Learning Goal: Apply our learning from the movie and research to our project.
Opening Question: How do you find facts on the internet? How do you figure out which facts are important?
Students record their opening question on their learning goal sheet and are ready to start class 3 min after the bell has rung. I reward students who get started early with ROCK STAR SCIENTIST tickets. For the warm-up today I had student think-pair-share with their partners about finding facts on the internet.
Since the students will mostly be finding their own information online today, I wanted to start class with a video about how to evaluate a website and make sure that it is credible. This Credible Websites? video is a little bland, but I think it had some excellent points and a clear message.
I simply have the students watch the video today, because I am going to be using the information in my mini- lesson. At the end of the video I ask the students to share a website that would NOT be a credible sources for a science project.
The purpose of this section is to help students sort through information to find important facts.
To start this mini-lesson, I put a link on my website to the Geologic Time Scale on the University of California Museum of Paleontology Website and have students start their navigation there. We often use my website as a jumping off place because the kids have bookmarked it making it easier and faster in class than typing in a long URL.
I do a quick mini-lesson on the site showing the students how to navigate the site and the type of information they can find. Since this is a college level text, I help the kids learn how to skim information they may not understand to find the facts they need for their research. I go back to the purpose of the research so that students can choose the right information.
In this screencast, I show what I would put in my focus lesson to help students evaluate and navigate a complicated site.
Once we are finished with the Geologic Time Scale website, I encourage students to also find their own websites. I remind them of the need to make sure they are looking at a credible website and write the criteria on the board.
-Who wrote the website?
-Is the author an expert?
-What purpose does the website have?
The purpose of this section is to set up a system of check-ins with the students that is effective and efficient. Teachers do not have the time to check in with each child independently every day. Instead, the I call up a group of students to talk to all at once. I ask all the students to bring the assignment paper and their work so far.
Today I want to help students get started on their research. We use chromebooks in my class so it is easy to ask students to bring their computers back to the group table. When the students come back to the table I have them show me the website they are using for research and explain to me how they knew it was credible.
Together we look at the site and I help the students skim and scan to find appropriate information to write down. Once I see that all the students are comfortable with the research and can find information I send them back to their seats to work.
Closing Statement: Today we worked on getting information for our facts, pictures, and narratives.
Closing Question: How much information will you need? How will you know when you have enough information?
Closure depends greatly on timing and is not as easy to plan in advance as opening. You can find more information about how I manage closure here.