16/04/2018

Stage 2 Geography Earth’s Environment – Sustainability

The lessons I create for library sessions focus on literacy, information and digital literacy, and on the agenda digital technologies. More recently I have been focusing on tightening the focus of the teaching and learning experiences by thinking critically about my learning intentions. Other influences in my planning have been visible thinking routines and aspects of inquiry learning. I suppose I should just say I am changing the way I think, plan and create to adjust to the changes in education and scope of the Australian Curriculum.

Living Earth

My most recent unit aligns with Stage 2 Geography – Earth’s Environment – Sustainability. I wanted to create a series of lessons that would be helpful for students to gain skills in note-taking, summarising and synthesising information using a range of sources. I decided to focus mainly on organising information into a Mind Map, students are introduced to creating a Mind Map and are given opportunities to practice the technique.

The unit (lesson series plan and workbook) is available via my TES Resources page.

The series of lessons takes approximately 5 hours, this plan is for 5 x 30-minute sessions.

Provocation: How can people use places and environments more sustainably?

Series of seven activities based on:

  • Introduction using The Tomorrow Book by Jackie French
  • Food wastage
  • Climate change
  • Alternative energy
  • Indigenous Australian sustainable practices
  • Reflection/Evaluation

Key skills include gathering information from differing sources, note-taking, synthesising information, and creating Mind Maps. Students use a unit booklet which includes all the activities, one online Mind Map tool is used for the final task. Students reflect on their learning at the conclusion of the unit.

Key planning sources:
• NSW Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum – Geography – The Earth’s Environment Stage 2 
• The series of lessons follow aspects of the Inquiry Journey Framework adapted from The Power of Inquiry by Kath Murdoch 2015, Chapter 5.
Learning intentions focus on knowledge, skills and understanding summary
Thinking Routines based on ideas from
Mind Mapping background information

Image from https://openclipart.org/detail/188287/living-earth

19/02/2018

How does our library organise books?

How does our library organise books? This was the question I asked Year 4 in order to find out what they knew. The question was opened and students were told they could write, draw and label as much detail as possible, they were required to stay seated, looking around was allowed – they had 5 minutes. The timer was set and students were very serious about the challenge set. Observing student response and enthusiasm in action it was quick to see key ideas and understanding.

Once time was up each student shared one idea (names called out in random), if an idea had already been shared the student was prompted to build on an idea, for example, one response was A-Z this was added to explain author’s surname which was further added as fiction. A question prompt would be what does nonfiction mean, how do we know it is nonfiction and so on.

Ideas were recorded on the IWB for further reference and as a class summary. It was a great way to gain an understanding of what students already knew and allowed for learning from others. The lesson was an introduction to a series of lessons on using the library focusing on nonfiction.

 

25/06/2017

What can we learn about history through pictures – take a look at the $20 note!

This term Year 2 were investigating The Past in the Present (NSW Syllabus). During the library lessons we undertook an inquiry into How can we use nonfiction to be better researchers? The series of lessons which investigated informative books will be summarised in a separate post as I would like to share the final lessons which were most amazing – we took a good look at the Australian $20 note. 

The investigation links in with History: The Past in the Present HT1-2 where students identify and describe significant people, events, places and sites in the local community over time.  Continue reading

06/01/2017

What site should I use? Evaluating websites

The final lessons in the online search skills series of lessons focuses on evaluating websites. There are numerous guides to provide to students, depending on age of the students the selection of evaluation terms is important. I found the 5W’s of Website Evaluation by Kathy Schrock very useful but made slight changes so that it matched the video clip on Evaluating the Web using the 5W’s.

To start the lesson we watched the YouTude clip Evaluate Search Results, this reinforced prior exercises and introduced new skills setting the scene for evaluation. At the end of the clip the class discussed what stood out.

We then watched the second video clip which is fast and exciting and it opened the door to the 5W’s of Website Evaluation exercises. Continue reading

05/01/2017

Leading the way with Internet search skills

Over the years I have provided online search skill lessons to students in upper primary, there have been numerous resources reviewed, professional learning, experimenting with search techniques and tailoring lessons to share with students basic to extensive search techniques and applications. The series of lessons fit into the Australian Curriculum General Capabilities Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability – Investigating with ICT and are a key aspect of digital literacy. What I have gained from designing and teaching the lessons is that one should not assume that students know about online search skills, anyone can search and find something about a topic – Google has made searching easy, but we need to be mindful about the what sources we use. Another thing I found is that teachers who join the the class take note and have even joined in with the activities to extend their online search skills.
This post focuses on an introduction to a series of lessons that aim to assist students with ‘Investigating with ICT‘ planning searches, locating and accessing online information, and evaluating information.

Continue reading

30/03/2014

Primary Research Project

Primary Research ProjectGrade 6 recently participated in the Primary Research Project.The Project consists of 40 multiple choice questions covering a range of topics in the Australian Curriculum English, Maths, History and Geography. Students are encouraged to use a range of resources including dictionaries, atlases, reading graphs and articles within the Project and a wide range of online searches are required. Many questions have multiple steps to prove the correct answer. The Project runs for two weeks and students have a maximum of four hours to complete. The cost was $6 p/student, students are registered and all answers are submitted online. Students receive a graded certificate on completion of the Primary Research Project.

Continue reading