Welcome to the Mediapprentice Blog. It is the online home of the Maple School LMC. My hope is that you will find excellent resource links for reading and research as well as informative posts.
My philosophy is that this is your LMC. This is your academic and reading playground. Your voice is important. Please comment and post your ideas and thoughts. If you choose, you may email me at email@example.com to input your ideas. Also, check out the Suggestion Box on the menu above.
For any research project remember these 6 steps:
- Define the information need. What is your assignment? Has the teacher defined your research topic for you or do you need to develop a topic yourself? If you need to develop a topic choose something you are interested in, making sure it is not too broad nor too narrow. Whether your topic is assigned or you choose it yourself, what do you already know about this topic? What are you curious about? Ask yourself who, what, where, why, how, and when questions. What are the required elements your teacher has assigned? Begin to “pre-search” your topic to get further background. As you pre-search, build a list of keywords that will help you find deeper resources.
- Discover possible resources. Now that you know a little about your topic through pre-searching, what resources can you use to find deeper information? You will need to use at least three types of resources but it is good to use more. Be creative. Don’t restrain yourself to the same-old-same-old. We know that books, websites, and online encyclopedias are good resources, but what else can you think of? Are there primary documents you could use? Could you interview someone? Is there a museum you could go to? Can you send away for a pamphlet? Don’t confine yourself to the same old resources just because they might be handier.
- Locate your resources and evaluate them. Using your keyword list, start gathering your resources. When using the Internet, don’t forget to use the website evaluation tool found in EasyBib. Remember, you need to evaluate every resource, not just websites.
- Draw out relevant information. Once you have gathered some resources, create your new project in EasyBib. As you begin to take notes from a source, first create a citation in EasyBib. On the subject of note taking, there are many tools for note taking and your teachers will discuss this with you. Whatever tool you use for notes, make sure to organize them and keep your sources cited in EasyBib. As you take notes, connect each note to the source it comes from. This will help you return to the source in the future, and also give you the information you need to create an in-text citation. Reflect along the way: Are you answering your curiosity questions? Are there new directions your research should go? Do you need more information? Do you need more resources? Are you fulfilling the requirements from your teacher?
- Synthesize the information you have gathered – show what you know. When you think about the facts you have gathered and add your own unique perspective and understanding to the topic, you synthesize the information. Depending on your assignment and your intended audience, you will create a final project that shows what you know. Try to choose a way to show us your knowledge that is true to the fantastic individual person that you are. Be creative.
- Reflect on the research process. Take a moment to think back on your research. What went well along the way? What were your roadblocks? Did you find the answers you were looking for? Did you have to adjust your questions? Were you able to find helpful resources? If you could rewind and do this process all over, what would you do differently?
(Our research steps are based on a combination of the Big6 and IIM research models.)
October’s Open Mic reminded one student of fall. It was colorful with talent and creativity along with the feeling of warmth we experience after coming inside on a cool fall day.
Take a look:
Popular author, Jordan Sonnenblick, will be coming to Maple School on Wednesday, November 12, to share his inspirations as well as his expertise on the writing and editing process. Some of his best loved titles include Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, Notes from the Midnight Driver, and Zen and the Art of Faking It. Jordan’s presentations for every grade level will include a discussion about story development in all stages, a Q&A session and book signing.
****Special Note**** If you would like to purchase one of Mr. Sonnenblick’s books for him to sign, the Book Bin will give Maple students a 10% discount on any of Mr. Sonnenblick’s books. Just tell them the book is for school. How very nice of the Book Bin!
Monday brought the first Open Mic of the new school year. We were dazzled by the stellar voices and brilliant minds of our Maple students. Take a look at our participants and their beaming audiences:
Check out the Common Sense Media post about 24 video games that support the subjects our kids study in school and also their social skills. Cool!
At the beginning of the summer, my sister turned me onto the Little Free Library (LFL) movement. The idea is to provide a space in your yard where anyone can come to take a book or leave a book. No strings attached. My husband and I, both being school librarians, were impassioned to build one of these for our neighbors before we left for our summer trip. Between my sister’s family and our family, we designed and built our LFL in 7 days taking about 150 person hours. It was a labor of love as we are not carpenters…remember we are librarians.
The success of our LFL has been heartwarming. Kids and adults alike, bring books and take books. One 5 year old was the librarian while we were on vacation. We left a journal inside for people to write anything they want. Many adults have left us encouraging notes. The kids, (girls AND boys) stop by to thank us. Lots of people stop to meet and talk about books in front of our LFL. One young mother, new to the neighborhood, was wondering how she was going to meet people, and felt warm and invited to sit awhile in our yard to talk with other neighbors. A retired Marine is inspired to build one in his yard to match his home. Although these little structures are adorable, the best part is in supporting reading. Literacy is the bottom line.
If you haven’t yet seen or heard about the Little Free Library, I encourage you to check out their site. If you want to build one yourself and have any questions, feel free to contact me. We are pretty proud of ourselves for figuring out how to weather proof our LFL and wouldn’t mind sharing our knowledge with you.
If I were still in the middle of raising my children, (although do we ever really stop?), I would rely heavily on Common Sense Media to help me guide my kids through the media world. I blogged about this website in the past, and I just want to remind you to check them out. They offer balanced guidance in all things media.
As you know, we are temporarily closed during the day for MAP testing. The library lends itself well to the various needs of our testers and technology and we are more than happy to support the school in this way. Please be assured that you can still check out books by visiting the librarian in the hallway outside the LMC. After school, we will be open as MAP testing will be over for the day.
We are excited to have the library space available to you Monday through Thursday until 4:45. Many students have found this time very productive to complete their homework or get ahead on a project. Please make sure you either have an activity bus pass or that your ride is here by 4:45 if you are staying to use the library after school. We will continue to close at 4:00 on Fridays.
The last Open Mic for this year was incredibly fun! The 6th Graders started the event with talent, humor, and community. Watching them spread their wings more and more over the next two years will be exciting! The last song of 6th Grade Open Mic was “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. The entire 6th Grade population helped perform that song. Although we left late, (after the bell rang), we couldn’t help but feel very, very happy. I say we ride on the wave of that chorus as we finish out this school year.
8th and 7th Grades, respectively, also turned out stellar performances! What a great day!
Take a look at the photos: