Monday, January 31, 2011

Use Your Noodle

Fourth and Fifth graders in our school have just completed informational writing pieces AND bibliographies! Students learned the importance of giving credit to their resources and how EASY it can be to do so. In the process of teaching this unit and pulling my hair out a little, I learned about Noodle Tools, which I WISH had existed when I was doing research papers in high school, college, and grad school. Noodle Tools MLA Easy Bib starter was designed for students in grades 1-5 and does not require an email address to make an account. We tried for a uniform logon and password to match the school accounts but this did not work for all and making accounts and remembering the personal IDs and passwords proved to be the most difficult step to using Noodle Tools. Actually creating citations was easy peasy. And the process of entering the information helped students to learn how to look for the publisher and copyright year for a book, the author of a website and what constitutes the title of an article and the importance of utilizing a variety of different sources. Students also learned what great print resources we have both in our school library and available through the public library consortium as well as how to access our subscription based online encyclopedia. All of this was completed through a hands on assignment tailored to an existing classroom assignment. In an effort to improve this project for future classes, I solicited feedback from each class through a survey/form on google docs thereby giving students the opportunity to give genuine and honest feedback. So far it has been very positive and I'm happy with the growth I have seen in the student's information literac as a result of this project.

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