Last year, when the Stage 2 (Year 1 and 2) students were participating in the READiscover Book Rap, instead of simply bookmarking the site, I decided to model finding the site each time on Google, to see if the students would build confidence and find the site at home on their own computers.
Each lesson, a selected student typed in the phrase “Raps and Book Raps” – within the inverted commas – into the Google search engine. (I already knew this to be the exact title of the desired web page that would lead us to the correct Rap; it can now be found at the link Raps archive.)
Previous tests of this search, before the students arrived for their lesson, had confirmed that the web page did always come up as the first choice. However, I also wanted to demonstrate to the students what happens without the inverted commas being in place when searching: we received back a list of 3,100,000 possible hits! Putting the inverted commas back into place, we reduced that possible hit count to just 5,550. The students were very surprised.
The modelling worked. Students came in at lunchtimes to demonstrate to friends how they performed the search with inverted commas in place, and numerous students reported that they’d located the web page for their parents at home.
During their Rap Wrap Up message – brainstormed during a Circle Time activity – Stage 2 students asked to add to their post to the other schools:
“Our skills and insights:
* Inverted commas can help you search better on Google.”
I’m still smiling. And more convinced than ever by the power of modelled behaviour.
The theme of today was definitely… time.
1. All morning, getting ready for work today, I was racking my brain to remember how to generate the calendar in OASIS Library. A chore I haven’t had to do since early 1997. I knew I’d remember when the time came to do it – and I did – but there still some moments of self-doubt.
2. The school day commenced with a staff meeting in the library. Naturally, when I happened to glance up at the clock, it was totally wrong. The battery had run flat during the vacation. I saw quite a few colleagues do double takes of their own.
3. It finally became really obvious that, as of today, I still hadn’t set the time stamp preferences properly here on Edublogs. It didn’t matter too much last week; when on holidays, every day blurs into the other. My attempts to get it adjusted this afternoon caused today’s comment writers some confusion. (My penpal in the USA, a fellow science fiction fan is always impressed when she gets my emails with tomorrow’s date on them. I just say to her, “See? Time travel really is possible!”) Hey everyone, thanks so much for the comments and emails! I hope I find the time to post something useful/interesting/exciting every day.
4. It’s actually a blessing that I can’t seem to find any way to change the dates on already-posted blog entries and comments on Edublogs. I once found a way to do it on my other blog page at Blogger – and now that I can post-date articles there – I no longer rush to post before midnight. Then I get lazy and forget to post at all.
5. Whew! I had put the draft Term One library timetable in a safe place last year. I found it, too.
6. I just realised how Tardis-like this blog’s About page picture appears. Spooky!
7. Time to get back to work on preparations for tomorrow.
8. You know, I do have an actual Tardis image around here somewhere…