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Elementary collaborative lesson



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  • 1. Staci NovakLI 876Collaborative Instructional LessonTitle: All about Animals: Research Using Britannica OnlineGrade Level: Fourth GradeRequired Resources: Resources for this lesson include Promethean board, laptops for eachstudent, Iowa AEA Online cards with username and passwords, and graphic organizers.Overview: In their class, the fourth grade students are learning all about animals. The classroomteacher would like the students to research an animal and then write an informative paragraphusing information they learned from their research. The teacher librarian will show the studentshow to use an online resource sponsored by the school district, Britannica Online, and assiststudents with their research notes and then organizing those notes onto a graphic organizer whichwill aid them in writing their informative paragraph. The teacher librarian will also discussplagiarism with students, and begin to explain how to cite sources. This online encyclopedia willbe a continued research throughout their time at Taylor Elementary school.Projected Time Frame: Students’ library lessons are generally twenty minutes. If I wereactually working in this school with the teacher I would say it would take three lessons. With thelimited time for the practicum, the sixty minutes of instruction and assistance by the teacherlibrarian will be spent in one day. The students will have approximately one week to completetheir informative paragraph for the classroom teacher.Content Area Standards:Language Arts: Summarize non-fiction text. Use text features to get information (sectionheadings, captions, maps, graphs, tables, diagrams, index). Use a dictionary or context clues tofind meanings of words. Create a published piece of writing by using the 5 stages of the writingprocess. Write for different purposes. Write a paragraph using correct grammar, capitalization
  • 2. and punctuation throughout. Identify and summarize important facts.Science: Summarize and share the evidence from scientific investigations.Technology: Use a word processor to write a paragraph using correct grammar, capitalizationand punctuation throughout. Use technology tools to gather, organize, graph, and interpret data.Use an online dictionary and thesaurus. Cite the sources I used to research.Library: Use a dictionary, encyclopedia, or atlas to answer questions, asking for help whenneeded. Use computer resources to find information. Understand the importance of accurateinformation, with adult help. Take notes and summarize from a reference or nonfiction source orcomputer resource.Information Literacy: Use prior knowledge to determine the need for information (1.1.2).Develop and use successful strategies for locating information (1.1.4/1.1.5). Determine accuracy,relevance, and comprehensiveness (1.1.5). Select information relevant to the problem or questionat hand (1.1.5/1.1.7). Derive meaning from information presented in a variety of formats (1.1.6/1.1.7). Organize information for practical application (2.1.2/4.1.6). Integrate new informationinto current knowledge (2.1.1/2.1.3/2.1.6). Use technology effectively to organize, present anddocument research findings (2.1.4/3.1.4). Respect intellectual property rights and understands theneed for documenting sources (3.1.6). Use technology and resources responsibly (3.1.6). Workindependently and in groups to pursue information to solve problems (1.1.9/2.1.5/3.1.2). Applycritical thinking skills when reading, viewing, and listening (4.1.2). The AASL nationalstandards are in the parenthesis.Cooperative Teaching Plan: The classroom teacher will introduce the writing assignment andexplain to students what they are supposed to research. The classroom teacher will also teachstudents how to organize their paragraphs using the school endorsed “Write Tools.” He willteach them about the purpose of writer’s and that they are either to inform, to persuade, orentertain. The students’ purpose for writing their paragraph will be to inform. The classroomteacher will grade the products using a 1, 2, 3 grading scale where a 1 means the paragraph didnot meet expectations, a 2 means they are working towards expectations, and a 3 means they met
  • 3. expectations. The teacher librarian will teach the students how to find the facts for theirinformative paragraph using Britannica Online. She will give an overview of how to use theonline encyclopedia and its many features. She will also review with students what it means toplagiarize and how to cite their source within their paragraph. In order to record their researchand organize their paragraph, the teacher librarian will also create two graphic organizers forstudents to use.Collaborative Unit Study: In planning for this lesson, there were many things I had to take intoconsideration. The first thing for a librarian to take into account is the audience he or she isserving. I must consider the age (fourth graders are usually ten and eleven) and what isappropriate for their level of understanding. I must also understand the demographics of thestudents I am teaching. In this classroom there are 23 students where twelve identify themselvesas African-American, nine identify themselves as Caucasian, and two identify themselves asHispanic. I must also ensure that my students have equitable access to technology. If the studentsare at home, I cannot guarantee they will have access to resources, but if I work with them duringlibrary instruction, I know that all students will have access to the technology they need tocomplete their research. Many of the students in this classroom are also classified as needingspecial education services and to insure learning of all, I needed to differentiate my instruction.Both auditory and visual learning styles were addressed in that students were able to listen andwatch as I gave directions about using the online tool. Students who prefer