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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?.

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I search

I-Search

Bethany Shull

Mary Fish


Where it all started

Where It All Started

  • Social Studies Problem:

    teaching writing

  • English Problem: teaching research

  • Collaborative Solution:

    The I-SEARCH


What is the i search

What is the I-Search?

  • An inquiry-based approach to research articulated by Ken Macrorie in his book The I-Search Paper (1988).

  • The I-Search

    • is a research narrative.

    • places the student at the center of the research process.

    • spotlights the relationship between the student and the information with which they are interacting.

    • empowers students to see themselves as questioners, evaluators, researchers, and writers.

    • supports students who struggle with academic writing

    • ESL/ELL friendly 


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)


Five steps of the i search

Five Steps of the I-Search

  • MY QUESTION: What I Already Knew,

    and What I Wanted to Know

  • MY SEARCH PROCESS:

    The Story of My Search

  • WHAT I HAVE LEARNED:

    My Findings and Conclusions

    IV. WHAT THIS MEANS TO ME:

    My Growth as a Researcher

    V. REFERENCES


Scrambled i search

Scrambled I-Search

  • You have received an abridged version of our I-Search paper on modelling and introducing the I-Search process to our students at ISSH.

  • Instructions:

    • Put the text boxes in order.

    • Insert subheadings to identify each of the five parts of the I-Search paper.


Answers to i search scramble

Answers to I-Search Scramble

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

Paragraph A

V. REFERENCES

Paragraph E


I what we knew

I. OUR QUESTION: What We Already Knew

I. What We Knew

  • WASC/CIS recommended more interdepartmental collaboration

  • Modelling writing tasks

  • I-search process works

  • Portfolio assessment applying Developmental Continuums


Skills assessed reading continuum

Skills assessed - Reading Continuum

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)


Skills assessed writing continuum

Skills assessed - Writing Continuum

  • Fluent - I sometimes write organized fiction and nonfiction AND Uses paragraphs to organize ideas

  • Proficient - Begins to write organized and fluent nonfiction, including simple bibliographies AND Writes cohesive paragraphs including reasons and examples with guidance

  • Connecting - Writes organized, fluent, and detailed nonfiction independently, including bibliographies with correct format AND Writes cohesive paragraphs including supportive reasons and examples

  • Independent - Writes organized, fluent, accurate, and in-depth nonfiction, including references with correct bibliographic format AND uses a clear sequence of paragraphs with effective transitions


I our question what we wanted to know

I. OUR QUESTION:What We Wanted to Know

  • Could I-search be adapted for Middle School?

  • Would I-search achieve our goal to empower the students as researchers?


Ii our search process

II. Our Search Process

  • 2009 Sept - Created the guides

  • 2009 Oct - Tested the guide by writing models (Mary, Bethany, Nicola)

  • 2009 Oct - grade 7/8 English students analyzed the model and applied process to literature research projects.

  • 2009 Nov - I-search research paper (7th grade) and I-search Powerpoint presentation (8th grade)

  • 2009 Nov – I-search process introduced to gr.5/6 in SS

  • 2009 Dec - Students required to use I-Search process in SS Chronicles gr.5-8

  • 2010 Feb - Applied process to additional two Chronicles.

  • 2010 Sept - Taught to new Social Studies teachers

  • 2010 Nov - compiled a research booklet and supporting materials for organizing and editing Chronicles


Iii what we have learned

III. What We Have Learned

Question 1: Can we adapt the I-search for Middle School?

  • We have created a number of documents, which can be found on our wiki (www.isearchinsideout.wikispaces.com) , including:

  • The I-search Experiment paper (unabridged)

  • One-page guides to I-Search gr. 5/6 and gr. 7/8

  • Two teacher-written models

  • I-search booklet for gr. 5/6

  • Samples of student work

  • Introducing the I-Search Activities

  • Assessment rubrics

  • One page guide to web resources on the I-Search process


Iii what we have learned1

III. What We Have Learned

Question #2:

Would the I-Search process achieve the goal to empower the students as researchers?


38 8 th grade student surveyed

38 - 8th Grade Student Surveyed

  • The I-Search has helped me to do the following MORE than I did BEFORE I learned the I-Search process:

  • 22/38 claimed . . .

