Saturday, March 19, 2011
A week of positive
Picture from The Bridgemaker
Last week I had a couple of choice experiences that I would like to share ...
On Tuesday my PYP partner in Teacher Librarianship crime and I ran a workshop on "Beyond Google" for parents at our school across all grades. We had about 23 parents register and we went through the search strategies that are being taught to the students - using Google tools like wonderwheel, timeline, related searches, setting filters,and using the advanced search option to filter reading levels, specific sites etc. We then explored the library website, connecting to our Netvibes pages that are under continuous development, and what the students can access from these sites. We also went into the password restricted subscription zone and showed how to access the Britannica online, Global reference centre, Gale Databases and everything else there. The workshop was only 90 minutes, and we did end up rushing at the end, however, the parents went away overwhelmed and better armed to help their children with their research.
The presentation was uploaded to slideshare and sent out before the workshop, and all of the participants had looked at it before the workshop and will use it as a reminder as they help their children. We have since had requests to repeat the session by parents who were unable to make the first session, so we will do that again in a few weeks. One of the best things that happened during this workshop was the Principal was showing some CIS WASC reps through the school and came across us running this workshop .... nice timing...;-)
I was also in the classroom working with year 7 on evaluating websites and deconstructing URL's before they plunge into research on environmental issues. This was all the teacher requested. I then volunteered to come in to support the searching phase in the following lessons, and in the very next lesson there was a point where the teacher requested the student bookmark the web sites they found, I then remembered they had used Diigo in year 6 as part of their exhibition, and piped up that they could use Diigo to do this. Some did not have accounts as they were new to the school so I took those students out and helped them set up the account and a list, then came back into the classroom to support the others. The teacher now wants me to teach her through teaching the next class on using Diigo. Just shows what just in time learning can lead to and how being in the classrooms is essential to making a difference.
Thursday I held a learning session for a few interested staff on the benefits of twitter for professional development, they all have accounts now and are giving it a go, and I hope they will find it as useful a tool as I have over the years. We also have a teacher willing to give a Yammer a go in their classroom as a trial. These informal and voluntary learning sessions will continue to the end of the year on different topics - Diigo, Blogs and Blog readers etc...
Then the literacy group met very late on Friday afternoon to come up with a plan to explicitly teach different literacy skills within the MYP curriculum - this is part of the snowball effect I wrote about here.
So although a very busy week, lots of good stuff happening. I love my job!