hands on or tactilelearning were able to use the computer as their tool and also have teacher-guided assistancewhen they had questions as they were completing their research. The students were also giventwo graphic organizers to help classify and organize their notes. The first allowed them to simplywrite down their findings in a note taking fashion, and the second helps group their ideas intosentence and paragraph forms. I also believe this project encourages the engagement of thestudents because they are given the freedom to choose the animal over which they would like toreport. Neither the teacher nor the teacher librarian is telling them what they have to choose, andbecause of this students are allowed to access their own interests and apply it to their assignment.End Product: The end product of this collaboration is an informative paragraph where studentshave used technology and research to inform their reader about an animal. The students must
  • 4. have one in-text citation that shows both teachers where in Britannica the students got theirinformation. This activity serves as the base for future research and citation assignments.Assessment Overview: I will assess the students in several ways. First, I will informally assesshow they pay attention during the lesson. If their attention is elsewhere, they will have a hardertime following directions when they are to work on their own. Second will be how well theyfollow directions in terms of what they do to search and how well they complete their graphicorganizer. If these were my actual students I would also assess their skills the next time we did aresearch project. Instead of me giving them detailed instructions, I would have them search ontheir own to see what they can do with the online encyclopedia. The other assessing will comefrom the classroom teacher in terms of how well written their paragraph is, how they followedthe Write Tools, and their citation and paraphrasing.Assessment Results: Students improved their abilities in several different areas as a result of thisassignment. To look at the assessment, one must look back at the SLE’s (Student LearningExpectations). One area of improvement is the students’ technology skills. Students have littleaccess to this outside of school and because they are young, there is a lot of room forimprovement. Because of this assignment students were able to learn how to use an onlineencyclopedia to gather, organize, and interpret data. They also learned how to use an onlinedictionary that was part of the features of the encyclopedia. The students are now able to use anencyclopedia to answer their questions and find information.Another area is learning about plagiarism and how to cite sources they used to do their research.Students were able to use the name of the article and use quotation marks around text directlycited from their research. They knew not to copy and paste words from the encyclopedia or thatwould be plagiarizing. Instead they changed the information they found into their own words.Students also learned how to do research and search for information. For their next researchproject they now have a tool instead of not knowing where to start. Students will now be able todevelop and use successful strategies for locating needed information. While searching for theirfacts, the students improved their information literacy by having to decide which details wererelevant to writing their paragraph and which were not. Students also had to use text features ofthe encyclopedia when doing research. They interpreted section headings, captions, maps, tables,
  • 5. indexes, and the table of context.Additionally, students progressed in their critically thinking skills while reading viewing, andlistening to information. Many students watched the videos associated with their animals and hadto copy information they deemed relevant. They had to work independently to gather their data.Neither the classroom teacher nor the teacher librarian answered the required questions on thegraphic organizers. This can be very difficult for students unaccustomed to research. Alsoincluded on their graphic organizer was a question that asked them if they would want to be thatanimal. They had to demonstrate higher level thinking to put themselves in the place of thatanimal and support their statement with the research they gathered.A different area of improvement was how well students could summarize a nonfiction text. Ifstudents were to copy word for word, they knew that would be plagiarism so they had to expandupon their vocabulary (and in some cases use a thesaurus) in order to summarize and rewordtheir information when writing their paragraph.Lastly, both note taking and idea organization skills were improved upon. Students had to copyinformation they deemed relevant onto the correct part of their graphic organizers. They first hadto organize their notes and then had to turn those notes into a web graphic organizer to create theorganizational structure of their paragraph.Evaluation of Library Media Program: Every good teacher should reflect upon his or herlesson in order to improve and grow as an educator. There are several things I would change forfuture improvement. One is that I would like to play a larger role in the summative assessment ofthe paragraph. I taught the students how to use the citations and plagiarism, so I should be theone to assess how well they did. I also think I could have done a better job assessing theirlearning during their research. In the future when teaching this lesson, I will have a spread sheetcontaining each student’s name on the left side of the paper, then the indicators on the top. Thisway I can have a checklist of what specifically I am looking for and whether or not they met thatexpectations. I would also like to break the lesson down into more chunks. I feel as though I gavethe students too many directions at once instead of going step by step, check for understanding,and then continue with more steps. For example, I showed the students how to use the onlineencyclopedia and then told them about the citations. I think in the future these should be twoseparate lessons. Or at least let them have their time practicing the research after I show them,
