting DLD updates from the RES library Twitter account, @resvtlib. Please follow along with us on our digital learning journey!

creating class guidelines for thoughtful Internet use

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Taking Notes

When you take notes, you are trying to take out just the important words and ideas you will need later. Here's a video about taking notes to get you started:

Fact Fragment Frenzy (Click on Demo)

Things to remember:

  • When you start using a new source, get a new piece of Notes paper for your notes
  • Make a citation for your source on your bibliography page. Check with your example citations to see how your citation should look (format).

Grey, Elijah. Sephr_Notepad_with_Text_and_Pencil_1 from

The Big6 Steps for Information Literacy


Fourth grade students will be using the Big6 steps as they research and prepare their Capstone Projects. The Big6 steps are:

#1 - Task Definition
What is my research task? What types of information do I need?

#2 - Information Seeking Strategies
What are possible sources? Which sources are best for me?

#3 Location and Access
Where is each source? Where is the information in each source?

#4 Use of Information
How can I best use each source? What information in each source is useful?

#5 Synthesis
How can I organize all the information? How can I present the result?

#6 Evaluation
Is the task completed? How can I do things better?

The Big6 approach was developed by longtime educators Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz as a way to help students structure their research process. More information about the Big6 is available at

Students are currently completing Step 1 by developing their research questions. They have come up with some amazing research questions already, and we plan to share these questions on this blog in the next few weeks.

Big6 skills and worm image are from

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hackschooling Makes me Happy video

Thirteen-year-old Logan LaPlante is crafting his own education based on his passions.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Quest for Learning video!

RES fourth grade scholars wanted to see the Enrichment Library introduction video here it is!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Topic Brainstorms

Choosing a topic to study is challenging.  The most important thing in the beginning is to follow your passion!  We need to spend time figuring out what are passions are and different ways to think about our interests.

One method is to brainstorm topics.  

Check out this example of a topic brainstorm:

Some people find that brainstorming on paper helps them think through their ideas, others like to talk about their ideas with a friend, while others use technology to think and record their ideas.

Here area few technology tools to try:

WallWisher (no login needed) (no login needed, and should be able to print finished clouds) 
**Must use the CHROME BROWSER!**

Chrome image from

Capstone Project Introduction

Fourth graders are beginning Capstone Projects in their Enrichment Library classes. They will be spending the next five months working on these individual research projects on topics they choose themselves. The scholars will be completing the following steps as they learn and present their new knowledge:

  • Choose a topic
  • Choose a research question
  • Research and take notes
  • Choose how to present your research findings 
  • Create your presentation to share your research findings
  • Evaluate your presentation with a rubric
Here's a presentation we viewed with the scholars about the Capstone process. We look forward to sharing more about these projects as the spring goes on!

capstone image from Ceridwen. "Gwal-y-filiast Capstone." Wikimedia Commons, 5 Mar. 2011. Web. 22 Aug. 2012.