Archive for the 'Information Literacy' Category

Mar 15 2010

Critical Literacy @ Lasswade Primary School

Lasswade Primary School are doing some interesting work across the school with Critical Literacy as a result of  a one day training day for Midlothian staff (Primary and Secondary school teachers and librarians – not sure if any librarians actually attended) as part of their CPD. The training Critical Literacy – Raising achievement through a Curriclum for Excellence was organised and run in partnership with the University of Edinburgh with a focus on “raising achievement across the curriculum through an action research approach to critical literacy ..”. 

The school formed a working group to plan and implement Critical Literacy which is seen as

“the way that we interact with and make meaning from different texts” and “involves the reader analysing and engaging with a text”.

Text being defined as anything which communicates meaning. For early years this includes looking at pictures for clues and forming opinions of characters in stories.

 Critical questions to ask of texts include: construction of characters; gaps and silences; power and interest; whose view: whose reality?; and questioning the composer.

The working group decided to use the Scots focus month to plan and implement Critical Literacy mainly at second level:

  • P5 - Scotland Today;    identifying and explaining difference between fact and opinion (Loch Ness Monster) ; looking closely at text to see how the author influences the reader to take their point of view about the character (Granny Porage & Greyfriars Bobby); to predict what might have happened if circumstances had been different in the story – different ending, implications of different ending(Greyfriars Bobby).
  • P6 – Scotland Homecoming Video: made their own Scotland homecoming Video
  • P7 – The Broons: recognising bias, views and values of characters, view of the world the text is presenting, understanding the purpose of text 

Support for Learning Teacher - Language programme for Scots Focus present Day:

They found that:

  • the children were motivated
  • enjoyed engaging with different texts
  • used critical thinking – very quickly began to question.

They are now looking at P1 – P4.  Louise Donaldson who is part of the working group is now the teacher for Primary 1 – and is using Goldilocks and the Three Bears to look at the text from different points of view – What would you do? Using role play and looking at moral issues. What would they (the children) have done in her (Goldilocks) shoes:

  • Goldilocks went into a house that she didn’t know – would you?
  •  She sat in chairs which broke etc.

It’s interesting to hear how this same story has been looked at from a critical literacy point of view / questions here compared to Kilmacolm Nursery Blooming Blooms questions. Both trying to encourage children’s critical thinking and questioning. It was also interesting to hear about critical literacy and see its important relationship to information literacy.

It was also interesting to hear about the work of the Support for Learning Teacher and to hear of how children start in Primary 1 learning sounds and key words.  They require support from the Support Learning teacher if the know less than 10 words.  In Primary 2  the Support for Learning Teacher sessions are about spelling and phonics – checking letters. 

Discussions also took place about when children start to copy text to record information they have found.  One solution offered to avoid copying text from books is:

  1. children pose question
  2. highlight bullet points
  3. close books
  4. use bullet points and put information into their own words.

My thanks to Lasswade Primary School, the Head Teacher,  Louise Donaldson and her colleagues Hazel Stewart (Support for Learning Teacher), Audrey McGlade and her P5 class for allowing me into their world and sharing what they are doing with me.

9 responses so far

Feb 25 2010

Questioning – Kilmacolm’s innovative Blooming Blooms approach

Blooming Blooms

Blooming Blooms

In 2009 Katrina Little, the nursery teacher at Kilmacolm Nursery (which is part of Kilmacolm Primary School) using Bloom’s Taxonomy worked with parents to form Blooming Bloom Questions for familiar fairytales so that the children are introduced to the benefits of questioning (Innovative approaches). See Blooming Blooms example questions for Goldilocks and The Three Bears.

 

Colour Coded Blooms

Colour Coded Blooms

The questions are colour coded to represent the different  parts of Bloom’s Taxonomy and attached to the responding coloured flower and put into a pot which is inside the front of  each book (see above picture).

The questions are there to reinforce that the activitiy is not just about  reading the book but about gaining knowledge and understanding, applying, analysing and evaluating what has been heard and then creating new thoughts.  It is also about fully involving the parents in their children’s learning.

Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk

A visit to the nursery on Wednesday (17th February 2010) saw Katrina and the children in action. The story was Jack and the Beanstalk and I joined the children (a preschool group of 4 years old) as Katrina started to question them using the Blooming Blooms questions (copy of original Jack and the Beanstalk Questions).

The children seemed to enjoy answering the questions and often you could see the thought process going on.  In the applying section different children showed how they would climb the beanstalk. One boy talked about using an ice axe to help him climb which would indicate that somebody he knew used an ice axe to climb.

Unfortunately Katrina didn’t get through all of the questions as a group of younger children had finished their activity and had returned to the nursery. This disrupted the older childrens concentration a bit.

