Ok, I admit it I am terrible at writing blog posts consistently. Last week I was determined to write about all of the tools I wanted to share for Explore in the 5e's. Life happened and I realized it's been over a week since I've written on my blog! I wish I could promise to write a post everyday for the rest of the week but it seems I have another busy week ahead of me. I will not make promises I can't keep. Hopefully, the quality of my blog posts will make up for the lack of quantity! haha All kidding aside, I really hope I am helping you on your journey to learn more about infusing technology in the classroom.
So today I want to share a couple of tips you might find of interest to help you with anchor standard 8 and 9 of the Common Core State Standards.
- Anchor standard 8 states, "Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism."
- Anchor standard 9 states the learner will, "Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research."
If you read the other two posts I wrote about researching here and here, you will recall I discussed tools students can use during research. As I was preparing for writing this post I realized some of the tools I told you about would be perfect to use when teaching these standards. Now let's take the sites we have found and do something with the information:
Create a Resource Bank
I briefly talked about this in my last post, but I wanted to reiterate the idea. It can be challenging for students to find appropriate resources that are accurate and credible. Allow students to pool their efforts to find resources. Some of the tools I mentioned in my last post such as ThingLink or Pinterest would be perfect. Another option is to research directly from Google Drive when working on a shared document. There is a research tool to help students find the resources they need and cite the information included. By creating a resource bank of sites, students will be able to share the sources they know to be credible and rely on others knowledge. Remember the old saying "Two heads are better than one." It is still true.
Skitch is a great app for students to use for close reading. I have skitch downloaded on my MacBook, iPad, and phone. Use this app for students to highlight and annotate the information they have found.
Students Map the Big Picture
Even though students have curated resources to help them with the research, it is still challenging to take the information and synthesize it. One way to help students with this is have students decide on the main points they want to focus on from their research. Students could create maps, timelines, or four-squares to organize their thinking. It is even better when students are allowed to work in collaborative groups or partners.
Hopefully the strategy above of mapping the big picture will help students in terms of avoiding plagiarism. However, there are online tools to help you if you suspect a student of plagiarism. One of the easiest and cost effective methods is to simply take the suspected phrase or sentence, put quotes around it and search for it in Google. Other tools include Google Scholar and Doc Cop.
Don't use Copyright Images
I know this isn't exactly plagiarism but I think it is important to address. Be sure when students are using images in their research, they don't use images that are copyrighted. There is a fabulous tip for students to use when Googling images. This is how it works:
Students type in the word - Click on images - Click on Search Tools - Click on usage rights - Then choose one of the filters. The images shown will be images related to the keyword that can be used for presentations and essays. This is important for students to learn, even the very young. There are also a lot of online sites students can use such as Pixabay to find quality photos.
Hopefully these tips will help you when teaching your students to synthesize and evaluate information during research and close reading. I also wanted to mention a great sale happening at Educents for the next week. The September Frenzy is going strong and you will find a ton of bundled resources for $15.00 or less. As a matter of fact, I have three of my Folktale units for sale at 57% off. These units are great for close reading with students.