Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Credible Sources

As your school librarian it is my job to be familiar with the ELA Common Core standards for all grades.  When preparing lessons I often check the standards for that grade and try to incorporate at least one objective that is tied to ELA.  It is worth noting that many times the Information Fluency Standards that I teach are emphasized again and again throughout the ELA standards.

For example:
In grade 7 and 8 , ELA standards state that students should be able to "gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, use search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; avoid plagiarism; and follow a standard format for citation."  Again, in grades 9 -12, we see the emphasis on the use of "multiple authoritative print and digital sources; use of advanced searches effectively, assessment of strengths and limitations of each source in terms of task, purpose, and audience; avoidance of plagiarism and overreliance on any one source."  These are skills that I begin teaching as early as 4th grade - especially in terms of evaluating and selecting the best possible sources to match our research query.

The library provides access to high-quality, academic sources which allow students to select "authoritative" print and digital materials.  OPALS, our Online Public Access Library Service, allows one stop shopping for access to the library's print and digital collections.  Students learn how to search OPALS at the end of 1st grade and this skill is re-inforced throughout their library classes.  For most projects, it would be useful to direct students first to OPALS to check for an expert source.  OPALS not only provides a list of books the library owns, it also links directly to ebooks - the full text of materials that are just a click away for your students - materials that are reviewed and selected by  your friendly librarian.

So - don't forget about OPALS!  Whether you are looking for a good book to read or would like to know if the library has materials for an upcoming research project, have your students check OPALS first.  You may be able to direct your students to those credible sources with just one click.

No comments:

Post a Comment