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!