Thursday, January 31, 2008

Microeconomics Quiz on BB and TOK research

It was a busy day today in the lab! Just a few of the different things we had going on today...

Mr. E's 9th grade microeconomics students took their first quiz on Blackboard. All in all, it went pretty smoothly and the students got immediate feedback when they were done with their quiz. When the whole class was done, they went back to the classroom to review their answers.

At the same time, 11th graders were in here doing research about "knowing". They have to use a current magazine or academic journal to do their research. The most heavily used databases were Gale InfoTrac and the custom Religion and Philosophy collection. I think they are getting the hang of research ;)

While all this was going on, we had my product team in the library working on their Detroit projects or doing some work on their IB Prep work. It gets a bit crazy in here some days...

Friday, January 25, 2008

9th graders start ancient China project

This week our 9th graders have begun to explore the "Cultural Diffusion of China's Technology". Students are working in groups and have topics such as firearms, silk, ceramics, acupuncture, kites, etc. They need to integrate the movement theme from the 5 themes of Geography. They are also expected to have 3 book sources, use the sources in Blackboard and find an article in one of our Gale Databases.

It's a great project that shows collaboration between our Media Center program and the History department (World Studies classes). Students are also expected to integrate an MYP Guiding Question into their project.

Students started out in the library with a "Book Feast". Topics were posted on each table and books on their topic were there. They were supposed to take notes on their research. Then the classes moved into the Tech Center and we went over the resources in Blackboard, utilizing our new SMARTboard and finally they had to find a database that suited their need. It was definitely and engaging activity and most students were quite productive. Although after every class the evidence of research was scattered all over the library;)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Academic Intregity at the IA

We've been discussing putting more emphasis on the concept of academic integrity here at the IA. For the past several years we have had a account for all of our students. We've also had a few professional development sessions discussing plagiarism and academic integrity.

We were given a suggestion to read "Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed-Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students" by Denise Clark Pope.

There is also a small group of teachers going to Oakland University on Thursday, January 17 to listen to a lecture by Dr. David Callahan who is the author of "The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead. All are welcome to attend. More info here. Contact me if you would like more information at

I'm sure there will be more of a discussion later on about this topic (after the lecture).

9th graders using History Resource Center

Happy New Year!

I had to blog about this right away. A 9th grade history class came in a few minutes ago. They all sat down and the first thing they did was to navigate to our Database page and start using the History Resource Center all on their own. 9th graders!!!! I'm impressed and thrilled to see them being such advanced users of our databases. My lessons must have sunk in...or perhaps it's because Mr. McGuire told them that's what they should be using. Either way, I have proof that the databases are being utilized at the IA for all grade levels. Yay!

Our studious freshmen.... :)