Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hive of activity

This week has been a hive of activity in our library.

We had students using the library as a setting for the films they were making, we had a meeting of the local School Librarians Association and we hosted an exhibition by Year 8's on the real Hong Kong Experience which was a culmination of their unit of studying the HK Chinese culture. The exhibition was part of there summative assessment, and was also used to bring their parents to show their exhibit during their student led conferences.

I worked with the teachers on this unit from the very early planning stages through to assisting with assessment. We were looking at parts of HK culture from the contexts of social, political, economic, geographical, historical, aesthetics, values and beliefs where each student was in a group looking at a specific aspect of HK culture such as dance, fashion, films, entertainment etc being quite specific within these topics - dance would be Lion dancing in HK, entertainment would be Chinese Opera and so on.

Being part of the assessment process allowed me to see a few areas where the students need a lot of work including creating good questions, extracting and using information that is relevant to what they want to know to answer their question, their inability to transfer skills they have learned in one subject to another situation - this was highlighted through their poor bibliographies. They had only just learned how to create a bibliography in science a mere 3 weeks prior. It showed to me that once is not enough, that every teacher must be a teacher of information literacy. That is must be explicitly taught in every subject by every teacher all the time - not just me doing one off lessons and that is the end of it. Everyone needs to take responsibility for it and this has lead me to realise I need to more proactively upskilling the teachers to be confident and aware enough to embed these skills into everything they do. It has changed my focus a little, now I need to make a plan to make it happen.

This unit has allowed me to really see inside what goes on, what is being taught and how. Having the exhibition in the library created a merging of the library space with the classroom and I would like to do more of it. Having the exhibit for the student led conferences helped to showcase the library as being a part of the curriculum, and gave many parents the opportunity to visit the library for the first time. The exhibit required books and magazines to be removed from some shelves, and furniture rearranged, but it was all totally worth the incovenience to be a libratory. Thanks to Joyce Valenza for that word!

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