This week I worked with the 7th grade Social Studies classes on a project. One of their standards is to use multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to describe the artistic and oral traditions and architecture in the four civilizations (Olmecs, Mayan, Aztec, and Incan civilizations). The classroom teacher and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to do some collaboration in the library media center. Students would learn technology skills along with creating a presentation.
Last semester, the school board authorized money for library upgrades. This included laptops, an interactive white board, and a projector. These make collaboration and instruction in the library so much better. Before the students came in I got everything set up and ready.
I started off talking about reliable sources and was quite impressed that many of the students were aware that they don’t need to believe everything out there on the internet. The more challenging task so far was getting students to save onto a flash drive properly. This made me realize that I need to work on this skill beginning with the sixth graders and gave me ideas for a plan of action starting next school year.
The social studies teacher already had her students in pods so we used those as the groups. They picked out of a hat which civilization to research, then in their groups decided who would work on which aspect. I gave them suggestions of sites to use other than just Googling or Wikipedia, showed them how to save their sites in a Word document, and gave them an overview of Animoto. Since I had a limited time with these students, I did not require proper citation but did tell them they at needed to give me a list of sites they used.
Overall, the students worked well within their groups and were eager to get started making their video. They are to finish up Monday and hopefully we can present them to their classmates Friday.
I had one of my observations during one of my lessons this week and the Director of Schools also popped in for a bit. Collaboration in this manner and instruction in the library is new at my school and I think they were fairly impressed with what they saw.
Other than the collaboration, I catalogued more books, ordered book stops to help organize the shelves better, and started working on organizing my office in the high school. Between bus duty, homecoming activities, parent-teacher conference, and announcing at both the senior night and homecoming games, it has been a crazy long week.