I taught quite a few classes this week in the library, which kept me very busy. Since our second quarter is well underway, many teachers are starting longer units of study, and many require research... a subject for which I'm always happy to offer assistance. In addition to research, I've had the opportunity to help out with several other fun initiatives.
On Monday and Wednesday, I hosted the sixth graders for library orientation. Since students in grades K4-5 use our lower school library, sixth graders "graduate" to the upper school library at the beginning of the year, which can be a big change for them. On Monday, I gave these new patrons a quick tour, talked to them about media center policies, gave them a refresher course on how to use the online catalog, walked them through a sample search in our book recommendation service (NoveList), and gave them time to find and check out books. This day is always a lot of fun for me--sixth graders are still sweet kids who don't seem too concerned with being cool just yet. They love to be themselves and still really gravitate towards reading. If only kids could stay that way forever! On Wednesday, these students were back for PaperCut orientation. PaperCut is the service we use in the library to manage student printing. It's a great service that has saved us so much paper (and many headaches!) since I implemented it in the spring of 2015. Students start using this service for the first time when they receive school-issued devices, which means sixth graders got included this year. This orientation went very well and I think students will feel confident using the service moving forward.
On Thursday, I started research orientation for a few ninth and 10th grade classes. All students in high school English classes tackle a big, standardized research project once a year, and even though most students already know how to use our electronic resources, I always take advantage of this opportunity to show them resources that are specific to their research topics.
On Friday, I hosted an art class in the media center as they looked up books in our catalog on famous artists and artistic movements in order to complete an assignment, and I also helped a teacher with her Spanish IV class as her students began a creative writing assignment. Since I used to teach English and creative writing, I sometimes get asked to help out with these types of lessons for teachers outside of the English department who want to incorporate writing skills. I'm always happy to oblige! Doing so gives me a chance to keep my teaching skills fresh, plus I usually take advantage of these moments to incorporate some type of technology or information literacy into the lesson. It was a great class--I think I had just as much fun as the students did!
Next week, I will be tackling more research classes as well as another installment of digital portfolios. Never a dull moment!