Welcome to 7th Grade Library Class!
Last year in Library Class we focused on getting to know the resources available through the library and on how to use that information ethically by citing sources and respecting copyright. This year we'll focus more on specific research skills: how to select the specific resources we need, how to take effective notes and do more complex citations, and what to do with our information once we've collected it.
General ExpectationsYou should bring the following to class each day:
- your charged iPad
- your Library Class folder or binder section
- a pen or pencil
- a set of headphones (if possible)
GradingWhile your grade for this class will be listed as Pass/Fail on your report card for the quarter, I do post individual assignment grades in Aspen/X2, which automatically calculates what your percentage/letter grade would be. This is to help me -- and you -- keep track of your work so far.Each assignment will receive one of three grades:
- Meets Expectations means that you successfully completed the task or demonstrated the skill I wanted you to practice. I'll list this as an M on a written assignment/in an e-mail or as one point in Aspen/X2.
- Not Yet means that you started the task or attempted to demonstrate the skill I wanted you to practice, but you didn't get a chance to finish or it still needs some work. That's okay! You'll get an NY on a written assignment/in an e-mail and half a point in Aspen/X2, but you can also revise/repeat the assignment as many times as needed to meet expectations, at which point I'll change your grade to give you full credit.
- Missing means that I never received the assignment, whether it's because you were absent or because you forgot to turn it in. This will be listed as a 0 in Aspen/X2, but don't panic, especially if you miss a couple of classes in a row! Just come check in with me (or send me an e-mail if you're really worried) and I'll help you get caught up so I can update your grades.
Library Class Units
Unit 1: Citations
Citations serve two important purposes in academic work, one ethical and one practical. Their ethical purpose is to give credit where credit is due—to make sure that it’s clear to a reader which ideas are coming from the author and which are other people’s ideas that the author is responding to or building upon. Their practical purpose is to let the reader know where the author got their information both to demonstrate that the author has evidence to support their points and to allow the reader to check that evidence or to learn more about the topic.
The goal of this unit is for students to gain a better understanding of how citations are structured and how to read or interpret citations made by other people. By the end of this unit students will be able to:
Accurately cite Web pages, online images, and online video clips in MLA format using NoodleTools.
Identify what type of source (e.g. database article, Web page, online video clip) a given citation describes.
Identify the various components of a given citation (e.g. author, article title, publication date).
Unit 2: Note-Taking/Avoiding Plagiarism
Plagiarism—presenting someone else’s work as if it were your own, either intentionally or accidentally—is a huge problem. Intentional plagiarism is a form of cheating and can result in a failing grade, but even accidental plagiarism undermines a person’s credibility as a writer or a presenter. Citing sources correctly is one important way to avoid this, but it’s also important to quote or paraphrase clearly and accurately so that the audience knows what is the author’s original work and what they’re drawing from other sources. This means it’s also important to mark quotations and paraphrasing clearly when taking notes; otherwise it can be very easy to plagiarize accidentally.The goal of this unit is for students to practice quoting from and paraphrasing sources, including using appropriate in-text citations. By the end of this unit students will be able to:
Quote authors accurately.
Paraphrase by writing a completely new sentence to express an author’s ideas.
Use in-text citations to give credit after quotations and paraphrased sentences.
Unit 3: Evaluating SourcesPerhaps the most important skill we will practice in this class is evaluating information sources. The Internet makes it easier than ever both to publish and to access information, but that also means that it can be harder to tell the good information from the bad and to avoid information overload. Good research depends on thinking critically about which sources to use--where the information comes from, which authors and experts are trustworthy, why the information is being presented in a certain way--but so do many decisions we make in day-to-day life. We will discuss criteria to consider and practice evaluating sources based on those criteria.The goal of this unit is for students to think critically about articles and Web sites and evaluate them based on the author’s credibility, the information’s accuracy, reliability, and relevance, whether the information is up to date, the sources the author used, and the scope and purpose of the article or site (CARRDSS). By the end of this unit students will be able to:
Define each of our seven CARRDSS criteria.
Evaluate Web sites based on those CARRDSS criteria.
Explain their evaluations and support their conclusions by referring to CARRDSS criteria and the evidence they found (or failed to find) for each criterion.
Unit 4: Media Literacy
Every day we are bombarded with images and sounds: advertisements, TV shows, movies, news reports, and more. We spend a lot of our time in school practicing reading and thinking critically about text, but it’s important that we be able to “read” and think critically about sounds, images, and videos as well.
The goal of this unit is for students to think critically about ads, TV shows, radio broadcasts, and audio/visual media in general. By the end of this unit students will be able to:
Analyze who has created a piece of media and what they hoped to accomplish.
Discuss the use of stereotypes in media.
Compare the content of auditory media (e.g. a transcript of a speech) with its delivery (e.g. the speaker’s tone).
Discuss media in its historical context.
- Discuss how a given piece of media does or does use the conventions (common practices) of that medium to communicate.