Year 6: Transitions Wiki

Year 6 students  are currently researching transitions as part of their final Unit of Inquiry before moving onto the MYP.  As a year level, they will build a wiki to share their knowledge with the world.  Don’t know what a wiki is? Watch this Common Craft video called “Wikis in Plain English“.

Ready to start your research? Visit

Ready to start building your wiki? Go to your Year 6 Transitions Wiki:

Check back in three weeks to see our final products!

Year 6 Taking Over

As part of your introduction to the secondary library, Year 6 students will be participating in a research project using the resources and materials available to you through the secondary library.

Over the next 5 weeks, we will build a wiki together, full of resources to support other tweens transitioning from primary school to secondary school, from childhood to adolescence. You will evaluate resources, write recommendations and share information.

Today we’re starting by evaluating some health and wellness resources put together for students your age.

In partners you will explore at least two of these websites and determine if they are useful websites for students your age who want to learn about puberty, teen and tween health,  growing up and transitions.  In a paragraph, respond to this blog post.  Evaluate these resources for Currency, Reliability, Authority, Accuracy and Purpose.

If you have any questions, please see Ms. Katy.

Tech Tuesday: Beyond Google!

Whispering Secrets

Photo by Flickr User: Cameron Maddux under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license

I’ve got a secret: Google isn’t always the best at finding you what you want!  Of course, if you use all of its tricks, you can Get The Most Out of Google!  But still, there are other search and discovery engines out there that can help you find what the information you need, when you need it.

Try these Search Engines on for size:

  •  DuckDuckGo: Don’t want “someone” tracking your every move?  Don’t want your search results to be impacted by your search history?  Search with DuckDuckGo. 
  • InstaGrok: Visually pleasing, interactive results with alternate and extended search terms right in front of you.  Research a topic, customize your results, share your search results web.  Try it out!
  • Scrius: It’s science! Check out their “About Us” page for more details, but the quickie version is that when you search REM, Google thinks rock music and Scrius thinks sleep.
  • KidsClick!: Search Engine for Year 1 – Year 8

How about these Discovery/Reference sites?

  • Finding Dulcinea: The library of the Internet!  High quality, trustworthy websites selected by REAL HUMANS. 🙂
  • Internet Public Library:  This is the online version of the reference desk at a public library.  In addition to a wealth of resources carefully selected for your use, there are REAL HUMANS working behind the IPL desk.  Just “Ask an IPL Librarian” and a librarian or library student will help guide you to resources for your question.
  • GapMinder: Aiming to support a fact-based worldview, GapMinder takes boring numbers and converts them into animated statistics in colorful graphs.

This only scratches the surface.  What’s your favorite search engine or discovery website to turn to when the Internet giant Google isn’t what you need?

Extended Essay: Creating and Sharing your Annotated Bibliography

Year 12 students, your Annotated Bibliography is due Tuesday, April 16th.  You may submit it to your supervisor, Mr. Rancic and Ms. Katy either as a Google Doc or through NoodleTools.  If you need help with submitting your annotated bibliography, come to Extended Essay office hours on Mondays from 3-4 pm in the secondary library.

If you want to submit it as a Google Doc, use the slides below to ensure that your sharing settings are set to:

  • Visibility Options: Anyone with the link
  • Access: Can Comment

If you want to submit it through NoodleTools, share your project with the assignment drop box titled “Extended Essay 2013-2014 [Ms. Katy]”.  Don’t yet have an account with NoodleTools? See the secondary library blog post Research with NoodleTools.  Need help navigating NoodleTools? Check out

If you need help with submitting your annotated bibliography, come to Extended Essay office hours on Mondays from 3-4 pm in the secondary library.

Extended Essay: Annotated Bibilographies

Research Process

Research Process

Congratulations! In the wilds of Extended Essay, you are in the thick of it. Having moved through the Pre-Search stage (Deciding your Topic, Figuring out what you need to know,  Developing your Research Question) you are now deep into the Research stage.

This means finding, organizing, and evaluating your resources. It also means your Annotated Bibliography is due on April 16th.

What is an annotated bibliography? 

According to the Purdue Online Writing Lab, a “bibliography is a list of sources (books, journals, Web sites, periodicals, etc.) one has used for researching a topic. An annotation is a summary and/or evaluation. Therefore, an annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources.”

In three to five sentences, the annotations in your bibliography should

  • Summarize: In one to two sentences, detail the main arguments, the topics covered, the overall point of this resource.
  • Assess: In one to two sentences, evaluate the reliability, usefulness, and bias of this source.  Think about the goal of the writers of this resource. Keep the C.R.A.A.P. method in mind when assessing your resource.  
  • Reflect: In one sentence, describe how this resource fits into your research: What is it helpful? How does it shape your argument? How has it impacted your thoughts on your topic?  What questions do you have now? 

Sample Annotated Bibliographies

Creating and Sharing your Annotated Bibliography – Your annotated bibliography needs to be a in a digital format you can share with your supervisor, Mr. Rancic and Ms. Katy. You must use one of the two options below.  If you don’t know how to use these tools, see Ms. Katy during Extended Essay Office Hours on mondays at 3:00 in the secondary library.

  • NoodleTools – This is a student research platform with Integrated tools for note-takingoutliningcitationdocument archiving/annotation, and collaborative research and writing.
  • Google Docs – Create a Document online using Google Drive.  This requires an account with Google. 

Databases: Student Resources in Context & Junior Reference Collection

Why do databases matter? Why can’t we just find everything we want through Search Engines like Google, SweetSearch, Wolfram Alpha and Bing?

Well, estimates are that anywhere from 75%-90% of the information on the Internet is part of the INVISIBLE WEB, or parts of the Internet that Search Engines can’t reach.  This includes (but is definitely not limited to) Intranets, Library Catalogs, Forums, Password protected SItes and Databases! To learn more, watch the Xtranormal Visible vs. Invisible Web animation.

To maximize the effectiveness of our research, we need to utilize the parts of the invisible web available to us.  LIS students and staff can start with the LIS Research Portal, a password-protected page with all of the secondary library resources.

Check out these Introductory Slides on two of our databases.

Get Started with Junior Reference Collection.

Dive into Student Resources in Context.

If you need help using these resources, see your librarian.

Extended Essay: Planning & Organizing Your Research

Research Process

Research Process

Are you a Year 12 Diploma student?

If the answer is yes, then over the last few weeks, you’ve started your Extended Essay research process.  You have been in the pre-search stage of your research process, where you explore potential topics and start thinking about who might be your advisor.  As you determine the focus of your research, it is important that you begin effectively collecting your resources and taking initial notes so you can access them later.

The resource we will be using for saving, annotating and sharing your research is the social bookmarking tool Diigo.

Want to learn more about Diigo? Watch these videos:

Today’s tasks:

Your subject area teachers and supervisors will be added to these groups, and we will ask them to support your research by adding relevant resources to these Diigo groups.  As you ask supervisors to work with you, they may ask to see your Diigo account so you can discuss the resources you’ve found so far.