Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What's going on in 5th grade?

Rounding out our recent survey of what's happening at various grace levels, 5th graders have been learning about RADCAB. This handy acronym helps students consider whether a particular website suits their needs or not.

Relevancy (Is it related to what I want to know?)
Appropriateness (Is the reading level just right for me? Is the content appropriate for someone my age?)
Detail (Are there page headings or a site map to help me find what I need? What about a works cited page or a search engine? Is the site too general or too specific for me, or just right?)
Currency (How recently was this website updated?)
Authority (Who wrote the content for this site and how do I know whether I can trust him or her?)
Bias (What viewpoint was this information written from?)

Each week we've looked at a different aspect of RADCAB and discussed it as a group. Next, students explored the websites individually trying to determine on their own where the "mission statement" or "last updated" or "about the authors" or "contact us" sections of the site were, among other things.

Finally, we again got together to review as a class the areas that were most challenging for the majority of students, visiting many of the websites in question to help clear up any difficulties.

If you ever search the web with your student, I strongly suggest you work together to think about and discuss each of these points above. This will help him or her with future online research and also contribute to his or her general information literacy. These are valuable skills to have when reading news stories, watching advertisements on TV or listening to debates.

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