Sunday, May 27, 2012

End of year countdown....

The end of the academic year is approaching and usually I am not prone to starting new projects in the last term of school as it means unless you finish it there is a hiatus of about 6-10 weeks before you return to it.

This year we have a number of large projects that are coming to a conclusion, being prepared to move to the next stage and yes, even ones we have recently started and need to finish before the end of the year.

So what have we got on the boil, and the reason for this blog being so quiet in the past few weeks?

1. We presented our Digital and Information Literacy (DIL) curriculum to our school executive. This has been three years in the development, taking up countless hours of thinking, reading, discussing, meetings, writing and editing but we believe we have come up with something sustainable that can be understood and embedded across the curriculum with the buy in of all the teachers.

We have not quite finished all of the year groups scope & sequences, so this is to be done by the end of the year before launching into next year. We also need to create a plan for staff introduction to the curriculum and helping them to understand their role in mapping out, planning with and utilising the documents in their daily teaching. If you need something from which to work from to make your own Digital & Information Literacy curriculum please go to the New York Education Departments Information Fluency document, and Commonsense media. We have found these to be invaluable documents, age appropriate and easy to follow.

2. As a follow on from this the DIL team have to create the DIL philosophy and policy document. By using the IB Standards and Practices, the IB ICT in PYP document as well as the IB Learner Profile documents, and tying it to the newly created curriculum we are making progress and should have it completed by the end of the year.

3. A number of our teaching staff are keen to have our Year sevens  undergo a pilot program in the last 2 weeks of school, 'Pursuit of Passion' where they will be scaffolded through a project based on their passions to learn inquiry skills. Part of the project planning involves creating an inquiry diary which will be required for all humanities classes next year, so this involves collaborative planning, thinking, creating something meaningful and interesting for the students - all to a deadline which is June 4. It will also be a catalyst at embedding the DIL document next year, and upskilling the year 7 teachers in some of the strands.

4. We completed our Junior and Senior fiction re-organisation into genres, so now it is time for our largest fiction collection - the general Fiction, with over 4,000 titles that need to 'genrified' before the end of term. However, all our acquisitions are over for the year, so in reality we should have more time ...

5. Next year we are moving in the IB Diploma Programme as our school grows, so we need to be resourcing for this. We have not been given a lot of money so discretion and strategic selection are the keywords in this project. I have been going through unit planners in consultation with staff and have been making lists which will be ordered in the last week of term to hopefully appear and be ready for the start of the next academic year. We are looking at more e-resources to help with the coverage without using space and getting value for money. ie access to more resources without having to purchase all of them outright.

5. And of course we have all the regular end of term housekeeping to do - journal weeding and evaluation, encouraging the return of the overdue resources before the end of term, preparing for the 2 yearly holiday stocktake, writing the end of year report, conduct the library survey with staff and students and complete staff performance evaluations. We also need to come up with a plan for next year.

We also need to look at our collection development policy and Library Mission statement and tie it in further with the IB standards and practices, this does not need to be completed by the end of the year and will be carried into next year, but the thinking has started.

4 weeks until the end of term - ready - set  - go!


Sharon said...

Looks like a frantic few weeks. I think you'll need to be in top gear.

Gordon Powell said...

Nice to read your blog!