I-Search. Bethany Shull Mary Fish. Where It All Started. Social Studies Problem: teaching writing English Problem: teaching research Collaborative Solution: The I-SEARCH. What is the I-Search?.
“The I-Search is an easier text for ESL students because they are allowed to be a little less formal and less rigid. They can use “I.” It’s not so depersonalized. For ESL students who write like they speak, it’s perfect. It’s a very nice transition into more formal structures.” (Karen Wilson, ESL HOD)
and What I Wanted to Know
The Story of My Search
My Findings and Conclusions
IV. WHAT THIS MEANS TO ME:
My Growth as a Researcher
I. MY QUESTION: What I Already Knew, and What I Wanted to Know
Paragraphs C, I, D
II. MY SEARCH PROCESS: The Story of My Search
Paragraphs B, G
III. WHAT I HAVE LEARNED: My Findings and Conclusions
Paragraphs F, H
IV. WHAT THIS MEANS TO ME: My Growth as a Researcher
I. OUR QUESTION: What We Already Knew
Fluent - I sometimes use different resources (encyclopedias, articles, Internet, and nonfiction texts) to find information
Proficient - Uses resources (e.g. encyclopedias, articles, Internet, and nonfiction texts) to locate information independently
Connecting - Integrates nonfiction information to develop deeper understanding of a topic independently
Independent - Chooses and comprehends a wide variety of sophisticated materials with ease (e.g. newspapers, magazines, manuals, novels, and poetry)
Question 1: Can we adapt the I-search for Middle School?
Would the I-Search process achieve the goal to empower the students as researchers?
21/38 claimed . . .
18/38 claimed . . .
"I now know that I should find as many web sites as possible to find out more information and to check if the information is accurate. I also found out that there are reference sections in some sites, so if you click on one, it takes you to another site which they got the information from. I think this research was easier than the last I-search. I have done it few times before so it became easier to do since I know what to do.“ Sarah G. Grade 8 (graduate of our English Reinforcement class)
"I have learnt that when searching for information it is okay to click on the tabs that appear on the screen, and that Wikipedia and answers.com are very unreliable sources. Before I did this project I had a very hard time writing reports and projects, but during my essay I have realized how to start and finish sentences as well as use the MLA system. I believe this project has changed the way I would have done many other projects in the future. I have found many reliable web sites as well as learnt it is okay to make mistakes. I am sure that in the future I will do more projects on subjects I like just as I did this one." India A. (new to ISSH, previously home schooled)
"I think I grew a lot as a researcher while doing this chronicle. I learnt that books are a really significant piece of information. I also found out that it is necessary to compare many websites and decide which information will suit your arguments, because many countries and people have a completely opposite view on the Nobel Peace Prize. For example, I found it hard to decide whether the Nobel Peace Prize is actually significant in this world, or whether you can consider it being insignificant. This was hard to decide, because there are no right or wrong answers in a political issue, such as this one. Citing articles and websites played a big role in my growth as well. I found it really hard to cite some of the websites and I had to practice for a while before I was able to cite articles and websites smoothly. Overall, this chronicle helped me advance in terms of being a researcher and I was able to nail many things that I wasn’t able to nail last time." Olga R.
Which of the following issues do you find the MOST challenging when teaching research writing? (Vote for all that apply.)
Deterring deliberate PLAGIARISM.
Motivating students to consult a VARIETY of sources.
Encouraging students to EVALUATE sources.
Teaching students to SYNTHESIZE sources.
Teaching students how to summarize, paraphrase, quote, and appropriately CITE and DOCUMENT sources.
Teaching students how to STRUCTURE research writing.
Empowering students to write research writing in their own VOICES.
Challenging students to take OWNERSHIP of the research process, to identify areas they need to strengthen, and to set goals.
“The I-Search helped the students to focus on the inquiry part of the research process. Some of the students had trouble formulating a question that required research to answer. For example, ‘What is my favorite baseball team?’ That was an unacceptable question, which the student fairly quickly realized. The whole paper is about answering a higher level question.”
"With the I-search report, the students research process is exposed allowing the teacher to notice strengths/weaknesses and trends. With this information, valuable lessons can be created to alter students understanding of how to research."
“Negro Children of the Mississippi Delta” (July, 1936) Dorothea Lange
Creates I-Search guides.
Writes I-Search models.
Introduce the I-Search models and process in English class activities.
Assists students with specific writing problems that arise in the Chronicles: structuring the FINDINGS and CONCLUSIONS
Assists with peer editing sessions.
Reinforces the I-Search process in research projects for English.
Reinforces documentation in research projects for English.
Includes the Social Studies Chronicles in the English Department’s year-end Writing Continuum portfolio evaluation.
Uses the I-Search guides for Social Studies Chronicles.
Assists students with the planning and drafting processes for the Chronicles.
Identifies areas that need to be more specifically addressed in the I-Search process (ie. formulating research questions; using an appropriate range of sources).
Selects student models to help students improve.
Assesses the Chronicles three times each year.