Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Technology Tuesday: Flipping the Library

Well, we did it!  One of my awesome librarian friends and I created a plan for flipping some 5th grade research mini-lessons.  In our district's ELA scope and sequence, 5th grade does their research project in late April.  I have always hated waiting until the day(s) they come in to "explain" and take them through the whole process.  I started these research mini-lessons with 3rd grade a few years ago and it seems to work really well.  They come in a few times before the big research time and we hit the research process in small chunks.  So we decided to try it with 5th grade but in a flipping format.  To start, we thought out the chunks of the process that we wanted to focus on.  We decided that our first lesson would target formulating questions and finding key words within the questions. We made a video using the screencasto'matic website and a short accountability worksheet for them to record some information from the video as they watched it.  I then uploaded it to my library page.  A few days before I did the lesson with each class, I went in and told them about the idea of flipping the lesson - that they would be doing the "listening" part at home and the "doing" part at school where they could get help if they needed it. I also showed them how to navigate to the video and gave them the worksheet.  I had already talked to the teachers and we had a plan for those kids that didn't have internet access at home for them to come to the library before school one day and watch it.
When the came to the library for their scheduled lesson, about 75% of the kids had actually completed the worksheet (that actually surprised me, I thought it would be lower).  We talked through the worksheet where they had to pick out a few key words from the TEKS in the video and then formulate three questions based on the TEKS (talking through this gave the kids who didn't complete the sheet a chance to write something down).  Then I showed them another quick video to remind them how to search in our library catalog.  
I assigned each set of two kids one of the 13 colonies.  They had to choose one of their questions, find a book in the library catalog about that book, go get the book and by looking at the table of contents and index predict some pages they might find the answer on.  Then they actually tried to find the answer.

All in all, it went REALLY well.  Most of the kids were successful and when we finished I asked them what they thought about the flipping idea.  "It was fun."  "More interesting than just listening to you talk and tell us how to do it" and "It was a different way to learn" were a few of the comments.  I asked them then if they thought the idea of flipping would work in other subjects and they said math and science for sure.  As we were talking about that, one student even said, "I think it would be good in math because then if we didn't understand we could watch the video again!" BINGO.  Best of all the teachers were so intrigued by the lesson and the kids comments that they are toying with the kids of flipping a fraction lesson next week!  Total success in my book and I can't wait to try the next one in February.  

Have you tried flipping a library lesson? What other types of library related lessons do you think could flip?  

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