Reflection and Planning

I know I have been a non-blogging blogger most of this year.  I think I’m still getting a handle on what it means to blog when I don’t have to do it for my Masters work.  I like the opportunity to write and publish but I struggle to do it as a regular task.  Hence the sporadic work of this year.  I need to find a way to integrate it into my practice.  Still working at it.

I have a begun to reflect on the last year, my first as a teacher librarian.  I have been able to start to work towards what I believe best practice in a library resource center means.  I fall far short of my own expectations.  I am hoping the gap between my ideals and my practice will continue to shrink over time.  Or perhaps it will remain but the edges will move along the continuum.

I believe my job as a teacher librarian is to facilitate the use of the resources of the library in an integrated and meaningful way for students.  I believe I need to work together with my teaching colleagues to provide this teaching in a connected way to the classroom experience rather than as an isolated library program.  But which skills and at what ages?  What activities suit Kindergarten and grade one?  Which are more suited to grade three and four?  Which do I really need to teach prior to grade seven and eight and what can be left for the grade sevens and eights as ‘new’ and exciting?

I am writing this post as a plea for ideas.  As a result I will embed in it the names of my blogging community, in hopes that they will come and bring their friends to help me to think about library skills and technology in the elementary setting.  Ok Blogosphere Doug at BlueSkunk, Doug in the Borderland, Paul over Reflecting, Chris Discoursing, Clarence with the Random Access, Joyce on her Neverending Search, Vicki the CoolCat, Scott who is Irrelevant, Rob in California, Alec in the Open, Carolyn in the Future, Jane on Books... I believe in your help, I have learned much from listening to your tweets and comments, by listening to your reflections and dreams and I know I comment far to little but please if you can, blog and ping me, comment or tweet your response.  What should I do next year?  The book exchange and read aloud are not fulfilling my dreams.

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7 Comments

Filed under blogging, classroom, education, library

7 responses to “Reflection and Planning

  1. Hi Susan,
    Ironically you say that the Read Aloud is not doing it for you. Ironically it’s quite a focus at our board extending into Grade 9 and high school. For challenged readers the activity of a skilled reader thinking aloud those reading strategies like connecting to background knowledge, visualizing, and inferencing are invaluable. You could provide the key for many students who don’t come from literacy rich backgrounds. All the best. Keep posting. You’ve got a loyal reader.

    • Thanks for the feedback Paul. We’ve had a focus in our division on Read-Aloud and Think-Aloud for the last couple of years. I think they are great strategies. However, they are getting frequent classroom teacher use and are regular features of our professional development on a system level. I can offer things which are not being focused on so thoroughly. I believe in the read aloud, I can just offer so much more and want to provide more integrated learning experiences.

  2. Sorry I did not proofread my post carefully. How redundant of me.

    ‘You say that ….

  3. Hi Susan,
    I’m not real sure what our school librarian does with the lower grade-levels, but she has a library feature called “Ask a Sixth Grader” that gives my students a chance to research and answer questions asked by the younger kids. It’s voluntary, and some of the sixth-graders really enjoy it.

  4. It sounds like it would be helpful to you to look at a K-12 curriculum for library/literacy skills and then think about how to team with your teachers to bring that into play?

    There are some good print resources:
    One I’ve used is “Developing an Information Literacy Program k-12” but it is getting dated unless there is a revision. But still it lays it out in an organized fashion.

    In our district, we decided to base our work on Carol Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process model. (It’s similar to the Big Six process). So we base our plans/work with students on various aspects of that model in terms of working with students on research.

    This is an area we also need to do a lot of work on, so I empathize! And collaborating with teachers is an ongoing effort, really, as teachers come and go and principals come and go. It takes a lot of public relations, being invitational, seizing opportunities, and defining your role for them.

    Good luck !

    • Thanks for stopping in Carolyn. We use the Inquiry Process developed by Alberta Learning here. It was developed using Kuhlthau’s research and works through the emotional parts as well as the intellectual parts of the inquiry process. I’m hoping to sit down in the coming week with a local mentor and talk through the things she does. I’ll blog it when we’ve talked and you can take a look. My grade 6/7 teacher and I have just started blogging with a group, we wanted to get a jump start on next year. They are excited about it which is a great place to have them in June!

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