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Li876 journal entries

  1. 1. Erin ColbyLI876Fall 2010 Journal Entries9/22/2010- 3.5 Hours With my first day of my practicum done, I can already tell that I will LOVE being alibrarian. Seeing children excited to read just makes my heart smile! Carol Mitchell showed mearound the library and how she organized her books. She has a “Everybody” section which aremostly picture books, and “Easy Reader” section for beginning readers, a “story collection”,there is also a “biography” and of course a “fiction” and “non-fiction” section. Carol seems tohave a great system in place with how she plans her lessons and the topics she covers during herlibrary. I need to get more in-depth look at her lessons, so I can get some ideas about how I couldstructure my lessons when I have my own library. The Kindergarten, lesson I observed she read afiction and non-fiction books about pigs. I thought it was really cool how she incorporated thingslike pointing to the call number, book care, genre etc.…during the lesson! The 3rd and 4th gradelesson I observed dealt with teaching students how to use call numbers to search Destiny to forbooks.9/23/2010- 3.5 HoursI was able to talk to Carol about how she plans her lessons. She said that she uses the stateslibrary and the reading and language art standards to guide her when planning her lessons. She
  2. 2. also looks at the curriculum the school is using and picks out the skills, and topics she can coverin the library. I also wanted to see an actual lesson plan, they were a lot simpler then I imagined.She has the topic covered, state standards, vocabulary, materials needed, and a description ofwhat she was going to do. I feel that the hardest thing is deciding what to teach and when,because you don’t have a reading book to guide you for each week of lessons. I also think it willbe a challenge to plan for multiple grade levels, I think librarians have to be so familiar with thecurriculum at each grade level to make sure they are leaning the skills they need to learn. Wealso discussed the fact that I have to teach a lesson. We decided that I would teach a lesson onSetting. In the next week, I will be doing a search for a “SmartBoard” lesson on setting so I willbe able to use that technology during the lesson.9/28/2010- 3.5 hoursI was really curious how Carol made her book orders, and how she decided what she needs forthe library. First, she does an assessment of the library’s collection to see where she needs to addto the collection. She also sends out an e mail to the teachers to ask if there are any types ofbooks that they need. Also, she sometimes meets with publisher rep. and they go through thecatalogue and discuss the new books that are out. The rep that I met only showed her books onthings that Carol said she needed. I did not realize there were so many things to consider whenordering new books, but it makes sense considering in these economic times there is a limitedbudget so you can only order so much. I was also intrigued with the fact that most of the booksshe is considering to order are non-fiction. Carol made an interesting point when she said thatnon-fiction books are used more now because teachers are concerned with teaching to the test,and non-fiction books are better suited to teach students those skills. Another issue, I have been
  3. 3. thinking about was “classroom management” I have noticed during the lessons sometimesstudents are just moving around the room, to sit next to their friends and being a disruption. Iwanted to step in and do something, but I am not sure how Carol would feel about it. I have beenthinking about what type of “rules” I will have in my library. I want my students to feelcomfortable in the library. I do not expect them to sit completely still, but I do expect them togive me the same respect they give their teacher and any other adult in the school.9/29/2010-3.5 Since I have not had a lot of experience working with any library automated checkoutsystem I was really interested in how Destiny worked. Carol let me check out books to students,and she showed me how she entered a new book into the system. She said that with this newsystem she can input a new book in about 3 minutes compared to about 10 minutes it took beforeshe had this system! Checking in/out books is super simple; all you have to do is scan thebarcode. She also, help me input a new book into the Destiny system, I did not realize all of thethings that needed to be imputed before the book is ready to be checkout! I really feel now that,once I have my own library that it will be easy for me to learn how to use whatever system theyhave. We also discussed how the interlibrary loan system works. Carol said that if she does nothave a book in her library, she will check the other libraries in the district to see if they have it.The librarians have a pretty simple policy, if someone has a book in their library that someoneelse needs they will simple send the book(s) though the pony mail to the school, and they usuallycan have the book for a week at a time. I think it is great that all of the librarians are open tosharing their resources throughout the district, especially since the budget does not allow thepurchase of a lot of materials. As for general library book circulation, the kindergarteners get one
  4. 4. book at a time to check out for a week. 1st-4tfh graders get to check out 3 books at one time for aweek. I am not sure how many books I would let student’s check out at a time, but I do think thatKindergarteners can only handle reading one book at a time, at least for the first semester. Frommy observation students seem to be handling checking out 3 books fairly well.10/6/2010-5.0 hours Today, I was at Timmerman in the afternoon so I could attend the staff meeting afterschool, and also meet the other elementary school librarians for their monthly meeting. I learnedso much from them in just the short time I was with them. They discussed what they were doingin their library for lessons. What books their students were reading, it was cool to see that at eachschool different books were popular with the students! I feel that the most important thingdiscussed during the meeting was what they were teaching in the library. To me deciding what toteach and when will be the hardest thing because you don’t have a Basel to go off of to plan yourlesson. They all said that they are going off the school library standards, and they incorporatereading/language arts into their lessons. Some even said they use social studies standards. I thinkthat this type of meeting is really useful because librarians don’t often get to meet and talk aboutwhat they are doing in their libraries, and it is great way to get new lesson ideas to implement intheir libraries. It seemed to me that all the librarians are dealing with the same issues, which forme is comforting to know that you are not alone in your library! To go back before the afternoonmeeting I have been thinking a lot lately about to effectively manage your library clerk.Timmerman has a new library clerk; she is still learning the ropes, from where to shelve books,to creating a system of shelving that works for her. The new clerk has seemed to have troublekeeping up with the volume of books being check in and getting them put up in a timely manner.
