Saturday, May 3, 2014

Thing 20: Tools for creating websites, pathfinders, portfolios and more

Well, I am feeling rather pleased with myself, because I do rather like my library web presence.  It is something that I do have control over and that I do update myself.  I created it based upon my predecessor's template in 2009, and it has become a veritable clearinghouse of useful information, links, and communication. 

That said, I will simply include a link to my classroom page if anyone wants to see it.  It's through ToolBox Pro, so it's not perhaps as glitzy as others, but I think I've done a pretty decent job organizing it and making it a useful source of information for administrators, teachers, parents, and students.
Ms. Fecura's Library Web Page

Now to talk about the project I did for this assignment.  It just so happens that 5th grade is working on a large 4th quarter research project during our fixed-scheduled Library time.  The essential question is what makes America a "melting pot", and how does this create the unique culture we have today?

For this project, I designed a project overview that gave the students background information as well as a description of their task and my expectations.  Additionally, in the overview I mapped out our research goals for our final 6 classes of the year, and I provided them with a rubric so they could work towards the grade they want.  All of this I posted on my classroom page and embedded in NoodleTools, the online research organizer I use for all projects in grades 5 and up.  What I did not have, however, was a pathfinder of resources for the students.  Part of me would still rather have the students locate their own resources, especially after we spent nearly half the year learning about the library collection, databases, and the internet, but with such limited time for the actual research, I can also see the value of providing this extra support and guidance.  The students will still need to locate some sources independently as well as evaluate the sources I suggest in the pathfinder, and extrapolate the relevant information necessary to answer their own "wonder" questions about their topic.

So here's a link to the first (and definitely not the last!) pathfinder I have ever made.  I used the template available through OPALS, my automated Library system. 
5th Grade Melting Pot Research Pathfinder

And finally I'd like to thank you for providing these learning opportunities for me to explore all year long.  It has definitely enhanced my teaching and has helped me to grow professionally (and in some cases - personally!).

By the way, I just ordered a Samsung Galaxy tablet.  Now I can go back and re-explore apps :-)

Have a great summer!