I decided to introduce the information or problem solving process, the Big6 to my 3rd and 4th grade classes. I had done it several years ago with moderate success, but was inspired to try again after looking at the Big6 recently in a graduate class.
Connecting the Big6 with Real-Life Problem
This time I started the lesson by showing a poster of the Big6 and telling the students that it was a strategy, model or process that they could use to find information they needed to solve a problem. I wanted to hook them in and help them see that this model would be useful outside the classroom.
Big 6 poster I hung near our chart paper.
Step 1 Task Definition
The Exchange Club Fair was due to start the next week and most all of the students love going to the fair. Aha! A real-life problem…what information do you need if you want to go to the fair. And so we starting brainstorming and these are the questions one class decided they needed answers to (step 1-Task Definition):
- How much does the fair cost?
- Where do you get tickets?
- Where is the fair?
- What are the dates the fair is running?
- What are the times each day the fair is going on?
They were very excited (I’m not sure if it was talking about the fair or about the process)!
Step 2 Information Seeking Strategies
We moved on and the students came up with possible sources of information to answer these questions. (step 2) The students did a great job listing sources such as the local television stations, local newspaper, the internet, someone who has been to the fair and a few more.
Step 3, 4, 5
We went through the next steps and I had their attention the entire time as this was a problem they would have the next week, when they wanted to go to the fair.
Step 6 Evaluation
Step 6 of the Big6 is evaluating the effectiveness of the product and efficiency of the process. I asked them how would they know if they had gotten the correct information (effectiveness). After a few false starts, one of the students said, “We’d be at the fair!” I went on to very briefly tell them they would be using this process soon when they conducted research on a project in their class.
I think they are more likely to remember this lesson by connecting it to something they can relate to and I’ll definitely use this approach again next year.
Nature and Sparking Curiosity
I like to bring in objects of all kinds and place them on the checkout desk in my library media center. I think it helps spark questions, inquiry and interest in students. It also gives students a chance to use scientific tools on a regular basis. I can also show that the library has books that can help them explore all types of subjects. Recently a co-worker found a bird’s nest in her yard and knew of my habit of bringing nature into the library, so she gave me the nest.
Bird’s nest display on circulation desk in library media center
I placed a couple of non-fiction books about birds’ nests and magnifying glasses around the nest. I will usually keep the display up for about 2 or 3 weeks, to give all of the students a chance to look at it. I’ve heard the most interesting comments and questions about the nest. One student asked another, “How do you think the bird knows how to build a nest?” Sounds like a simple question, but it’s actually a very complicated one. This type of display is one easy way to appeal to the naturalistic learning style of your students. Doesn’t cost anything and gives students an up-close view of nature they might not otherwise have. Heck, it might even be something that meets a Common Core standard!
Nature’s wonder at work!
RESA Workshop by iSchool Initiative Team
The Southwest Georgia RESA (Regional Education Services Agency) organized a very interesting workshop today about changing the educational culture, the Digital Learning Revolution (DLR). Arvin Ross, iSchool team member, is an energetic person who is passionate about unleashing the creative genius in teachers so they can pass that along to their students.
Arvin led the session on Digital Storytelling and gave us reasons that digital storytelling is important.
- Critical thinking skills are engaged
- Technology is necessary
- Visual literacy is used
- Global literacy is increasingly important
- Research methods are utilized
- Collaboration is integral
- Interview skills are honed
- Problem solving skills are used
- Presentation skills increase
Arvin Ross, presenter at iSchool presentation Digital Learning Revolution
Arvin told us about some apps and websites that we can use with students that sound pretty interesting. Things like Jamendo.com for royalty-free music, Compfight.com for image searching, and iMotion HD for time lapse photos. I’m looking forward to sharing this information with the teachers at my school. I’m hoping that I can use it with some of the students to build excitement.
DLR Tour: the Mobile Classroom Experience
We were able to tour the Mobile Classroom Experience where we could see cool technologies. I was able to use an ActivTable from Promethean. I’ve only seen them used on CNN before! Would love to have one in our school. You could really have some great collaboration going on with one of those.
Inside the DLR Mobile Classroom Experience bus
iSchool’s bus Digital Learning Revolution
At a later session Arvin went over Google apps that we could use to collaborate. He showed how we could use Google docs to work with others. Hey, we just did this in our Social Media Management class the other night. I felt very well informed to have already have used it. I think I could use this with teachers at my school, but not with elementary students.
I didn’t know you could create your own YouTube channel until I learned it in my Florida State University graduate class, “Managing Social Media.” It’s very easy and a great way to keep track of the videos I want to use in my information literacy lessons in the library media center.