  5. 5. When this happens, do you let your clerk find her own method of shelving that works for them ordo you step in and show her a method that had worked for the previous library clerk? I think Iwould step in, and show her.______________________________________________________________________________10/7/2010-3.5 hours Recently, I have been preparing for my lesson that I am teaching next Wednesday. I amvery excited and ready to teach again. Carol has looked at my plan and approved my lesson onSetting. We both feel it is important to reinforce these standards along with their homeroomteachers, since this text feature will be tested on during state testing. When we had free timebetween lessons, we discussed how I was feeling about the lesson, and how I envisioned it going.I told her that before I introduce the lesson that I would discuss with the class my expectationsfor their behavior. (ie: that they listen when I am talking, raise their hands to speak, and workcooperatively in groups). This is important to me because, I have not taught them a lesson yet, sothey do not really know me as a teacher, so making sure they know my expectations is necessary.However, I believe that I have been around this group of students long enough that they willlisten respectfully, and be fully engaged in the lesson. I will be posting my reflections in my nextentry, since I will be teaching the lesson next Wednesday. I thought I touched on how the library was set up and the guidelines for students in thelibrary. Since Emporia does not participate in Accelerated Readers or any other similar programthe library is does not level their books, however there are reading levels printed in each book. Ialso know at the beginning of the school year Carol goes over the “5 Finger Rule.” The rulestates that when you pick up a book, go to a random page and start reading, and every time you
  6. 6. don’t know a word you hold up a finger and if you mess up five times on one page that books istoo hard. Each student, except the Kindergarteners, is responsible for making sure the book theyselect is appropriate for them. In the first half of the school year the Kindergarteners select theirbook from a predetermined book selection until they fully comprehend what it means to takecare of a book and bring it back when it is due. The rest of the students are able to check out treebooks at a time. From my observations a majority of the time students bring their books backwhen they are due with no problem. If they happened to forget their book, they usually bring itback the next day because they can’t check out as many books if they forgot one.( if they forget abook, they can only check out two). I think this system works well, and I will most likelyimplement a similar policy in my own library.10/13/2010 Today I taught my lesson, and in my opinion it went really well! The students listened tomy directions and were very engaged throughout the lesson. I began with explanation of myexpectations for their behavior and what we were going to do that day. I started the lesson byasking them what setting was, and why it is an important story element. Next, I had severalconcrete examples of setting, which they were able to figure out fairly easily. After I showedthem the examples, in their table groups they had different settings and they had to come up witha book or movie that was set there (example: a book that takes place in the future). After theywere done with that they were able to share their answers with the rest of the class. We continuedwith having them read a paragraph that describes a setting, and from that paragraph they had tofigure out the setting. At the end of the class, I had them complete a quiz to assess theircomprehension. No student missed more than one question on the quiz, and a majority did notmiss any. When I talked with Carol about how she thought the lesson when, she was very
  7. 7. positive, she said that she though the students were engaged throughout the lesson, and that I hadgreat pacing. The only negative was that I did sometimes feel they were a bit talkative, but thatclass is normally fairly talkative so it seemed normal to me. I learned a lot with this lesson. It isso much harder to establish authority with students that you don’t see every day. When I havemy own library, I will make a conscious effort to establish a relationship with students andparents. I will do that by sending home newsletter, updating the libraries website regularly withwhat is going on. In the library, like in the regular classroom, I will have to reinforce myexpectation of student behavior and follow through on what I say. 10/14/2010-3.5 When it comes to processing and cataloging procedures in the library, each class has acart with all of the student’s books on them that need to be returned or renewed. I think thesystem works for the library, but the library clerk is now checking in hundreds of books all atonce. I am not sure how I will tackle this issue, but maybe if students were able return theirbooks when they were done, the clerk would have an easier time keeping up with shelvingbooks. She also does not have a lot of time to check the book for damage because she is trying tokeep up with the volume of books being returned. I however would not have students but thebooks they would like to renew on the cart. The can bring those books with them to renew at thecheckout time. When new books come in, Carol has a very specific way of getting the books ready to beput on the shelf. First, she tries to get a hardback book whenever possible, because they aremuch more durable. Also, she says she always pays a bit extra to have the bar codes alreadymade and ready to go, so all she has to do is input the MARC records into the system. Destiny is
