Friday, January 27, 2017

Third Graders Research Chinese New Year With GALE Kids Infobits

Chinese New Year 2017, the year of the Rooster, begins on January 28th and Mrs. McCollough's third graders wanted to know more about it! With our new Chromebooks, it is easier for student to research the holiday and share their findings! Mrs. McCollough saw this as an excellent chance for her students to conduct a short research project - ELA and gather information from a digital source and take notes - ELA 

Rather than have students simply "Google" the topic, I recommended that we begin our research with an outstanding resource, Gale Kids Infobits.

Kids Infobits is a fantastic digital resource that the state of Minnesota funds so it is free for educational institutions! (On behalf of our students, thank you so much Minnesota!) It is perfect for our elementary students! Each topic has articles written in a variety of lengths and complexity levels to address student reading levels.  Students are given access to book articles, pictures, magazine and new articles for each topic.

Once students have successfully navigated to an article on the topic that is a good fit for their reading level, there are additional tools to help them with their research.  In Mrs. McCollough's class, some students used the "Listen" feature allowing them to hear the article read to them. We also had a student who translated the article into another language and then listened to it, combining these two features and making this task more accessible! 

Once students had gathered their facts about Chinese New Year, they combined them into a paragraph using our LMS, Schoology.  This gave students an easy way to share their new knowledge with their teacher and each other!