Thursday, January 29, 2015

How to Turn a Good Topic into a Great Research Question #resvt #vsla

The next step in our fourth grade enrichment library classes is for the scholars to create research questions for their Capstone Projects. Scholars will start by asking themselves, What do I already know about my topic? And what am I curious about?

A good research question:
    1) Needs information from sources other than yourself

    2) Can be researched—you can find information to help you answer it

    3) Broad enough for you to learn a lot about your topic - a Yard Question, not an Inch or Foot Question

    4) Narrow enough to answer in three or four classes of research - a Yard question, not a Mile Question that would take forever to answer!

    5) often (not always) begins with “why” or “how”

    6) clearly worded

    7) encourages deeper understanding of the topic

    8) you want to know the answer!

      Wednesday, January 21, 2015

      Who are Some Young People Who Have Followed Their Passions?

      Fourth graders watched a video clip in their enrichment library classes about young teenagers who have followed their passions for reporting and mountain climbing. The video was so inspiring the scholars wanted to watch it again! So we are posting it here, along with some links to more information about Nick, Jordan, and their passions.

      Teen sports reporter Nick Garner interviews
      Jordan Romero, who climbed Mount Everest when he was 13

      More about Jordan from the BBC (and there is much more information about Jordan elsewhere on the web - a quick Google search will turn up hundreds of links and videos)

      Sunday, January 11, 2015

      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.

      Friday, January 2, 2015

      Evaluating Websites for Research

      Today we will be using a rating sheet to evaluate websites. You may not get to all of these steps today, so please start on Step One!

      Step One:
      The topic of each of the sites below is endangered species. Pretend that you are about to do a project on endangered species,--go to one of these websites and use our rating sheet to decide if you would use the information you find there.

      Step Two:
      Share and discuss your results with a classmate at the same step as you.

      Step Three:
      Use the rating sheet to rate one of your favorite endangered species sites. How does it hold up to our rating system?

      Step Four:
      We have spent a lot of time discussing advertising. How does advertising factor into websites? What do you notice? Do you think that makes a difference in whether or not a website should be used for research? Look at a few of these websites with an eye for advertising. (Think about this and we will discuss it as a class next time!)

      Step Five:
      Should we change the rating sheet? How? Why? Note any changes you would like to make on an extra rating sheet.