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I've often found colleagues identify a problem with their students copying text when researching and having little success in summarizing into their own words the text being read. These dilemmas always pique my interest as they are easily resolved with teaching solutions rather than what may at first seem like a learner's problem.
Research is like writing, the more connected a student is to the topic at hand the more relevant information they will find and higher quality presentation they will create. This makes for better learning experience students will receive from the process. Scaffolding young students research will support their success and set productive patterns and honest approaches in their future. They time we can spend teaching young students how to research productively (and enjoy it too) will save much future time and energy regarding issues of plagiarism.
So what is the 'teaching solution' to text-copying problems?
Get your students connected to their research.
How do I get my students connected to their research?
I'm glad you asked. The UOI Research Support worksheet will help guide your students (and maybe yourself) through the process of formulating a question, reading and selecting information (FINDING OUT) and the making of and sorting notes (SORTING OUT).
Before you begin, as is true with anything new, I would provide a short period of time for students to openly explore the topic (chosen or nominated), its boundaries and possibilities. This will make the process richer, quicker.
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I've been trying find ways in which to approach even the smallest of curriculum aims, through inquiry. Instead of turning to a text or a series of hands-on activities I could prepare and set up for my class, I thought about the type of learning that was most engaging for my students this year. It has always been when there has been a structure, organizer, process or schema to support their learning but at the same time keeping it open for them to explore freely and learn within it. Processes always delivered an appropriate balance between independence and support. I turned to my students prior knowledge and thought of using parts of the Scientific Method they had learned about and successfully used in a previous Unit of Inquiry. My aim was for them to use our thinking skill of application: making use of previously acquired knowledge in practical or new ways. After a brief discussion, note taking and a walk-through example, each student was able to work out the probability of a single event of their choosing.