Monday, March 25, 2013

Extending Search Skills in Fourth Grade

In my last post, I was recapping my path with Kindergarten through third grade in introducing Internet skills. In the fourth grade I extend their knowledge and understanding of searching on the Internet and begin working on citations. One of the reason I love this writing space is that it helps me remember projects and lessons. As I was working on this post, I came across another piece I do with the third grade.

Third Grade
I consistently find the need to focus students on the need to actually read the pages in all grade levels. We practice reading skills through working with a printout from the Enchanted Learning website. The students individually read the printout and respond as a group through the use of our Activote reponse system.

Fourth Grade
The fourth grade students are really third graders at the beginning of the year. We begin with the creation of a mission patch in Kid Pix (after viewing NASA mission patches) and write a "mission report" responding to the lyrics in a song. I have modified it since the original rendition. This year, we started the mission by viewing The Planet Song from Blues Clues on YouTube. I asked the students if they could find one error in the song. They were also to find out why at least two of the lyrics were correct. The forms I use and a sample student report are here. I give the students direct links to each planet via my Symbaloo page.

In my second project, I begin with the idea that children are very visual. In the fourth grade, I want the students to begin to recognize the need to "thank" people for the content they use from the Internet. What I do now started with a project in which every student created a PowerPoint presentation on birds following an idea I got from Brian Crosby in Nevada. Last year, the students wanted to do the presentation on their choice of an animal. How could I say no? I limit the choice to an animal they can find on the Pics4Learning web site. There have to be at least six different images of the animal.

Once they have their animal. They write sentences which become their speaker notes and find images that relate to those sentences. Pics4Learning makes it easy to cite the source on the last slide because the citation is directly below the image. We add the citations to the last slide. I improved the project since my original write-up. When the students save their images to the hard drive, they open them using Preview and resize them to 640 pixels wide for landscape photos or 480 pixels tall for portrait pictures so they are easier to fit on the slide and take up less memory.

I have examples from the 2008-2009 school year on my project wiki.

Work Continues in FIfth
The next section I write will be about the work the students do to write a report and find information in paper encyclopedias and the Internet.