Blog Archives

GALILEO Elementary is Live

Announcing GALILEO Elementary
You may have missed the opportunity to preview the new GALILEO Elementary website, but you can check it out now by clicking the “GALILEO Kids” link at the bottom of page in the GALILEO Scholar, Library, High School, or Teen user views or by visiting http://kids.galileo.usg.edu. GALILEO Elementary, designed with user input by Georgia elementary students, includes many features to make the site usable and appealing to younger researchers. Features include:

  • Easy-to-use search box that retrieves content specifically targeted to an elementary user group. On the results page, students will find articles from magazines and reference sources, images, and other features available through EBSCO Discovery Service, the service that powers the Discover GALILEO search in the other user views.
  • Links to best databases for elementary research. Database links are based on an institution’s subscriptions, so users will only see databases they can access. Descriptions hover over database links to make it easy for students to decide which database to choose.
  • Responsive web design. GALILEO Elementary provides an optimal viewing experience on any computer or device screen. The GALILEO Elementary interface, the search results, and Britannica resources are optimized for smartphones. Other resources work well on tablets.
  • Links to special content for educators.

Preliminary feedback has been very positive with users finding the new design “kid friendly” and “much easier for young students to navigate.”

Please Contact Us if you have questions or comments or if you need to report problems.

GALILEO Staff
GALILEO Support Services
Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia

Preview GALILEO Elementary

Announcing GALILEO Elementary

GALILEO Elementary is the newest user view designed for Georgia’s younger users. The website features a targeted Discovery search, links to databases that are great for student research, and an engaging interface. The design and navigation were developed with feedback from Georgia elementary school students and incorporate best practices in usability for children. GALILEO Elementary replaces the GALILEO Kids Page, which has been in production since 2002.

Use the preview link below to take a look at the new site, which will go live on August 26. While you’re there, run a search from the search box to see the fun, age-appropriate results returned by EBSCO Discovery Service, the same service that powers the Discover search in other GALILEO interfaces. Also, check out the site from your smartphone or tablet. GALILEO Elementary was developed with responsive web design to make viewing optimal on all devices.

All GALILEO communities will have access to GALILEO Elementary, although different groups will see different sets of databases presented, based on their subscriptions. Click on the Preview link below for more information.

Your feedback is welcome, of course. Follow the links below to find out more about GALILEO Elementary, to preview the site, and to provide feedback.

Preview GALILEO Elementary
Provide Feedback

GALILEO Staff
GALILEO Support Services
Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia

Navigating the Information Tsunami: Engaging Research Projects that Meet the Common Core Standards, K-5

Cherry Lake Publishing has a new and exciting book coming out called, Navigating the Information Tsunami:  Engaging Research Projects that Meet the Common Core Standards, K-5.  This text offers 18 projects, three from each grade level K-5, that go well-beyond fact recall.  These lessons are all grounded in the new Common Core Standards and focus on quality student research from our earliest learners to our older elementary students.  Each lesson is written by an educator who is an expert on the many literacies involved in research projects, the school teacher-librarian.  While the  lessons are written for classroom teachers, they all incorporate collaboration with the school librarian at some point during the project.  Also within the pages of the book, there are many graphic organizers and tips on topics such as citing sources in a multimedia world, creative commons images, what to do when Youtube is blocked, and more.  I encourage every elementary library in Georgia to own at least one copy of this book.  There are even featured lessons from Georgia librarians, Andy Plemmons & Linda Martin.  Check out the attached flyer and order your copy today!

Andy Plemmons

School Librarian

David C. Barrow Elementary

Athens, GA

http://barrowmediacenter.wordpress.com

http://www.clarke.k12.ga.us/webpages/aplemmons

Pre-K Forecasters

 

I’m often asked by teachers and other media specialists about ways to use technology with the youngest of students.  I’ve just started an exploration with a pre-K teacher and her students on weather.  Ms. Hocking is always listening to her students and looking for ideas that interest them.  She often takes one small idea that comes from the class and branches that idea into several weeks of explorations and projects.  Her most recent venture is with weather forecasting.  She contacted me via email to begin brainstorming what might be possible for her students.  After many exchanges, we came up with a plan that has just begun.  Here’s what we’re going to try:

