Monday, November 24, 2014

SOAR At Our Fingertips thanks to the CHROMEBOOK, Emily Porter, Librarian, Smyser Elementary School

cb5.JPGThe greatest advantage of the Chromebooks at Smyser is the flexibility we have when conducting research and doing group projects. We started using the web to browse SOAR for topics of particular interest to 3rd grade. Using a graphic organizer that I designed, students took notes from the screen quietly at the tables. I put the timer on for 5 minutes and each person took turns searching for books within their Lexile Range within SOAR and chose the titles based on individual interests. When 5 minutes passed, the students powered down the Chromebooks and placed them in the middle of the table. They take the papers to the shelf location and ACTUALLY find the book they took notes about on SOAR. They are so excited about the connection between what they see on the screen and how it applies to real, physical information retrieval.

cb10.JPGIn 5th grade classes, we took SOAR further. We have been answering a Big Idea Question all semester, “How are your SOURCES related?” Our 5th graders have studied the American Revolution and its historical figures in their homerooms. During our weekly library class, we find resources using the Chromebooks on SOAR. We have examined Britannica, eBooks, and Newsbank in depth. Students take notes in their journals and compare many different kinds of media - print, primary sources, and web. It has been wonderful to use the Chromebooks to help us access PARCC specific content related to classroom units. Our culminating activity will be a short PARCC-style assessment where the students will be asked to compare two different sources, choose the correct one, and defend their answer choice in a short essay. Pretty cool stuff, huh?!

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