Monthly Archives: November 2013

Introducing the Big6 with real-life information need

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.

Poster of the Big6 information seeking model or process

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.



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Filed under Information Literacy Instruction

Promoting Curiosity in the Library Media Center

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.

Display on circulation desk in  library of bird nest non-fiction books magnifying glasses

Bird’s nest display on circulation desk in library media center

Naturalistic Learners

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!

Bird nest sitting on circulation desk in an elementary school library media center

Nature’s wonder at work!


Filed under Library displays

iSchool Workshop on Digital Learning Revolution

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.

Digital Storytelling

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 iSchool Initiative Team presenter at RESA workshop

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 for royalty-free music, 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.

iSchool's Digital Learning Revolution bus filled with technology

Inside the DLR Mobile Classroom Experience bus

iSchool bus

iSchool’s bus Digital Learning Revolution

Google Apps

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.

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Filed under Students using technology

YouTube Channel

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.

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