Author: The Unquiet Librarian

I'm a librarian who loves learning, critical literacy, stories, learning, dogs, poetry, fabulous shoes, and good lip gloss; I'm also a 2011 Library Journal Mover and Shaker.

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10th Grade English Students Take on the CRAAP Test Rumble

Earlier this week, I did a new twist on the write-around written conversation strategies by using it as a learning structure for students to evaluate different sources of information. This entry, originally posted today on my media center blog, shares our learning experience with the CRAAP Test Rumble!

The Hooch Learning Studio

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Earlier this week, we had the great pleasure of working with Ms. Boudreaux and her two sections of Honors 10th Literature/Composition.  We used Monday to give students a hands-on experience in evaluating a variety of information sources.


We began with a quick chat about the importance of evaluating and assessing allinformation sources in the context of one’s research task and topic, not just websites.    We then introduced the CRAAP test and showed a short video to familiarize students with the principles and questions to consider; students also received a CRAAP test checklist (see below).


After the video, we explained to the students our hypothetical research task and topic (aligned with their actual assignment), and we reviewed the procedures for participating in our write-around, our learning structure for students looking at the different information sources and using the CRAAP test as our set of conversation prompts…

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Strike a Pose: Active Learning and Text Engagements with Tableaux!

This is another post from my library blog that I’m cross-posting here about strategies I learned at the Santa Fe inquiry workshop in January. I hope you’ll find it helpful or inspirational!

The Hooch Learning Studio

Are you looking for a way for students to engage with a work of fiction or to think more deeply about a piece of informational text?  Do you want to interject some energy into your world of learning and that of your students?  Would you like to incorporate kinesthetic learning into your classroom?  If so, consider trying the Tableaux strategy from Nancy Steineke, one of the ten great strategies featured in her book Assessment Live.  This strategy was one of the several great learning structures I learned about recently at fantastic inquiry workshop in Santa Fe, NM.

What is tableaux?  Here is how Nancy defines it in Chapter 8 of her book:

The Tableaux strategy is a series of scenes presented by groups of four to eight students who are frozen in poses or positions that depict an historical event, famous speech, scientific concept, or scene from…

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Helping Students Work with Informational Text from A-Z with Alphaboxes

I’m crossposting some short write-ups on my library blog of strategies we used at the Santa Fe inquiry workshop. Enjoy!

The Hooch Learning Studio


Recently I was lucky to have the opportunity to attend the multiday institute, “Teaching for Engagement, Inquiry, and Understanding: Beyond the Standards” in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  This institute, led by some of the leading literacy practitioners in our field, gave us the hands-on opportunity to model and practice different strategies, learning structures, and approaches to creating a culture of inquiry in our classrooms.

One of the strategies we learned was called Alphaboxes.  This is a very simple but effective graphic organizer that has been around for awhile and interpreted in many ways (see ideas below).  For us, we used it to jot down key ideas, terms, people, places, or concepts related to a topic we were researching as we read informational text.  The Alphabox can be a great tool to help your students build prior knowledge as they begin presearch.  It could be fun to then have students…

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