Thursday, May 22, 2014

Curiosity and the Library

Be Curious! File:Curious Owl.jpg

What is Happening in the Libraries at New Kent County Elementary Schools? The students are curious, they are working in groups, there is lots of talking, and there is lots of activity. Not at quiet library time. Why? Because they are doing research on something they are curious about and they are creating presentations that reflect their learning. Conducting research can be a challenging activity in New Kent!

This month the 5th graders have put together amazing creative presentations that incorporate more than one computer technology standard as well as SOL content. Ms. Prough, at New Kent Elementary School, had her students use laptops and tablets to research a famous person. The students were then required to create a Google presentation or a Google Earth tour with the curated information. The students created scripts for a video taped mock interview with the famous person.

Ms. Noctor, at George Watkins Elementary School, invited the Virginia Living Museum to send artifacts from the Chesapeake Bay for the students to observe and research.  Once all the research was curated the students wrote out scripts for an oral presentation in front of a “green screen”  The video of each group overlayed onto the backgrounds the students requested gave the total “green screen” effect. All the students enjoyed viewing the final productions.  

The libraries in the New Kent County Elementary Schools are always very busy places. The Librarians, Ms.Noctor and Ms.Prough, keep the students actively engaged in learning as well as browsing and checking out books. That is a huge amount of work in a 50 minute period! Great Job Ladies!

These projects assist our children in the development of creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration.  These 4C’s are the cornerstone for the 21st century skills our students need to succeed. This summer you can foster these skills by encouraging children to be curious about the world around them. Take them to the library to conduct research and help them use mobile apps or computer software to publish that curated information. Share this with relatives and friends to give the students an authentic audience that will help them gain confidence in self-directed learning.  Allow them to explore platforms like Animoto, Prezi, or Mozilla popcorn maker to put a presentation all together.

Make this a summer filled with curiosity and wonder!

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