Saturday, November 8, 2008

Enough THINKING. Time for ACTION.

I spend a lot of time in my head about everything. My son broke his arm last week and had surgery to realign his bone, which gave me LOTS of time to sit and think about things as I nursed him in the hospital and at home.

I thought about what I am doing with my students. I have 6 computers that they only use when they are looking for library books. I have students for 50 minutes per week where 20 of those minutes are used for check out. What can I do with students for 30 minutes, 1x per week, that allows them to CREATE and PRODUCE, and allows me to TEACH. I am currently focused on retelling techniques. A few of my classes are doing puppet shows and some are learning to retell a story with string. I always feel that what I do is not enough. I want to have time to talk to them about searching the internet, taking notes, using reference sources, finding what they need in the library, current events, etc. etc.

This week I thought about focusing on those 6 computers and how I can engage the other 14-22 students in some other independent activity. I have been researching implementing library centers for a while. I think its time to stop THINKING about it and time to DO it and see what happens.


Tracy Rosen said...

Yup. I know that feeling! Thinking and researching (finding out what other people are thinking) are great procrastination tools for me.

I've recently hung these 2 quotes up in my classroom, in an effort to remind myself (and my students) to get out of my head and DO:

"There's no such thing as inspiration, it is just hard work" - George Balanchine

"...the only way to get a thing done is to start to do it, then keep on doing it, and finally you'll finish it,...."
— Langston Hughes

Monarch's Librarian said...

Thanks for your comment. I will post those on my wall both at home AND at school.

Hockeymom said...

I think the concept of Library centers in an interesting one. Are the computers spread out enough that they could do partner work at them? Maybe they could do a retelling using Voicethread. Or perhaps you could log them onto Looky Book and they could write a review for a book. Just a few ideas off the top of my head.

Monarch's Librarian said...

The 6 computers are in a circle so it would be crowded to do partner work. Also our students have limited access to computers in their classroom and limited time with me (K-5, 1x per week 50 minutes...15-20 minutes is book selection and checkout). Having only 6 computers can feel like having 0 when everyone can't have access. By the time some students get their week on the computers I'm afraid they will have lost the whole group lesson on how to use Voicethread or anything else I may have taught whole group.

maggiev said...

What about using cellphones? Or are the learners not allowed that in schools? I visited a school last year where the little-lies walked around with their cellphones around their necks and used it in a library demo. Very cool - but very scary also!

Monarch's Librarian said...

These are K-5 students in a Title 1 school. They don't have cellphones.

Leslie Gale said...

I have students for an hour a week. Sometimes I checkout at the beginning and sometimes at the end. Classroom size has increased from 22- 27. Those extra kids mean more time to check in and check out.
I have trained three 6th graders to do checkout fortheir class books and they come in in the morning to do am checkout. What a big help. Yes mistakes are made. Positiveness outweighs the neg.
I choose 6th graders this year to do computer teaching. Next year, I will collaborate w/ 4th grade teachers to begin. Critical thinking is everything.
I have decided I am going to have a tech class after school next year.