Do you want to help your students and teachers with inquiry-based 21st century learning?
eWise makes planning easy for school librarians and teachers, and encourages students to work together to facilitate their own learning.
First, use the chart above to plan the project. You do not have to pace each step out weekly. The unit can be much shorter if desired.
During the “W” wonder part of the process, be sure to model what you want the students to do when they begin their research. For example, the fifth grade teachers at our school modeled their explorer project using Christopher Columbus, since that was an explorer the students would not be using. Students then asked “I wonder questions” which were narrowed to 7 or less. Be sure to guide the students into creating a few of the questions based on the standard(s) you are covering.
During the “I” investigate part of the process, students are divided into groups. We found 3 to be a good number of students per group so that all students are actively engaged. Next, students choose between selected topics. During the fifth grade unit, each group chose a different explorer. Then, the student groups came to the school library to conduct their research. I created 3 research stations: Reference Station, Book Station, and Computer Station. I placed appropriate encyclopedias, atlases, and dictionaries in the reference station. I ran this station. I placed nonfiction, grade level text in the book station. The teacher ran this station. I found specific websites and short video clips for the computer station. The ETS/media assistant ran this station in our adjoining computer lab. Teachers scheduled 2 one-hour sessions to come to the library. During the first one-hour session, teams rotated to 2 of the 3 stations. During the second one-hour session, teams rotated to their final station, and then could do a final “free choice” station to complete their research.
During the “S” synthesize portion of the project, students used their research findings to create a product. Some project ideas are a tri-fold, poster, brochure, slideshow, play, or interview. The fifth grade teachers decided to do a choice board where each group could choose how they would present their information.
During the “E” express portion of the project, student groups present their learning. Students definitely want to present their information to each other, since each group had a different topic. Then, students can take their presentation further by presenting to another grade level, parents, skype with another school, or present to members of the community who might be interested in the project topic. When students can teach others their information they have truly learned the materials!
You will use the “e” evaluate part of eWISE throughout the project, as the school librarian, teachers, and students reflect and make needed changes. At the end of an eWISE project, make time to meet with the teachers during one last planning session to reflect on the whole project and make needed changes for the next year.
Last school year, I collaborated with 2nd grade to create one eWISE project. This year, I am continuing my work with 2nd grade, and adding 4th grade reading AIG, as well as, a fall and spring project with 5th grade. My goal is to add at least one grade level per year until the entire school is completing a eWISE project each school year! This is a great way to get involved with both teachers and students to encourage inquiry-based 21st century learning!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me:
Davis-Townsend School Librarian
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