The books also go home with the children on a Friday so that the parents can be involved in the learning activity. Reports indicate that  parents  are enjoying using the Blooming Bloom questions and children enjoy them too.

This has lead to plans which are under way to introduce Blooming Blooms in Primary 1 linking it to their reading bookings and the Oxford Reading Tree. Those parents that were involved in the nursery project are said to be keen to be involved in the extension to Primary 1.

 

 My thanks to Mrs Katrina Little, colleagues in the nursery and children at Kilmacolm Nursery and the headteacher for allowing me into their world.

3 responses so far

Feb 23 2010

Information Literacy in Junior (Primary) 2

Returned to St Margaret’s School, Edinburgh (Monday 8th February 2010)  where I spent the day in a Junior (Primary) 2 class (pupils are 6 years old) as part of the work I’m doing for Learning and Teaching Scotland CfE Literacy Team – Real and Relevant – Information and Critical Literacy Skills for the 21st Century Learner’ (Early and First Level). The day was really interesting with the following information literacy activities linked to the Curriculum for Excellence Experience and Outcome HWB 1-30a 

By investigating the range of foods available I can discuss how they contribute to a healthy diet.

  • Research activity – ‘Facts about our topic’ – working in pairs the children research a topic (fruit, vegetables, bread, dairy products) finding interesting facts about their topic using a selection of books from the school library that the teacher had picked and displayed in her classroom.

One of the pair I observed copied text straight from the books they had selected. It made me think - is this where it starts, the copying of text rather than putting it into your own words. I suppose when you are learning to write you do copy text! As the teacher was busy with another activity / group I decided to ask the girls if they could pick out the words that were important in the text they had written which was about bread making (the topic they had chosen to research was bread). The girls were able to do this and we started to talk about different breads and which ones we liked including French sticks (baguettes) and chapatis (one of the girls mothers mother lived in Dundee and always made then chapatis and Biryani
 when they visited so chapatis for this child is associated with Dundee rather than Indian cuisine).  As a result of our discussions the girls were able to identify key fats about their topic.

Another pair working on fruit successfully selected their facts without writing / copying whole texts.

  • Evaluation Exercise- working in pairs the children had to discuss with their partners and use the evaluation form (see attached photo) to carry out an ‘Evaluation of my Picallili Monster’.

Their Picallili Monster was made out of food chosen by them the previous week as part of a project relating to food. I wish now I had taken a photo of the Picallili Monsters. The pair I observed didn’t work as a pair until they were reminded by the teacher. Whilst one child was more focused and could decide on: St Margaret's School, Junior 2 Evaluation Form

  1. what she liked best about the project
  2. the part of the body she liked best and why
  3. if she could change her monster would she and why.

The other child was indecisive and even with some questioning from me seemed to choose something randomly resulting in the part she liked best being the part she would change.

As indicated the above exercises worked best when there was an interaction between the children and the teacher or myself with these activities to direct / encourage their thinking. Active learning is a wonderful thing to see in action but a single teacher on her own is not able to interact all the time with all the individual pupils or pairs. It did however make me think that assistance from other practitioners such as school librarians with such learning activities would be greatly appreciated and beneficial.

My thanks to Miss Elizabeth Wood and her class at St Margaret’s School in Edinburgh for allowing me into their world.

5 responses so far

Feb 18 2010

Libraries R 4 Learning Project: Information Literacy Multimedia clips

Aberdeenshire Library and Information Service started filming last week on their Libraries R 4 Learning Project: Multimedia clips. As one of those approached, travelled north last week (2nd and 3rd February 2010) to do some filming. It was an interesting process writing the scripts for the introduction sections on Information Literacy, Information Literacy in schools and Information Literacy in the workplace and then filming them. A new experience for both myself and the film crew (Sue Cromar and one of the network librarians whose name I have forgotten – my apologises to her). I now have a great respect for news readers, it is not as easy as it looks.

During my two day visit I also had a meeting with some of the Aberdeenshire Library and Information Service staff – Primary School Librarian and Early Years / Young People in Schools Librarian plus one of Aberdeenshires Literacy Development Officers (Katherine who is an English teacher on secondment). We had an interesting session where I shared information on the information literacy work I’m involved with specifically the LTS Real and Relevant – Information and Critical Literacy Skills for the 21st Century Learner’ (Early and First Level) CPD Toolkit.

Katherine was amazed to hear that Aberdeenshire Library and Information Service is not just about books, they also have objects / educational tools – religious artefacts, puppets, costumes etc that teachers can use for lessons. As a teachers she is probably not alone in thinking that libraries are just about books. She was also not aware that tours of the service have been organised for probationer teachers and that several teachers have requested visits once they heard of the resources available from the probationer teachers. I made a note to myself to remember to include Library and Information Services as a resource for teachers in the Real and Relevant  CPD Toolkit.

