Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Week of February 10th-16th

I observed Ms. Hinton’s class for the week.  She read Clifford’s First Valentine’s Day by Normal Bridwell and Franklin’s Valentines by Paulette Bourgeois.  After reading the books, she had made a color sheet of her African Dwarf frogs; Flipper and Flopper (class pets) that she allowed the kids to color.  She informed the students that she has had them for four years and she hadn’t expected them to live even one year.  She told them her regiment for feeding them was only a pinch, on Monday and Friday.

I subbed for Ms. Hinton this week and the focus was on President’s Day.  So, I kind of followed her example about ad libbing while reading.  I let student’s know about President Lincoln and George Washington.  I was able to use a visual aid to show the students the timeline.  So, they learned that George Washington was the first President and Lincoln was the 16th.  They checked out books and colored a sheet with President George Washington on one side and a word find on the other.  Discipline problems were very few in the lower grades this time.  The Principal had come in to observe me and said he liked what I was doing with the Kindergarteners and that I did well managing them.

She informed me of setting ZPD’s for students.  She said that the Star Reading test is given by teachers once at the first of the year, the middle of the year, and at the end of the year.  She believes it’s best taken in the computer lab with a proctor, rather than in the individual classrooms where teachers might be influenced to help students.  The way students are added to Destiny is by lunch numbers and homerooms. 


She checks Renaissance everyday to make sure no kids are locked out of the AR tests.  She indicated the importance of saving everything that you change on Renaissance in order for changes to take effect.  One of her guidelines was do not delete a class without unenrolling students first.  To unenroll past students:

1. Go to students

2. Edit multiple school enrollments

3. Select student’s name

4. Check unenroll and Apply

I learned these steps by doing on the computer. I unenrolled about 40 students whose names were never removed from my school, even though those students had gone on to 6th grade.


One thing I really enjoyed this week was watching Ms. Hinton teacher reasoning, inference, sportsmanship, probability, and deeper thinking skills using an online game version of Tic Tac Toe.  She really got the kids to think.  It was evident when a student didn’t think through their moves, however.  But I believe the class as a whole benefitted from the experience and learned to think things through.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lessons Learned

I learned this week that cognitivist theory is best used when teaching concepts and procedures.  I can use this information to help prepare my students for success at the beginning of the year.  Ms. Hinton has already taught and reinforced many procedures in her classroom. I took note of these this week.  She has a procedure for coming in the classroom (kids drop books in basket and sit at assigned seats).  She has a procedure for getting their library card and checking out books (she scans their card to see if they owe any books and determines how many books they can check out if any). She has a procedure for checking out books (She sets the timer and they must return to her checkout line by the time the timer goes off).   When it is time to go, the teacher waves her hand good-bye to the students and they prepare themselves to go by standing up and pushing in their chair.  They wait behind their chair to be dismissed. All these procedures have been rehearsed.  Even then, some students fail to do what is expected of them.  Perhaps I can come up with mnemonics or a song of some sort to teach them the procedure.  Like, “Wave goodbye, time to rise, push in your seat, I’ll see you next week blue table (red, black, green, etc.)”  This is just an idea.  And it might only work for the younger kids, not sure.  She also had classroom rules.  And one set of rules I didn’t know anything about at first: Tie your shoes, comb your hair, and use the restroom before you come in.  I need to get the complete list of things that she said. I am going from memory on this.

Some of the tasks I did were calling out library card names, checking out the books to the students, and running the laminating machine.  I learned that in case of emergency, the machine can go backward to release perhaps an article of clothing that gets caught.  I also learned to keep my fingers away from the hot film.  She showed me a burn from the time she didn’t do so. 

We sat down and talked again about what learning experiences I needed to have in the practicum.  She had forgotten about the checklist for the supervisor. So, I made sure she took a copy of it home to review and we talked about how we can apply the skills to my experience in the school library.  One thing we talked about was periodical management.    She suggested that I might consider ordering online periodicals to allow access in the individual classrooms.  She uses EBSCO to order print copies of the periodicals.  She said that you have to send a guess on the price of the subscription to central office, and then they pay the invoice when it is received from the company.  There is no backorder of resources.  She gave me the information on how to renew periodical subscriptions.

I observed her lessons as well.  Ms. Hinton gave a recap of last week by asking students if they had done their homework.  Their assignment was to watch the news on Saturday (Ground Hog Day) and report to her whether or not the groundhog saw his shadow.  Students didn’t show much evidence of having done the assignment, yet she called on students to give their thoughts on whether or not he had done so.  She told them, that no, he did not see his shadow, which meant that there was to be an early spring.  She told them that the only way to be sure would be to follow the weather report for the next 6 weeks to determine if the groundhog was accurate.  He has only a 39% success rate—which was not very good.

She proceeded to talk about the month of February.  Most of her information was lecture style at first.  She informed them that February is the shortest month with only 28 days this year, but that for the shortest month, there’s a lot going on in it.  She said that they had Groundhog Day, and Valentine’s is coming up, as well as President’s Day on Feb. 18th.  She used active learning, by asking them to feel on their wrist for their pulse.  She asked them if they felt that, they nodded yes.  She told them that the pulse is the heart beat and that their veins pumps blood, food, oxygen, and waste throughout the body. February is Heart Health Month when they will learn about exercise and eating good. She also told them that February is Black History Month, and provided a plug about classification when she told them that a biography is a true story about a real person. 

February is also Dental Health month.  She informed students that the only bone we actually can see on a person are their teeth.  She had a cut out of a tooth and showed them that the top was called the crown and the bottom, the root which cannot be seen because it is in the gum.  She told the students that teeth have different jobs; to tear, to grind, etc.  The school has a dentist visit this month to check students’ teeth.  She let them know that a dentist only works with teeth and helps to keep teeth healthy.