  • 6. then have them stop and go over the citation examples using some of the information they found.Lastly, in the future I would like to know ahead of time which animals they are researching orhave the students choose from a list that I knew they would find in the Britannica Online. Duringresearch one student had chosen the harrier hawk, which was not found. Normally I would tell astudent to find a different source, but because we were focusing on this resource specifically hehad to choose hawk instead. If students had a list, then I would know for sure whether or not theywould be able to find sufficient information for the assignment. Overall I feel the lesson wentwell, but it is always important to find ways to improve and change lessons to meet the needs ofthe students.Teacher Collaboration: One of the most difficult parts of this lesson was finding the time tocollaborate with the classroom teacher. In fact, much of our correspondence was electronic. Ithink if I were working in the same building the collaboration would have been easier, but withthe media positions being part time, I would still be out of the building every other week. I didthink the classroom teacher would have more time to meet since he has a student teacher, but attimes it was still difficult to get responses to my questions via email and phone calls. When Ispoke with my supervisor in regards to this, she said I was lucky to have any time at all to workwith him as her collaboration with teachers in her building is usually one or two emails. Despitethe difficulty in communication, the classroom teacher was extremely excited to have me comein and do a technology lesson. He said it is very difficult to find the time to look at the districtresources in terms of research plus teach his curriculum and was excited to see what the onlineencyclopedia could do and how it could be of use. He said it was especially important becausethe district had switched from World Book Online Encyclopedia to Britannica Online, so he alsowanted to learn about the new encyclopedia. October 5/6: Initial collaboration via email. I told him my supervisor had recommendedI collaborate with him and I asked if he would be interested. I gave him an outline of what Ineeded to do in terms of a collaborative lesson. He responded the next day with a few ideas andwe decided we would get together in two weeks to further discuss what we would like for thestudents to do. October 20: I used some of my practicum time today to collaborate in person with theclassroom teacher. We looked at the Student Learning Expectations (SLE’s) which is what the
  • 7. school district uses for their standards-based learning objectives. We decided we would focusmostly on language arts since it is one of the district and school goals. He also gave meinformation about the students’ backgrounds in terms of equitable access to technology basedresearch tools. October31: Collaboration via email to determine date, time, and length of collaborativelesson. We decided on Thursday November 17th at 1:30 for sixty minutes. November 11: Email collaboration. I sent him the graphic organizers I would like to usefor the lesson as well as an explanation of both. I also inquired about how exactly he would beintroducing the assignment so I knew how much background information they would alreadyhave. This also gave me an idea of what I needed to go over more in depth and what I could skimover. I also asked about their previous introductions with plagiarism and citations. His emailresponse was fairly vague, so I called him at school to get a better and more specific idea. Duringour discussion we decided the students would be required to have one in-text direct citation andthat there rest would just be paraphrased so that I should talk about and give examples during thelesson. I know this class had previously had a library class on plagiarism, so I would use thatprevious knowledge guide my instruction. November 15: In person collaboration today where we detailed what the classroomteacher had already done with the students in terms of the assignment, what he would like me todo, and what he would do in terms of assessment. He also discussed how much he liked thegraphic organizers and how this lesson was important because it is the jumping off point for allof their future research and informative writing. He also told me the rest of his timeline for theassignment and how he would grade them. They must turn in their graphic organizers andparagraphs. He will grade the paragraphs on a 1, 2, 3 scale previously mentioned in this paper. November 16: I emailed the classroom teacher an outline of specifically what I wouldsay, do, and cover in the lesson. He said it looked very thorough and liked that I had includedsome Internet basics the students may not be familiar with (how to click back, scroll, etc). I alsoconfirmed the laptops would be ready for student use and if there were any other things weneeded to do before tomorrow’s lesson. November 17: After the lesson did not go as planned, we decided we would have thelaptops set up and logged in before the lesson began so we did not have to wait on technology. November 18: After the lesson we discussed how the students did during the lesson and
  • 8. that it seemed as though they understood the online encyclopedia and how well they had filledout their graphic organizers. He also said he would get in touch with me in terms of how theirparagraphs looked. December 1: Today was the last day of our communication and collaboration. Theclassroom teacher mailed me copies of several of the paragraphs and also a more detailed rubricof how and why he assigned them a score of one, two, or three. There was no discussion ofresults before the due date of this assignment.