Monday, September 26, 2011

Washougal Teachers Learn to Use Research Databases with Students

A group of Washougal educators attended an optional, district-sponsored class on integrating research databases available from the Fort Vancouver Regional Library (FVRL) into their curriculum on Tuesday, September 20. The project-based, hands-on class was taught by Washougal High School Teacher-Librarian Kim Dillon and Director of Technology Les Brown. Washougal Community Library’s new Community Librarian, Chris Hughey, was introduced at the class and helped provide information about the databases covered as well as other services offered through the public library, including school and classroom visits.

Participating teachers were led through the process of brainstorming a topic, defining search terms, expanding or narrowing a research idea, and then searching and recording results from the following electronic resources: Britannica Online, Britannica Online for Kids, World Book for Kids, CultureGrams, Thinkfinity, and General One File. Access to FVRL’s research databases is free with a public library card. Finally, teachers learned evaluation strategies to help students become critical consumers of information. Feedback received was very positive, and staff members who participated were enthusiastic about the opportunity to share these high quality research databases with students. Cape Horn-Skye Teacher Jocelyn Aldridge said, "My wheels are already turning with ideas for my 2nd graders to use as we begin to learn how to write mini-reports this year. Who knew that all of this information was available, and that it is so easy to access?"

For more information about this class or other staff development initiatives, please visit the Staff Development page of the Washougal School District Website.

Les Brown discusses research strategies with Canyon Creek Middle School Teacher Kay Ball, and Washougal High School Teacher Sheila Good during a class held in the WHS Library. Brown, WSD Director of Technology, recently assumed primary responsibilities for presenting Technology Staff Development programs in the District. He is always interested in hearing from staff members willing to help present professional development topics and can be reached at 360-954-3310.

Photo credit: Kim Dillon.