  • In class, she is showing the students multiple weather forecasts for all kinds of weather on the smart board.  The purpose is to build some background knowledge and familiarity for her students on what happens in a weather forecast.
  • Lesson 1 in the media center:  Students will view a local weather forecast for two purposes:  deciding what jobs need to be done to create a forecast and creating a web of weather words that might be used in their own forecast.  This lesson is already complete.  We used open mind to create a brainstorm web of jobs and weather words.  The students offered words and jobs that they heard and thought of and the teachers and I filled in other jobs and words.  It was truly a collaborative experience where everyone in the room was offering ideas.
  • In class, Ms. Hocking will continue to look at the words that students brainstormed and build their familiarity and understanding of the words
  • Lesson 2 in the media center:  We will explore how meteorologists decide what they will say on the air.  We’ll look at the weather channel website and explore tools that meteorologists use.  Then, we’ll narrow our focus to what students will include in their own forecasts and begin a skeleton script.
  • In class, Ms. Hocking will continue to work on scripts of what students will say in their forecasts.
  • Lesson 3 in the media center:  Students will explore how meteorologists remember what they are supposed to say.  We’ll look at cue cards and create some picture cue cards that will trigger certain responses on camera.  For example, a picture of the sun would mean “sunny”
  • In class, Ms. Hocking will finish the cue cards, assign jobs to students, and begin practicing with students.
  • Lesson 4 in the media center will be exploring the equipment in our morning broadcast studio.  Students will see all the equipment used to do a morning broadcast and will record their own weather forecasts in small groups.  Our hope is that students will actually be the ones using the equipment to record.
  • The final step will be to share their forecasts on our morning broadcast and possibly on a teacher tube account.

I feel like this is an ambitious endeavor, but we have no idea what works with these youngest students until we take a step and try things out.  I can’t wait to see what successes we observe and what hurdles we face along the way.

 

 

Andy Plemmons
School Librarian
David C. Barrow Elementary
Athens, GA

 

 

Collaboration Carousel

For the past couple of weeks, my media center has been a carousel of learning with 3 collaboratively taught lessons involving rotations to centers around the library.  In 2nd grade, students rotated through six centers about the regions of Georgia and the seven natural wonders of Georgia.  In 5th grade, students rotated through centers on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which included a student-designed and student-led center called “Fishing for the Constitution”.  In 4th grade, students rotated through three centers on the Native American tribes of the Hopi, Inuit, and Seminole.

In each instance, I used a form of collaboration where I met and emailed with teams of teachers to brainstorm content and goals for the overall picture of the lesson experience.  Then, I planned every center, gathered resources from my library and the public library, typed information for each center leader to follow and/or made a powerpoint for center leaders to use as a teaching aid.

Here’s an example of the 4th grade center instructions:

The center leaders were Sharon Rockholt-media paraprofessional, myself-media specialist, and each classroom teacher in the grade level.  The 5th grade centers also included Joel Frey-technology integration specialist and 5th grade students.  This type of experience is one that I like because it allows students to hear from multiple voices supporting one common goal.  It takes multiple pieces of the standards and builds them into one experience that is broken up into small pieces.  The rotations also give the students variety in styles of teaching and learning and allows them to get up and move frequently.  The 4th grade centers lasted one day per class.  The 5th grade centers involved the whole 5th grade (60 students) rotating among 5 centers during a 75 minute period.  Finally the 2nd grade centers involved 2 classes at a time coming to the media center for a sequence of 3 days.  Each day students went to 2 centers for 15 minutes each.

View the 4th Grade Native American Centers

View the 5th Grade Constitution Day Centers

In the past, I’ve enjoyed collaborating with teachers on similar projects where every educator on the collaborative team was responsible for planning a piece of the experience.  While I find value in this kind of collaboration, it takes time, organization, consensus, and continuity.  The kind of collaboration involved in these 3 center experiences allows for collaboration while putting the organization, planning, and continuity on one person, the media specialist.  I’ll keep exploring ways to work with and support teachers, but at the moment this is the strategy that is working for me and my teams of teachers.

What works for you?

Andy Plemmons

School Librarian

David C. Barrow Elementary

Athens, GA

http://barrowmediacenter.wordpress.com

http://www.clarke.k12.ga.us/webpages/aplemmons