Safe from bullying. Feeling of being safety and being supported. Safe to enjoy the triumph and experience the shame of flopped experiments. Students know they can ask questions and seek support from the librarian and each other. One of my favorite observations is to teach a class a tool, such as using html to embed presentation tools into a website. What happens every single time is the eagerness in which those who have mastered the skill are to help their classmates.
Historically the type of student to visit libraries have been the quiet studious type. A large segment of students have been ignored or made to feel unwelcome. I like to plan lessons where we play Jeopardy, getting the kids running around the library, squealing, laughing, and definitely not getting shushed. During weekly information literacy lessons I like to incorporate videos and student-created skits to get kids interested in reading. I like to provide as much hands on learning as possible. Get their feet wet in a presentation tool. Let them explore. Don’t spend the entire period telling them what to do and what not to do. Keep instruction to as little time as possible to allow advanced students to work ahead and provide one-on-one or small group time for struggling students. This picture is one of my son and nephews. Two of these boys have ADD. A Library home needs to welcome students with special needs by treating them with patience, a loving attitude, and offering
Students are navigating an overwhelming information space. They are called “digital natives”, yet don’t know to avoid copying images unless they are granted permission by the owner of that image. They don’t know how to set strict controls on their social media accounts. They don’t know the “rules” of being ethical users of information. They need to be taught these skills. I’ve recently become a fan of flickr advanced search page by searching only for images under the creative commons license.
I’ve read over 10,000 middle school books. I use displays, media-rich presentations, and lists that are available online and in the library. Once students understand I can help spark their love for reading, they become regular visitors. By the time they are in the 8th grade I have had students just show up at the counter and tell me, “Ok, what’s the next one?”
I was successful in providing staff development in Google docs, sites, wikis, Glogster, Animoto, and ed1stop. There are so many tools out there that are easy to fold into the curriculum. One change I would like to make is to write a monthly newsletter and send it to the staff. I can showcase the lessons that are happening in the library with teacher collaborations as well as make suggestions for using new tools in the classroom.