4 responses so far

Feb 09 2010

Information Literacy in Junior (Primary) 1

In December 2009 I spent the day in a Junior (Primary) 1 class as part of the work I’m doing for Learning and Teaching Scotland CfE Literacy Team – Real and Relevant – Information and Critical Literacy Skills for the 21st Century Learner’ (Early and First Level). The day was amazing with lots of information literacy activities based around some of the CfE learning outcomes and experiences. For example:

Finding and using information: Early Level

I listen or watch for useful or interesting information and I use this to make choices to learn new things. LIT 0.04a 

The children aged 5 years old listened to a chapter (chapter 4 I think) from a book about an owl finding out about night and darkness.

The book - The owl who was affraid of the dark The book – The owl who was affraid of the dark

They had to listened for a specific piece of information which they then had to remember. Questions were asked to ensure that they had heard and remembered it. Later on in the day they were each given a worksheet and had to draw a picture to represent what the chapter was all about. The teacher then went round each of them and asked them to complete a sentence with information they had heard. Some repeated the information exactly others put it into their own words. Whatever the child said the teacher transcribed it onto their worksheet.

Other examples of activities included:

  • selecting books in groups to find information about a particular night animal that the group had chosen i.e. a fox, badger, bat. Night animals and birds

With the help of the teacher reading the text the children decided on the 4 most important facts about the animal. Later each group told the rest of the class what they had found.

  • art of the week where they had to look at a picture of a piece of art Rodin’s Thinker and say what they thought it was about. It was amazing to see then looking at it, thinking about it and then giving their thoughts.

I could go on but will end there. My thanks to Mrs Lisa Bonar and her class at St Margaret’s School in Edinburgh for allowing me into their world. Discussions regrading the sort of things that would be useful to teachers regarding their own information literacy was also covered. It has certainly helped my thinking for the work ahead of me and I look forward to using this knowledge along with other experiences of Primary 2 and 3 to come in the new year.

 

 

10 responses so far

Jan 25 2010

Fashion Brand Retailing course for S6 pupils at Glasgow Caledonian University

A video featuring GCU’s Department of Fashion, Marketing and Retailing Fashion Brand Retailing course for S6 pupils, is now live on the Learning and Teaching Scotland website. The video, was produced as part of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education’s Journey to Excellence project. HMIe singled out the department’s work as an example of how universities should interact with other agencies and the community and for developing a culture of ambition and achievement in its students.

The video features the department’s work with school pupils, with pupil and staff interviews. It also includes input from the university’s Effective Learning Services on aspects of information literacy for the course research assignment, referencing, critical thinking / Literacy and Study Skills (Academic Literacies).

GCU Effective Learning Services works closely with the library and has a range of online guides for improving course work including:

Other support offered by Effective Learning Services are Vidcasts for the self directed  learnerby Angela Shapiro, Lecturer & Aidan Johnston, Learning Technologist, Academic Support and Employability, PASS).

 

A Vidcast or vodcast, contains audio and images, either moving or fixed. The impetus was research on students’ attitudes towards workshops by the ELS. The majority of responses rated the workshops high/very relevant. Nevertheless, it is impractical to expect that every student can attend the workshops or meet with ELS staff face to face and many students access the ELS materials on line (4,595 used support guides on line 2008/2009). Moreover, many students commented that they wanted to access workshop material at a later date.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Podcasting appeals to auditory learners and with the addition of visual prompts the vidcast can also support dyslexic students in retaining information. Alternatively, users with visual impairments will be able to select to listen solely to the audio element and can download the material on to their mobile device. Students can also choose when and where they wish to engage with the vidcasts and this approach enables students to revisit the material at their own pace, all contributing to self – directed learning opportunities. The PowerPoint slides are in chapters, supported by further links to specific areas of the ELS website to give additional information. Two formats were used: one for on line access embedded within a webpage using a flash based video player and one for students to download for use with their iPod/mobile video device.

6 responses so far

Dec 08 2009

Information Literacy in Public Libraries – the lifelong learning agenda

At a recent event at the Mitchel Library, Glasgow I was asked about examples of public libraries offering information literacy courses. Although there is some activity in this area we tend not to hear about it so whilst the following is not taking place in Scotland but Wales (one of our Celtic cousins) I thought it was worth a mention.

At the begining of December 2009  John attended An Information Literacy Framework for Wales event  to share the project’s experience in Scotland. One of the speakers was Gareth Evans, Senior Manager – Libraries, Caerphilly County Borough Council and he has allowed us to share his presentation – Information Literacy – a public view and the accompanying documents:

Gareth’s contact details are EVANSG1@CAERPHILLY.GOV.UK

3 responses so far

Dec 08 2009

Literacy across learning in East Lothian

In East Lothian Anne Johnston, School Librarian / Field Officer at Dunbar Grammar School has been working with the Senior Librarian Young People’s Services, Agnes Guyon, from the public library service to look at information literacy for young people in East Lothian. They are hoping to

establish a consistent approach across all libraries – public branch libraries, primary school libraries and secondary school libraries.

