As students enter the library, I note that it's Leif Erikson Day in Iceland, and I am amused that Iceland scheduled their "Famous Explorer Holiday" a few days before the U.S.'s "Columbus Day," as kind of a "Ha ha, we were here first" tease. After a quick note reminding students of the due dates and to stay focused, they are released to begin drawing information from whatever sources they can find. I want to give students as much time as possible to begin their research, so I do not spend as much time as I would normally with the "Daily Holiday" and welcome. I will circulate the classroom talking to them then.
Students have already located sources that they can use in their research, and the majority of these sources have been bookmarked online, printed, or set aside in book reserve for the students to come back to.Today, after the introduction and a brief reminder of due dates, I set students to find the information they need to support their points.
Students are provided time in the library to do their research so that they can consult me or one of our librarians if they need assistance or clarification. By providing them this time, I can ensure they are on task, and while students work, I am circulating the library and computer lab, checking students are prepared, but also immediately clarifying any questions or concerns they may have. This guided research allows them the freedom and independence to truly make their paper their own, but also helps keep them even-keeled and not overwhelmed by the task. Common concerns addressed include "I Can't Find My Article", (another perspective: "I Can't Find My Article 2", "I Can't Find My Article 2 Part 2 Other Options") and "My Research Changed My Mind."
Now that students have found multiple print and/or digital sources, they are actively looking of and assessing the usefulness of information that supports their persuasive topic (W.9-10.8). As they organize their work, I am reading over shoulders, getting their ideas, offering my own, directing them to different sources: whatever it takes to get the correct information to avoid plagiarism and follow standard MLA format. As students compile their information cards, they are wording their findings to develop their claims (W.9-10.1b) precisely, and distinguish their claims from counter-claims (W.9-10.1a).
With two minutes remaining, I track the students down and remind them we are in the library again tomorrow, and remind them of the due date if the students do not complete their info cards. Despite having ample time both in and out of class to complete this assignment, students need to remember the set schedule and the importance of deadlines.