    • I have improved my ability to summarize, paraphrase, and quote my sources.

    • I know how to write a correctly formatted bibliography.


Survey results

Survey results

21/38 claimed . . .

  • I use more research sources than I did before I learned the I-Search process.

  • I can figure out how two or more sources fit together to answer my question.

    18/38 claimed . . .

  • I have improved the way that I give credit to my sources in my citations. I know more often how and when to show I have used a source.


Sarah er graduate

Sarah – ER graduate

"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)


India previously homeschooled

India – previously homeschooled

"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)


Olga high achieving student

Olga – High Achieving Student

"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.


Iv what this means to us

IV. What this Means to Us

  • Modelling the I-search process helped us to see the research process from the students’ perspective.

  • Just as we never stop learning about writing, we never stop learning about research.


A brief survey

A brief survey . . . .

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.


As you listen to read georgia s story of my search evaluate what she does well

As you listen to/read Georgia’s Story of My Search, evaluate what she does well.

  • Avoiding PLAGIARISM.

  • Consulting a VARIETY of sources.

  • EVALUATING sources.

  • SYNTHESIZING sources.

  • Summarizing, paraphrasing, quoting, and appropriately CITING and DOCUMENTING sources.

  • STRUCTURING research writing.

  • Writing in her own VOICE.

  • Taking ownership of the research process, identifying areas she needs to strengthen, and setting goals.


As you listen to read jessica s story of my search evaluate what she does well

As you listen to/read Jessica’s Story of My Search, evaluate what she does well.

  • Avoiding PLAGIARISM.

  • Consulting a VARIETY of sources.

  • EVALUATING sources.

  • SYNTHESIZING sources.

  • Summarizing, paraphrasing, quoting, and appropriately CITING and DOCUMENTING sources.

  • STRUCTURING research writing.

  • Writing in her own VOICE.

  • Taking ownership of the research process, identifying areas she needs to strengthen, and setting goals.


As you listen to read yuki s my findings and conclusions evaluate what she does well

As you listen to/read Yuki’s My Findings and Conclusions, evaluate what she does well.

  • Avoiding PLAGIARISM.

  • Consulting a VARIETY of sources.

  • EVALUATING sources.

  • SYNTHESIZING sources.

  • Summarizing, paraphrasing, quoting, and appropriately CITING and DOCUMENTING sources.

  • STRUCTURING research writing.

  • Writing in her own VOICE.

  • Taking ownership of the research process, identifying areas she needs to strengthen, and setting goals.


Possible class activities

Possible Class Activities

  • Reorganize a disorganized I-Search: Label the parts

  • Cross-reference the one page guide with the model I-Search

  • Write annotations for each source in the bibliography of the model I-Search

  • Design a Presentation that will convey all the important ideas in an I-Search essay efficiently and visually


Steve merkel hess social studies teacher

Steve Merkel-Hess, Social Studies teacher

“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.”


Chris gray social studies teacher

Chris Gray, Social Studies Teacher

"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."


Inside out students

Inside out - Students

  • Case Study: Rachael from Wikipedia Wonder to Book Lover

  • “Before when I researched for my Chronicle, I used to go to Google right away and start searching . . . But in this Chronicle I used two books and a magazine to help me do my research. . . . I think by doing the I-Search, it helped me to think about where and why I go to a website and if I can really trust that website because you have to write every step of your search.” Rachael S.


Not just a paper it s a process

Not Just a Paper – It’s a Process

  • Interdisciplinary

  • Collaborative: Wii-Search 

  • Multimedia presentations

  • Photo Essays

    “Negro Children of the Mississippi Delta” (July, 1936) Dorothea Lange


Isearchinsideout

Isearchinsideout

  • www.isearchinsideout.wikispaces.com

  • Background information

  • Explanations of the process

  • Documents we’ve created

  • Additional Resources


Thanks for coming

Thanks for coming!


Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

  • Thank you to Joy Seed, Chris Gray, Nicola Takizawa, Megan Collins, Steve Merkel-Hess, Karen Wilson, Mark McCright, Will George, and Mark Felstehausen.

  • Thank you to all the Middle School students at ISSH.


English social studies

English Social Studies

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.


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