  8. 8. great because, it does a lot of the work for you. If she has to order a book that is not a hardback,there is a long process of putting on book covers, which takes quite a bit of time. Another thing,Carol does with books is that if they are associated with a certain genre (ie: Christmas,Thanksgiving) she has labels for them on the books, so students can find the easily on the shelf.There are so many things that have to be done to get a book ready to be put on the shelf; I wouldrely heavily on my clerk to help me do this job.10/20/2010-3.5 In my time at the library I have not fully discussed the libraries policies with Carol. Shewas able to provide me with policies for material selection, the libraries mission statement,weeding policy, and gifting policy. The gift policy, in short states that gifts are welcome, but thelibrary reserves the right to decide to put the book on the shelf. If it is a monetary gift, thelibrarian will select materials that are within the subject area of the donors specifications. Theweeding policy is pretty strait forward, it states that the librarian may remove materials,equipment, and furniture that is no longer valuable to the library media program. The criteria forselecting materials is a fairly long list, but it basically says that materials must support thegeneral education goals of the school, age appropriate ect. All of these policies are reasonable,and I would look for a district that had similar policies. The library media mission statement, tome sums up exactly what our job is. We are the core of the educational structure of the school.We should meet the educational, curricular, and recreational needs of students, faculty, and staff.And foster a life time of learning skills essential to become an informed citizen in out changingsociety.
  9. 9. Upon further reflection of my lesson, as were able to discuss it even further. I feel thatthe examples that were most helpful were the paragraph examples that were shown, because itmade the students use their prior knowledge to figure out the setting. I made sure the examplesused were something that could happen in everyday life. For example on the settings was a momgiving her son a bath. Another one had to do with a boy not wanting to get up for school whenhis alarm went off. I was able to incorporate both a reading and library objectives in to thelesson. To be specific, I used Literature standard S2:B1:I2 Library Science standard 5:1:2.Also, when I chose the lesson I used a lesson that was made for 4th graders; I looked over thelesson and determined that it was appropriate for them in terms of reading level and examplesgiven. When checking for understanding I could tell they were getting it because they were ableto complete a group worksheet, and when answering questions I did not have to review whatsetting was besides at the beginning, they were able to answer all questions posed to themconfidently.10/26/2010-3.5 Today, I interviewed the principal Kim Kirk. It was great to see how an administratorviews the library and the relationship he has with Carol. When I asked him how he viewed theprincipal/librarian relationship he said that he likes to work closely with his librarian, in terms ofappraisal, and communication on any issues that come up. Also, he has to approve any purchaseof materials for the library, so making sure that they are both on the same page is important.When he comes in to the library, he wants to see the students engaged in book and literacyactivities that will enhance the general education curriculum. With that said he believes, like I dothat the library will progress to a heavier use of technology that will enhance library skillinstruction. I also asked him if he were hiring a school librarian what skills would you like them
  10. 10. to have. He said he looked for someone who is responsible, organized, creative, quick thinking,and able to collaborate with others on a regular basis. Which seems to me a reasonableexpectations, I feel these are all characteristics that librarians should have. When I asked himhow he evaluated job performance, he said that is was just like a regular education teacher. Ifthey are new, they are evaluated twice a year, and once they are tenured, it is once every 3 years.They also have to have SMART goals and look at and discuss when getting evaluated. There was one thing that Mr. Kirk said when I asked him if he was aware of the librariespolicies, and he said he was not fully aware of the policies that are in place. I would think that asan administrator he would be aware of all school policies. I feel that Mr. Kirk is very supportive of the library, and will do everything in his powerto help it succeed. He allocates a generous budget ($6,000 for books/ $3,000 for technology) topurchase books and technology equipment, because he feels that the library is the educationalcenter of the school and wants to make sure students and teachers have the best materialsavailable to them10/27/2010-3.5 I have been thinking a lot of how I want to involve parents and keep them informed ofwhat is going on in the library. I think the most important resource is the libraries website.Which I would have links to what we are doing in each grade level this month, a link to librarycurriculum standards, our online card catalogue; which will have information about the bookincluding what reading level it is so they know if it is appropriate or not, and some informationabout me. I would also have homework resources and whatever else I deemed important. I
  11. 11. would also make sure that parents knew if that had any questions they are encouraged to call, email or stop in to talk with me. I was helping students pick out books today, and I find it so much fun to help them findbooks that they will enjoy. I love asking them what kind of books they like, what authors theylike etc…I think it is a great way to get to know the students, and really develop my skills inpicking out the “perfect” book for a student. I think making sure you develop that “connection,”which is so important especially because you only see the students twice during the week. I alsocan see that the older students are getting used to using the online card catalogue, which is greatbecause Carol has spent a lot of time showing them how to use the system when they are tryingto find a book.