I started reading Chapter 3 with the idea that it might not apply that much to the work I do with young students in the school library. However, I quickly realized that like the rest of this book, this chapter gave me lots to think about. First, I really thought about the accountability piece of having every student take on the role of the scribe at some point. As a self-proclaimed introvert I also identified with the idea that by using a blog all students had the chance to participate equally and that students who may not say much in a classroom of peers are given another opportunity to share their thinking by posting their work online. Receiving recognition and feedback is also an important aspect of the student scribe process and I was so happy to read the idea of using “a star and a wish” (p. 43) to give feedback. I have taught students to give feedback in this way (saying something positive and then giving a constructive suggestion) when we view each other’s work in the library and it has made such a difference in the sharing and self-reflection part of our learning process. Finally, I was glad that November included some ideas for how younger learners could become the class scribe. He suggests that they can create audio or video files to post. I think Quicktime would be perfect for younger learners to use to document their learning. It’s easy to use and available on all of the computers in our school. I’m seeing some exploration time with Quicktime happening early in the year in the media center!
I was very excited to read Chapter 4 because as a media specialist helping students learn to become effective and efficient researchers is one of my main priorities and I see research as a place that media specialists can truly support the Common Core standards and work to collaborate with classroom teachers. November made two points that I think teachers and librarians have to remember. First, paper literacy skills can not be used to navigate the web’s architecture of information. Second, just because students are comfortable around digital devices, this does not mean they have the critical thinking skills to successfully find, use, and communicate information. I appreciated the inclusion of Joyce Valenza’s perspective as her work always makes me think and I also thought the tools and techniques included in the chapter would be very helpful to teach to older students (4th-5th graders). Some resources that I have used to teach intermediate students these skills are part of the Information Explorer: Super Smart Information Strategies series of books by Cherry Lake Publishing. Find the Right Site by Ann Truesdell, and Find Your Way Online by Suzy Rabbat, and Know What to Ask by Kristen Fontichiaro and Emily Johnson, would be helpful titles from the series when teaching research skills. They are not really books that you can read aloud in one sitting, but they helped me break the skills into smaller parts and gave me strategies for presenting the information to students in grades 4-8. Another junior set is also available for younger students in grades 1-4. I finished the chapter thinking about the skills that our youngest students need as a foundation in order to be able to research independently using the tools and techniques mentioned. These skills definitely need to be at the top of my list when I plan my instruction for the coming year.