Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Team Read Celebration!

Students at the middle school were invited to participate in Team Read.  Team Read is an eight-week challenge, where students form teams of three and read the same book at the same time.  The challenge is to read the most books.  Students track their reading and talk about the book with Mrs. Butterfield or Miss Kral after they completed the book.  There were two different branches of the competition.  Fifth grade students compete against other fifth grade students.  Students in sixth through eighth grade compete against each other.

This year, we had a record breaking 61 teams enter Team Read.

At the end of Team Read, we hold an assembly to announce the winners!  The top three teams, in each division, were awarded gift cards to Barnes and Noble and enjoyed a pizza party.

Each participant who logged at least one book attended the assembly.  We gave out 180 prizes!

Mrs. Butterfield went above and beyond in organizing and carrying out Team Read!  Her passion for reading and working with students is evident!  When you see her, give her a big thanks for everything she does!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Looking at Reliable Sources and Easy Bib.

I recently collaborated with a few sixth and eighth grade teachers.  In this collaboration, students learned and reviewed how to use EasyBib (a great tool to use during research).  Students can use EasyBib to gather their notes and create a bibliography of the resources they used.  Our school has a subscription to EasyBib.  Each student has their own account, in which they can store their notes and bibliographies they have created.  They use their school Google account to access their EasyBib account.

Finding and identifying credible and reliable sources was another topic covered.  When completing research, it is important to use credible and reliable resources.  We discussed using the acronym "REAL" as a guide for evaluating sources.  The acronym can be broken down into phrases for steps in the process of evaluating sources.

Each of these steps aids in the process of determining if the source is credible or not.  Questions to consider while evaluating the source include:
  • What is the ending of the web address? (.com, .edu, .org, .net, .gov)  Which endings are considered more reliable?
  • Am I able to understand the content?  Does what I'm reading make sense to me?  What is the purpose of the website?
  • What makes the author or owner an expert in the information presented?
  • Are there any broken links?  When was the site last updated?

Students became more aware of the resources they were browsing.  I enjoyed seeing that they were applying the steps recently discussed in the beginning stages of their research.