                I was very impressed at the wide range of knowledge my supervisor contained within.  I wondered if I would be as effective as her in telling about the things that I know, or would I have to read a book first to become more knowledgeable about a particular subject matter.  She went on to say that no two people have the same set of teeth or fingerprints.  She did mention many things I knew about, but wasn’t sure I could recall for a lecture.   She mentioned forensics to the students by telling them about a burn victim who was identified by her teeth that matched with her dental records.

She wanted to get across to the kids that if they take care of their teeth, they can last a lifetime, but if they don’t, they might need false teeth called dentures.  She had pulled several books on the subject of teeth and she did really short book talks on them. 

She went over with the students how to find their particular book read on the AR reading site.  She said that she had two books with similar titles and in order to ensure that the correct book comes up, they must look at the sticker on the inside upper left hand corner of the book and type in the quiz number.  To make sure they are taking the English [En] and not the Spanish [Sp] version.  Also, they learned that if the wrong test comes up, they tell the computer, “Do not want to take the test.”  She does not want the students to bring the book back until they have taken the AR test on it.  I was unsure of this at first because I was telling the students to bring the books back even if they haven’t taken the test, so I could recheck it out to them. 

The last class was fifth grade and they had not had much time on the unit she taught on the “Good Ole Days.”  So Ms. Hinton gathered several objects together.  She had a set of items that she wanted the students to match up to another set of items on the table.  Each group got one or two items.  They were to discuss what it was and which item it should be matched with.  Most of the items were foreign to the students, such as the crochet needle, the corn cob, the oil can, and the bottle opener, as well as the juice opener.  The two items properly matched up were the aspirin bottle with the medicine bottles, and the negatives with the photo.  The corn cob was intended to be matched with the toilet paper roll because in the good ole days people used a corn cob as their tissue.  And much later they used Sears Roebuck catalogs.   The oil can (looked like it was the one used on Tin Man), was to be matched with the modern can of household oil.  The crochet needle was to be matched with the yarn.  And the bottle opener was to be matched with a can of corn.  This was a great active learner activity, which was kinesthetic, visual, and engaging.  I think that there are ways I can incorporate matching games with artifacts as well.  My strengths lay in poetry, written word, art, music, Spanish and I can say goodnight in many different language, and the beach.  I once did an artifact activity in history class and we had to tell about a person’s life from things like playbills, and tickets, and rocks, etc.  I still remember that activity till this day.  I have a feeling the students at my school will not soon forget what they learned either.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Last week

Ms. Hinton is out for a couple of days. Ms. Heidelberg willfully steps in!

My week began with more subbing. I feel that Monday was the best day I had in the classroom. I tried to use certain protocol with the kids to guide them on proper behavior. I learned that being a librarian takes more innovation and consistency than I was at first aware of. When Ms. Hinton returned we found the past budgets in the form of purchase orders for the past 3 years. At home, I went through them and logged important distributors and purchases. In one of my classes, I learned that it is important when beginning to prepare a budget, that one consult past budgets of the previous three years. I found this very helpful because I am hoping to create a one year budget and a five year plan for LIS 408. Another thing I did this week was get informed on how to shelve the books in the school library properly. I learned that there are three types of red labeled books: Non-fiction, Chapter books, and easy books. I needed to know this information and I am thankful she took time to share it with me. Friday, I learned how to heat the laminating machine and operate it. I felt this was very valuable because that is one thing I didn't know how to do but always wanted to know. I do, however, remember learning how to use the laminator at the Laurel-Jones County Public Library, but I needed a refresher. The next thing I am hoping to learn is how to use the Poster-maker. There are many technical aspects of the job that I will need to know.

I plan on creating a virtual tour of the library or instruction on how to use the online catalog soon. This would be for my LIS 491 course. I will be working on this next week. The technical assistant will be assisting me on using Cam studio once my PowerPoint is completed.

I created some goals and objectives for the library. I will be working on these this week too, in order to hone in on what I actually hope to accomplish in the library. This is part of my five year and one year plan.


Goal #1: to increase collaboration with teachers on assignments and units.



-offer books, resources for units if given advanced notice

-create forms for teachers

-make sure there are books based on Mississippi 2011 Social Studies & 2010 Science

Curriculum Frameworks per grade level

-obtain materials

-create pathways for units

-notify teachers


Evaluation: survey teachers on usage of pathways and resources in creating lessons, etc.


Goal #2: Increase student/teacher knowledge of how to find resources in library using card catalog.



-install online catalog in each classroom (find out how much money it would cost to do it and budget it).

-provide instruction on how to use catalog (podcasts)

-continue to add color when new books are added to the collection to ensure that books can be found by students

-practice searching for books (scavenger hunt in small groups)

Evaluation: How often do teachers and students come to the library to search for a book they have chosen to read from the catalog?


Goal #3: Increase student evaluation and application of information through writing.



-use writing to evaluate sources

-Students practice letter writing- write to authors about how they enjoyed a book

-teach correspondence (teach city/state)

-write about parts of book: table of contents, index, etc. and which is best to find which piece of information and why.



Improved testing scores, better handwriting, grammar, etc.


Goal #4: Improve various classification areas by adding new books to collection over period of time.



-perform a curriculum mapping of whole school

-establish the content, assessments and skills taught by each teacher

-take data from mapping and select books to add certain number of books per Dewey Classification that needs improvement

-appropriate budget for books



Run a snapshot of library collection holdings per classification level.