Research is a critical tool for learning at any age. Today’s students have more information available to them that any other generation and most of us (me included) jump on Google, do a quick search and call it a day. Our expectation for good researching skills needs to be much higher and very tangible for our students. Our tendency is to create a rubric, set come guidelines and let them go. Did you ever think there may be a reliable research model available for ALL grade levels? Ironically, the FL DOE created a research model for students that is exemplary and almost forgotten. Wouldn’t it be great to have a common language of expectations for research across all the grade levels? We have it! Let’s get it out in the forefront again. This “tuesdays” is for all teachers and students who have ever done research.
A creative website
The Florida Research Model – FINDS is a collaborative effort through FAME (Florida Association for Media in Education) to help media specialists and teachers combine reading and writing skills with information literacy. This model has been around for a few years now, but I don’t think it’s been given enough attention. I sure hope you have the opportunity to look into it more. The site is loaded with resources for teachers and students. It includes media standards that match the Florida Standards for each grade level. When planning a project, it is critical to give the students a sense of self-checking. Through FINDS, an acronym for:
· Focus on the information need
· Investigate resources to search for answers
· Note and evaluate facts
· Develop information into knowledge for presentation
· Score presentation and search
This model will help both teacher and student to develop high quality projects with accountability.
An image to share
"There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” J.R.R Tolkien
I would love to encourage you to share the FINDS model with your students even if you don’t think you will eve have time to use it because they can really benefit from the self-check questions throughout the model. For instance, the F in FINDS stands for – Focus on the information need. Two questions in this section include: “What is my assignment or the information problem to be solved? What are my questions and/or thesis sentence?” The I in FINDS stands for Investigate – Investigate resources to look for an answer. The question I like the best in this section is “How can I find what I need and respect the rights of others to equal access to information?” The N in FINDS is for Note – Note and evaluate facts. An interesting question posed to the students in this section is “Do I have all the facts from all points of view on my topic?” The D in FINDS is Develop – Develop information into knowledge for presentation – Of course, my favorite question is “How do I integrate technology to enrich, publish or present my project?” Finally, the S stands for Score – Score presentation and search. This introspective section includes four questions and ends with “How can I improve my search process next time?” Two more places where you can do deeper with information about FINDS are from Broward County - Reference and Research and the FINDS Livebinder.
How do you do that?
How do you institute the FINDS model in your classroom? Investigate its many resources within the site. It even includes online graphic organizers, think tank tools, wizards and many, many pdfs that you can download and share with your students. You could spend a whole day with the students simply teaching them the value of this site alone. In fact, it may even be very wise to divide and conquer it in a jigsaw puzzle type search and let them bring it all back together for the class. You will probably learn a whole lot more about the resources because they will dig deeper and find more than we have time to! Kudos to the SUNLINK team for developing this incredible gift to research and to FAME for keeping it alive! Any digital project that includes research, storyboarding and scripting will make a final product that others want to see (or hear).
As always, I am