June 20, 2017

Systems for organizing information

During grade 2 unit of inquiry "Systems" the class explored the system ISE Library uses for organizing books. Students learned grouping books by type (fiction and nonfiction), numbers and letters. Through inquiring into and discussing information they saw on the books (call numbers) and on the shelf labels they discovered the ten groups of the Dewey Decimal System, and that books on the similar subject are together on the shelf. Touring around the library students noticed that not all books have numbers which led us talking about the alphabetical order and types of book that are organized this way.
What Dewey section are your favourite books in?
We then looked into the library online catalog and noticed the call numbers there as well. Combining the learning students worked as detectives following clues (call numbers) to solve a problem (finding a book of interest from the shelf). Next time we revolved the activity and students worked as library assistants putting books back to their correct places on shelves. This activity turned out to be more a challenging one. All students though, some with a little help from a friend, managed to find books of interest. One student in particular displayed the calling for a librarian profession by quickly understanding how the library system works, and efficiently carrying out the duties of retrieving and returning books to the shelves. He insisted keeping re-shelving books during free reading time. What joy!

Our next exploration into systems of organizing information, building on learning from this unit, is looking into how can we use alphabet to find things? We will be exploring enrollment lists, dictionaries offline and online and look into online directories. The objective of this unit is to learn how to search online by using the alphabet and how children's directory sites are organized.

Exploring lists and dictionaries
As a summative activity we explored the Endangered animals site that organizes its information alphabetically. Grade 2 created their own A-Z book of endangered animals using information from that site. This activity was completed in collaboration with the "Endangered animals" unit of inquiry. Students were able to transfer their knowledge and terminology learned (extinct, endangered, threatened) across subjects. Look at some examples from the book. Do you know who is an axolot, or where can you meet quoll. How is uguisu's poop used, and how x-rat tetra looks like?

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