To this end Anne is currently using the national information literacy framework to map skills for levels / ages and linking these to literacy outcomes and experiences. Their next step is to find out what is actually being delivered where. They realise they

can provide materials, training etc for primary and secondary schools and then it is up to individual schools.

In secondaries there are professional librarians who are already doing a lot of good work, as you know, who will be very happy to have a clear set of activities, curriculum links etc. We will be working together organising / providing materials, activities, suggestions. As Field Officer, I will be co-ordinating the secondary part. We are intending to include our links to QMU in this section.

We are using existing provision as the starting point for primary aged children too. The Young People’ s Services section of the library service is responsible for providing services to primary schools. They provide term loans of topic boxes to support investigations / projects and fiction boxes to each primary. They also help schools to maintain appropriate stock in their own school libraries and provide advice and professional support when requested. Agnes has also already met our NQTs this year. She and Susan Boylan, the Librarian Young People’s Services, gave a presentation to new teachers. Additionally, all branch libraries in East Lothian actively encourage classes from local primaries to take part in class visits on a regular basis. Activities during these visits are designed to develop information literacy skills as well as encourage children to visit their local libraries in their leisure time. We have already mapped these activites against CfE outcomes and experiences.

I’m sure that I will not be the only one who will be eager to see the outcomes of this work and will be catching up with Anne hopefully sometime in the near future. Anne’s contact details are ajohnston@dunbargrammar.elcschool.org.uk

10 responses so far

Oct 07 2009

Assessment for Curriculum for Excellence

The Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced the publication of the strategic vision and key principles for assessment in Curriculum for Excellence  at the Scottish Learning Festival on 23 September 2009.

According to the document:

The main differences from the existing assessment arrangements are that:

  • Assessment practices will follow and support the new curriculum.  This will promote higher quality learning and teaching and give more autonomy and professional responsibility to teachers.
  • Standards and expectations will be defined in a way that reflects the principles of Curriculum for Excellence.  This will support greater breadth and depth of learning and a greater focus on skills development including higher order skills.
  • A national system of quality assurance and moderation for 3 – 18 will be developed to support teachers in achieving greater consistency and confidence in their professional judgements.
  • A National Assessment Resource will help teachers to achieve greater consistency and understanding in their professional judgements.  There will also be a major focus on CPD to help teachers develop the skills required.

The document also contains information about the National Literacy qualifications being developed at

SCQF levels 3, 4, or 5. They will be available from S3 onwards and build on development of literacy and numeracy skills from earlier stages. Most young people will be presented for these qualifications before they leave school. The qualifications will be awarded on the basis of a portfolio of a learner’s work collected across a number of curriculum areas and  a range of contexts of learning, life and work and will involve external marking by SQA. The qualifications will be flexible to meet the needs of all learners including adult learners in colleges and other settings.

Something to look out for and hopefully influence.

According to the Assessment for Curriculum for Excellence website where there is a link to the Strategic Vision

Later this year, the Scottish Government will publish a Framework for Assessment as part of the Building the Curriculum series which will provide guidance and support to ensure that arrangements for assessment, at all levels of the educational community, support the values, purposes and principles of Curriculum for Excellence and build on the Assessment is for Learning programme.  The Scottish Survey of Achievement will also be redesigned to provide more information about young people’s literacy and numeracy skills.

The website also has a link to an Assessment strategy questions and answers PDF which contains 55 questions and answers. Including information that that they are “expecting schools and local authorities to develop their thinking about how they will work with the new standards and expectations over the course of this year” and that the “expectation is that from August 2010 assessment will be elated to the standards and expectations within the assesment framework”.

The Strategic vision document says that

The Framework for Assessment from 3 to 18 aims to create: 

  • a more effective assessment system which supports greater breadth and depth of learning and a greater focus on skills development
  • through collaborative working, a better-connected assessment system with better links between pre-school, primary and secondary schools, colleges and other settings to promote smooth transitions in learning 
  • better understanding of effective assessment practice and sharing of standards and expectations as well as more consistent assessment
  • more autonomy and professional responsibility for teachers.

12 responses so far

Oct 05 2009

Sharing practice information literacy case studies (Curriculum for Excellence)

The Scottish Information Literacy Project worked with Learning and Teaching Scotland and Project partners:           

  • North Lanarkshire Council, Education Resource Service
  • Information and Learning Resources, City of Edinburgh Council, Children and Families Department
  • North Ayrshire Education Resources Service

to identify case Studies / exemplars of good practice within the cross curricular area of information literacy for dissemination through the LTS Information Literacy website under sharing practice.

April 2009

No responses yet

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