Monthly Archives: June 2013


This summer I’ve been following the Stenhouse Summer Blogstitute.  I participated in the Blogstitute last summer, as well, and this year’s looks to be just as informative!

Last week’s post by Debbie Miller was about her idea of 1/3, 2/3 balance.  In classrooms where such a balance is upheld, 1/3 of the time would be the teaching time and 2/3 of the time would be student work time.  I really like the idea that when planning for such a balance teachers would first identify the learning target, then plan for what the students would be doing during the work time, and lastly plan for the instruction and resources.  So the emphasis for planning becomes what the students will read, write, or talk about and how they will be engaged and demonstrate their learning and the teaching done is to support that emphasis.  As a teacher in the library media center a 1/3, 2/3 balance would mean that my instruction would be 15 minutes and the student work time would be 30 minutes.  Such time management and planning will require a few shifts how I have been working with students in the library, but I think these shifts will support the goals I have for my students in the coming year.

This week’s post by Erik Palmer included his idea that we should be encouraging students to practice their oral presentations and provide feedback, much like we do with their written rough drafts.  He suggested several ways that students could record their presentations for practice, including using Photobooth on Mac computers.  Quicktime is also an application that students could use to record either audio or video of themselves to rehearse oral presentations.  Palmer suggests that students turn in their recordings or share them with students to get feedback before the final presentation.  Students can also evaluate themselves as they listen to their recording.  I like the idea of collaborating with a classroom teacher on just this part of a class presentation assignment in the media center and I think teaching students, especially those in the upper grades, to use the recording software early in the year will be beneficial.


Today I attended the OELMA Summer Workshop entitled Media Literacy Meets New Literacies.  The speakers were Frank Baker (media literacy expert) and William Kist (new literacy expert).  The presenters shared many practical, hands-on examples and inspired me to rethink the ways that I will approach media with students in the media center.  Here are some ideas I’m thinking about now:

  • We all share a connection through media.  I think this will be an important idea to share with my students!
  • As educators we need to rethink our definition of reading and writing.  Students can “read” images with no text and “write” as they create media that may ultimately have no written words.
  • Students need to learn how read and write multi-modal texts.  This includes understanding how to use and create hyperlinks, how to annotate electronic texts, how to work with images (search, copy, paste, and cite), and how to write for an online audience.
  • Teaching media does not have to be an event.  It is and can be integrated in the work I am already doing with students.
  • And in the words of William Kist we need to chill out and find ways that work for us to use media in the classroom.

I’m looking forward to trying out some of the things I learned in the media center this fall!

We started this blog as a way to share our thoughts about the work we are doing in our school library media centers.  We both work in elementary buildings and are fairly new to working in school libraries.  We have found that sometimes it can be lonely when no one else in your building does the same job as you.  Hopefully, this blog will serve as another way for us to collaborate with each other and other librarians and teachers, as well.

In our district our school libraries are referred to as media centers and we are given the title of media specialists.   I like the fact that the media is included in both names because I think it allows for the inclusion of a broad range of materials.  However, I want the media center to be seen not just as the place where the media is housed, but also as a place where students will read, watch, listen to, analyze and create media.  For me this blog will serve as a place where I can communicate my thoughts related to this goal.

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