Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wonderful Wonderers!

Students added some of their Wonders to our bulletin board.

What a year this has been. So many new and fun learning opportunities in our library for students and staff.  One of the greatest joys for me has been collaborating with one of our grade one teachers, Julie Colantoni. Julie is a lifetime learner who loves to try new things for herself and her students. Our latest collaboration is an Inquiry Project we introduced to her class last week. We met ahead of time to plan this unit and to think about what Inquiry looks like for our young learners. These are some the words we discussed: questioning, wondering, predicting and background knowledge and how they would relate to the project. We looked at the Stripling Model of Inquiry.

We also talked about the concept of Genius Hour, how letting students have a say in what they are learning creates excitement and passion.  We decided that our students would be able to choose any topic from our brand new PebbleGo Earth and Space Data Base, which is designed for primary age students.  We tweaked the Share What You Know page from PebbleGo to fit our needs:

To kick-off the project, the class came to the library.  We discussed the concept of Inquiry and Wonder. Then we introduced them to PebbleGo using the projector so everyone could see the screen.

We modeled how to find topics using the visual search option, how they could choose different tabs to locate specific information, what they would find within each tab, how they could listen to and/or read the text, watch videos and more. These are true 21st century skills! To model, I choose to learn about caves because a dear friend is currently staying at a cave hotel in Turkey (talk about connecting to and wondering about a topic). We also talked about how important it is to cite your sources. Our students were excited to get started!

The class came back to the library in the afternoon.  Because we have ten computers, we divided the class in half.  Ten students would work on a different project that had begun in class and the other ten would use PebbleGo. Then we would switch groups.  We handed out the worksheets. Each student went to a computer and amazingly got busy right away, like they were research pros!  They searched through the data base looking for a topic they wanted to learn about.  Here's what it looked like:

Next up, I will pull books from our library on the topics the students selected.  They will learn to gather additional facts from these resources and then add it to the Share What You Know page. When all the information is collected, our students will be given a few choices for how they can share their new learning.  We will also think about how the reflection piece of this project will look. More on these in a future post.

We are so proud of our WONDERful WONDERers!

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