There is so much going on! The 9th Grade I-Search project is in full swing. The students are asked to begin with “a passion to know something.” They choose a topic of great personal interest. They write down what they know about their topic and then begin to explore. The librarians’ part in this is to introduce the students to the library catalog and all the neat things it can do for them, show them how to generate keywords and search strings, how to navigate databases, how to authenticate their resources to make sure the information they are getting is reliable, and how to “Google” more effectively. They craft their paper under the guidance of their English teachers. Unlike most research papers, this one focuses more on the journey of discovery rather than on the results of their research (although that is part of it). At the end of the process, we go back into the classroom to help the students create their bibliographies and their in-text citations. Students come to us for one on one assistance. We also support the unit by buying new books, both print and digital, when our existing collection does not have the information they need. This is a great way to develop a dynamic, up-to-date collection.
The I-Search topics this year.
At the same time, juniors and seniors in Mrs. Krauth’s Japan Seminar class are exploring issues related to Japan and producing very high level research papers. Each student is expected to have a reference interview with a librarian to help them locate the best print and digital resources for their topic. In this case we are using databases and search engines the students will encounter at college such as Academic Search Premier, JSTOR and Google Scholar.
Some of the J-Sem topics this year.
There is more…. we will post on some of the other research happening at ASIJ in a couple of days!
From Mr. Rynerson: semester 1 culminating assessment
So the English 9 team tried something different this year. Our “book clubs” all posted collaborative digital presentations representing their reading experiences. Early on, we had introduced ASIJ SLO’s regarding effective communicators, literate individuals, constructive community members, critical thinkers and problem solvers. Students used the SLO’s as a starting point from which they focused specific goals for their group reading experiences.
What might have been a traditional exam became something more. Students read excerpts from one another’s presentations, listened to audio-recorded reviews and excerpts, viewed images as artifacts, and generated and gathered feedback, leading to reflection on the success of the learning involved in the process and the products. These images are of pairs responding to presentations and making comments and gathering feedback, using Google forms to collect confluent data based on common goals and questions. From here, students returned to their “book club” groups and aggregated commentary data. Then off they went to find the strongest wifi signal, and wrote their individual reflective commentaries on the specific success they had in meeting their goals.
The last three images are from my college composition classes, who were using a similar process to write their reflective introductions to their e-portfolios Students were able to triangulate data, revisiting my comments on their files stored in shared Google drive folders, reconciling their progress with the SMART goals they had set in September, and intentionally gathering feedback in the exam venue. I hadn’t anticipated the “Secret Santa” touch to the protocol. The Google forms commentary was anonymous. Students had been assigned to visit one another’s portfolios so that everybody would get feedback, but then there was time to visit anybody’s in the class. Kids spontaneously sighed happily and asked, “Aw, whose comments are these?” When they found out the identity of their commentators, hugging ensued!
The best supporting star of these images is ASIJ’s awesome new library. Many thanks to +Glenda Baker and our library team, especially +Ritu Java and Linda. Also, thanks and kudos to my grade 9 teammates, +Melissa Boehman and +Eduardo Gomez-Sanchez for their time, faith and collaboration, and to +Ewan McIntosh for his input in planning this whole thing. Finally, thanks to our students for being so awesome!
Psychology students visited the library and used the new collaboration spaces to brainstorm ideas for areas of study this year. The library staff created a pathfinder to help them with their research.