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Introduction Notes to the Teacher Research Implementation Competencies

Suggested Strategies for Implementation

Ask students whether or not they have ever used the Internet to find information. If they have, ask them to describe the experience. Ask them if they think that everything they read online is true. Suggest that they describe how they can tell if something they read is true or not.

Explain to the students that they are going to be learning how to evaluate the information that they find online. Also, explain to the students why it is important for them to evaluate what they read online and in books, magazines and other places. Explain that they will be looking at some websites, some of which are intended for children. If they have children, they will then be able to share what they learn and the websites with them. Pre-teach the selected vocabulary.

Step 1: Show the whole class the structure of the website evaluation WebQuest using a workstation hooked up to a projector or a TV or display it to a small group of students: Websites… Which Ones Should You Trust?

Step 2: Read aloud the first set of evaluation tips (Who Is The Author?) and discuss them with the students.

Step 3: Read aloud the home page of The Money Tree website from Task 1. Think aloud to model an effective comprehension strategy. After reading The Money Tree home page aloud to the group, you might say, "I'm going to stop and use the comprehension strategy, Making Connections. Making connections means thinking actively about what you are reading and seeing if it makes sense based upon things that you already know. I've read the home page from The Money Tree website. To make connections, I'm now thinking about where I believe money usually comes from. I'm not sure about this Money Tree website because I think that people usually get money from banks or as gifts or as wages from a job, not from trees. But I'll read on before I decide." Discuss this with students.

Guided Practice
Step 4: Ask students to read the FAQs and look at the Photos page in small groups. As they read and view the photos, suggest that they try to Make Connections and discuss this with their groups. Monitor progress. Then have them share their findings with the whole class.

Step 5: Model another strategy (Asking Questions) as you read the Letters page. As you think aloud you might say, "I'm going to stop and use comprehension strategy, Asking Questions. When I ask questions about what I'm reading it helps me understand it better. I've just read the Letters page of The Money Tree website. Here are my questions: If the product is so good, why didn't anybody come up with it before now? Just because someone says that they are honest, are they really honest? I know that sometimes people just want to sell you things so they will say anything." Discuss this with students.

Guided Practice
Step 6: Ask students to read the Catalog, Orders and About Us pages in their small groups and to Ask Questions as they read. Some of the questions that they ask might be from 'Who Is The Author'. Discuss first in their small groups and then with the whole class.

Step 7: Ask students to look at the other website that is part of Task 1 (Dollars and Sense: Fundamental Facts about US Money). First ask them to read the major headings of the site. What do they think they are they going to be reading about? Then you might suggest that they read aloud parts of the site to each other in their small groups. As they read, they should 'Make Connections' to what they already know about money and 'Ask Questions' such as the ones described in 'Who Is The Author'. Monitor their reading and use of strategies as they work. They should discuss their reading in their small groups.

Step 8: Bring the class back together. Discuss which site they believe presents the most accurate information about money. Discuss why it is important to read carefully and think about what they read online. What could happen if they responded to The Money Tree and ordered seeds?

Step 9: Display Is The Information Accurate? to the entire class. You might read this section aloud to the class, have them read it in pairs, take turns reading it aloud, or read it silently, depending upon the make-up of your class. Discuss how to determine the accuracy of information on a website.

Step 10: Model another strategy (Evaluating). Launch the Kids Korner site. Click on the Country Fair link. Then click on the Animals' tent. Select an animal from the list, such as Goats. You might say something like, "As I read this site, I'm going to use the comprehension strategy, Evaluating. If I actively evaluate what I'm reading, it will help me figure out whether or not I can trust the information that I read on this page. I'm going to use the questions and information from "Is The Information Accurate" to help me evaluate what I'm reading. Let me see if I can figure out who wrote the site. (Point out the logo on the home page.) I see that the Michigan Department of Agriculture created this site. That sounds pretty official to me!"

Guided Practice
Step 11: Ask students to read other parts of the site in their small groups. Remind them to use strategies such as Evaluating, Making Connections and Asking Questions while they read. Monitor their reading and conversations. They should discuss their findings in their small groups and then with the whole class.

Step 12: Ask students to read the Down on the Farm site in their small groups. Monitor progress as they read and use comprehension strategies. They should discuss their finds in their small groups and then with the whole class.

Independent (or Small Group) Practice
Step 13: If you feel that your students are ready, have them work in groups or independently or with their children, and do the remaining tasks. If you feel that they still need guidance, follow the plan above and present Is There Bias? to them and offer guided practice in viewing and reading the two websites. Students will need to read Is There Bias? and then look at the two sites in Task 3. They will also need to read When Was The Website Made and view and read the two sites in Task 4.

Step 14: Task 5 is much more open-ended and less instructor-directed. If your students have never conducted Internet searches themselves before, you will need to show them how to enter keywords in iTools, Google, Yahooligans and Kid's Search Tools. Instruct students to report back when they are done and discuss findings with the entire group.