Tuesday, June 15, 2010

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Does your research teaching 
embrace the 21st century learner

                       View this video on YouTube

The Research Process 
works with all students and all technologies

The Research Process is a practical model for teaching research in the school library setting. Based upon accepted information management standards, The Research Process's six steps are intended to be embedded into content-area standards-based units of study through collaboration between teacher librarians and classroom teachers. We now need to carry this simple and dependable system forward to engage 21st century learners. Of critical importance is how this system implements the new Model School Library Standards for California Public Schools.

NEW Research Process refers to the ongoing transition to paperless virtual research.  You will see the word NEW at strategic points where electronic materials are being developed
With new technologies,
let's not abandon research teaching.

Information management is a key to information literacy. Teaching students the organizational strategies essential for information management is a basic ingredient of The Research Process. The common assumption that students know how to do school library research is refuted daily by the appalling level of plagiarism in schools and colleges. It is essential for teacher librarians to provide instruction in teaching research skills and strategies through standards-based collaborative units of study and to do this they need a practical system such as The Research Process. It is important that the strategies in each step can be adjusted in number and level of difficulty to meet the needs of students at all grade levels. Below is a very brief overview of the extensive lesson strategies seen in the book series Practical Steps to the Research Process by Deborah B. Stanley and published by Libraries Unlimited/Greenwood. Inspiration for this online endeavor came from the California School Library Association's (CSLA) Library Learning 2.0 and from AASL's Standards for the 21st Century Learner.

Planning for research may include downloading the following background materials:
2. Four roles of the teacher librarian, narrative with supporting details
3. Creative Project Ideas for teachers to plan their research project purpose
4. The Research Process bookmark: front and back
5. Review your research teaching with these PowerPoints: 21st Century Research (this PPT is a large file that is safe to download,) Grades 4-8 Research Process overview, Grades 9-14 Research Process overview.

Evaluating research must deal with both process and product/project. Tracking students through the process of research is accomplished through the Research Checklist, modified to meet the unit needs of the collaborating teacher. Creation of the final unit project rubric is a collaboration between the classroom teacher and Teacher Librarian to evaluate both sets of objectives.

Overview of the SIX STEPS
STEP 1: Topic
"A good topic is doable, but slightly challenging to the student's assessed abilities."
     •Curiosity is the key to topic engagement!
     •Topics that support grade-level standards enable library research to supplant classroom studies. 
     •Locate topics in textbooks, teacher's topic list, or library sources.
     •Triangulate: Confirm the topic in three types of readable and available sources.
     •Cross-check in an encyclopedia to narrow or broaden a topic.

Download instructional PowerPoints for teaching The Research Process topics:
Download lesson plan and instructional forms for recording topics:

NEW: An eChecklist (PDF) and eChecklist (doc) for general research. 

STEP 2: Subtopics
Ask yourself: "What do I want to know about my topic?"
     •Subtopics form the outline or blueprint through which a topic is effectively and efficiently explored.
     •General subtopics can be brainstormed, such as for an animal: body, food, habitat, babies, enemies.
     •Specific subtopics must be "pre-searched" in places such as an encyclopedia's subheads or a topic-specific book's Table of Contents.
     •Controlling the number and difficulty of subtopics is the key to managing the time frame for effective library research, with a minimum of three subtopics for good topic exploration.

Download instructional PowerPoints for teaching The Research Process Subtopics: 
Download lesson plan for "Subtopics:"
STEP 3: Sources
"A good source supports the topic and subtopics and is available and readable based on the student's assessed (dis)abilities."
     •Sources: Anything and everything used for information including text, ideas, and images.
     •Format: A minimum of three different kinds of sources should be used including a variety of print and nonprint materials.
     •Primary and secondary sources should be considered according to topic and student age/ability.
     •Citing sources through a style such as MLA is essential to prevent plagiarism, as well as compiling citations into a Works Cited list.
     •Attributing sources through Creative Commons     
     •Teaching Copyright and Fair Use of sources is essential.
     •Learning to evaluate sources prepares students with lifelong skills: nonprint (Internet) sources and print sources.

Download instructional PowerPoints for teaching The Research Process Sources:
Download lesson plan and instructional forms for "Sources:"
NEW: use Citation Machine for MLA citations in a paperless environment.
NEW: "How to Cite a Tweet in Academic Papers."
                        Ex: Last name, first name. (User name). "The tweet in its entirety."
                              Date, Time. Tweet.

STEP 4: Read/Think/Select
"Good research promotes reading comprehension and critical thinking."
     •Reading strategies for purpose are different than for pleasure and can include: chunking, visual clues, skimming and scanning.
     •Thinking strategies can be directed by asking: "What is important?"
     •Selecting keywords and facts for good note-taking can be directed by asking: "What information supports my subtopic?"

Download instructional PowerPoints for teaching Read-Think-Select strategies:
Download lesson plan.
Discuss, model, and practice critical reading strategies using library authentic sources from a variety of formats of information.

STEP 5: Note-taking
"A good note creates information ownership. This is learning!"
     •Pre-sort notes by using subtopics as titles on note cards, notebook paper notes, or specially designed note sheets.
     •Legitimate note-taking can include copying keywords, phrases and facts, with proper credit. This is good for young and novice researchers.
     •Paraphrasing and summarizing are more difficult and must be taught and practiced. This is good for older and experienced researchers.
     •Quotation marks and endnotes/footnotes are essential for copying sentences and passages.
     •Try this note-taking exercise.
DOWNLOAD lesson plan and note-taking forms
DOWNLOAD instructional PowerPoints for teaching note-taking:
NEW: electronic note sheet for a paperless environment.

STEP 6: Sort Notes
"Good organization of notes makes writing easier."
     •Basic strategies include sorting notes by subtopic and then into paragraphs. Advanced sorting is based on a logical plan such as timeline, concepts, etc.
     •Read all notes in one section at a time and rearrange into logical order. Re-reading notes bonds students to new information. This is learning!
     •Number notes last, consecutively from section to section.
     •Writing from notes provides the opportunity to insert prior knowledge.

Download instructional PowerPoints for teaching sorting Notes:
Download lesson and instructional forms for sorting notes:

Occurs a) during research for the process, b) after research for the product.

Download instructional forms and visit Web sites for further information.  

Video: 3 Steps for 21st Century Learning