Towards the end of last year and with a focus on the coming National Year of Reading class teacher, Kate Bradley, drew on A. A. Milne’s timeless classic Winnie-the-Pooh to help her class learn about relationships and also to use this literature to bind subject areas into an integrated unit of work. The students read the book then created their own characters who had to live together in their own class One Hundred Acre Wood behind the IRC. Students visited their ‘Wood’ often -sometimes bringing down their writing materials and working outside for added inspiration. This became their presentation area with characters (plastic bottles) standing next to poetry compositions (laminated on sticks). The display became a collaborative effort between the classroom teacher and Teacher Librarian with some Senior Students also assisting during study periods and the students benefited from all the added attention! In the following video Kate describes this unit of work.
In her latest post in An awfully big blog adventure, award winning author of 60 books for children and teens, Linda Strachan says:
We all know that children have to learn the skill that is reading so that they can discover the joy of losing themselves in a book, the delight of living new experiences through the characters in their favourite books
…we need our schools not only to help children learn the skill of reading but to find joy and delight in a broad range of books, to help them to become enthusiastic readers.
She goes on to discuss the role played by the school and Teacher Librarian in the of promotion of books and reading.
The TED Blog informs us about, and links to, ten inspiring ‘Talks’ by teachers from many areas of school education.
Arthur Benjamin: Teach statistics before calculus
John Hunter: Teaching the World Peace Game
Emily Pilloton: Teaching design for change
Dan Meyer: Math class needs a makeover
Aaron Sams: How to speed up chemical reactions and get a date
Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education
Liz Coleman: a call to reinvent liberal arts education
Conrad Wolfram: Teaching kids real math with computers
Clifford Stoll: The call to learn
Traditionally schools have collected student work samples to store physical examples of accomplishment and compare individual achievement over a period of time. E-Portfolios have so much more potential. They can be used to “help students find purpose and passion through reflection and goal-setting” as they develop their own record of learning. Dr Helen Barrett explains how it is possible to incorporate the use of digital tools in learning to achieve this goal.
Dr Gail Bush from the National Louis University speaks about the way we need to view and use information when it is available in abundance from many sources. She says that in the 20th Century we used valid information to “answer the question” but now there are so many sources of information we must “question the answer”.
Dr Bush says we can’t trust every information source so we need to think critically when assessing information. Students need to be challenged to be open to changing perspectives under valid opinion. Students need to learn to question the validity of sources and look for perspectives and bias.
Read more here: http://www.nl.edu/news/informationtransliteracy.cfm
This new tool allows people to gather online resource links to issues in one accessible place. Here are links to some created by Teacher Librarian colleagues who curate in a number of relevant educational topic areas.
The Value of Twitter – Linda Weeks
Web 2.0 tools for English Teachers – Linda Weeks
Digital Citizenship in Schools – Judy O’Connell
Social Networking for Information Professionals – Judy O’Connell
Graphic Novels in the Classroom – Di Laycock
School is back for a new year and IRC seminars are in full swing as students are reminded of all the resources, tools and facilities available to them.
The skill of accessing tools, sites and new ideas needs to be combined with opportunities to actually use and transform these into expressions of creativity. As teachers and the Teacher Librarian plan units of work across all faculties, this needs to be kept in mind.
The blog post by Tanya Roscorla entitled 10 steps to strengthen digital and media literacy expands on this and argues for allowing increased access to social media in schools.
“...technology is a tool for communicative practice and for giving kids the opportunity to use their voices to strengthen their literacy, critical thinking and problem-solving skills”
The role of teacher Librarian is to foster and improve Digital and Information literacy across the school. Both teachers and students need to become expert information users.
“In the white paper Digital and Media Literacy: A Plan of Action, professor Renee Hobbs from Temple University mentions skills that show digital and media literacy, including accessing information, solving problems, working collaboratively, communicating effectively, and analyzing data and evidence.“
Teacher Librarians assist collaboratively with the implementation of Information Literacy into the curriculum. Read more about this in this post on the Converge site:
‘The Daring Librarian’ has posted a great list of things to do to smarten up online presence.
- Change Passwords – Click the link below and read her 4 tips for super passwords
- Clear Cache, History and Cookies
- Clean up and organise Flash Drives
- Check out using the Cloud for storage and consider …Dropbox, iCloud, Google Docs etc
- Edit privacy settings and ‘friendships’
These five are a ‘must’ to get ready for the new school year. For the rest please visit The Daring Librarian’s Blog:
This video “addresses the forces of change that are causing educators globally to rethink what education for today’s students should involve.”
Students are moving from learning about an historical body of information to becoming life-long learners manipulating information to solve and innovate in inquiry projects.
How do we help them to become capable of managing their own learning and to be learning forever? Information literacy and digital literacy is the key and this is the special role of Teacher Librarians as they team with classroom teachers in the school.
The American Association of School Libraries have published links to the top 25 sites that “foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. They are free, Web-based sites that are user friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover.” The sites are grouped with standards for each.
The winning entries of this challenge have been published and focus on the work done in school libraries – a great source of ideas and also advocacy for the role of Teacher Librarians in school libraries everywhere.
In Australia, 2012 is the National Year of Reading and I know that in our library we will be working hard to promote literacy in all subject areas with a focus on integrating the library (IRC)and Teacher Librarian in teaching and learning activities across the school (K-12).
View the winning entries here:
On Friday 28 October five of our Year 10 students who have been studying “Issues in Australian Society” presented their work in the IRC Theatrette. They were sharing their personal perspective of the use of Guided Inquiry as a research process for their unit of work in Commerce. The occasion was a Network Meeting of Teacher Librarians of the Association of Independent Schools (AIS) and over twenty Teacher Librarians from across Sydney were in attendance .
The students described the Information Search Process and examples of the scaffolds they used to enable them to delve deeply into their selected topic areas. James then gave a four minute presentation of the answer to his self constructed question “Should nuclear energy, keeping in mind financial and environmental impacts,be implemented as a major source of electricity over the current major sources of electricity in Australia?”.