Sunday, September 25, 2011


Its been a few weeks since I have posted here. I always feel a little harried at the start of a new school year, so I gave myself permission to slack off on a few activities. So here is how things are going now I am firmly "back to school."

All classes in grades 1-6 have had their orientation sessions. This is the lesson where I say all the things that must be said before students start coming to the library independently. Rules, procedures, schedules, and what to do if the fire alarm rings when you are in the library.

I added an emphasis on respecting personal space (not crowding, not touching) to this orientation. The library was very crowded during open access last year, and I am trying to figure out how to keep it comfortable for students even when overfilled. I have also added an acknowledgment that I can't always help with big questions during open access periods. I am asking students with bigger questions to put a note with their name and class in the book drop. The note can be as simple as "I have a question." Perhaps I should also put an "I have a question" form on the library home page. It is frustrating when the big issues - the real library work - gets pushed out of the way by the mechanics of checking books out to students.

Next week I have my first "real" library class sessions - the traditional Google Earth introduction for third grade. My principal is a little annoyed that the classroom teachers get basically a free ride. I do the heavy lifting of planning and teaching the lesson after a conference with the classroom teachers. They participate, guide the content they want the students to remember, but are also learning too. She feels that the teachers should learn how to use and teach this tool. I agree, and have told the third grade team that they are expected to teach their own Google Earth lessons throughout the rest of the year. I will be in the room (either with a small group or on my lunch or prep) to act as a seat belt. This year I am also asking the teachers to give a written assessment checking on the students understanding of the work we do. I feel that I need this both as a check for me, and to add accountability for the students and teachers.

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