Monday, September 23, 2013

In the Media Center (Week 3)

Elementary Media Center
In the Media Center is going to be a new regularly appearing post from me. I plan to talk about what my students and I did the past week during their media classes. I am a K-12 media specialist who spends half days at the Elementary building and half days at the Middle School/High School building in our district of approximately 1300 students.

This semester I am starting my days at the Elementary building and seeing fifth graders and third graders on a four day rotation (50 minute classes) and traditional first and second graders on an alternate day rotation (25 minute classes). Our elementary school has a fixed schedule where all students in a grade level attend "specials" (art, media, music, and phy. ed.) at the same time so that their teachers have a common preparation time.

Fifth Grade

This week the other three classes worked on Fetch! I shared the worksheet with them through Google Drive. They had to make a copy and share it with me. A number of the kids are having trouble with the concept of sharing asking if they needed to share it again after they finished their work. They were also worried about saving their work. I reassured them that Google was saving their work for them but I am not sure if the concept of sharing is getting through.

The skill they were working on by completing this worksheet was searching with keywords. It is hard for many of them to decide what the important words in a question are. So many just want to type the whole question in the search box. I also pointed out some of the URLs as we began to think about what sources were credible.

At the end of the week we began a new assignment. This one was also a worksheet on keywords that I shared with the students. I think that more of them understand the concept of sharing after practicing it last time but I am not sure that the concept of keywords is really sinking in.

Third Grade

We finished taking pictures of the students with their favorite book this week the first three days. Each student had a chance to take a picture. We also talked about keeping the Media Center neat because my assistant had told me that the third graders had made a mess during their checkout times the previous Wednesday afternoon.

Thursday and Friday the classes used Motivator at Big Huge Labs and created reading posters. They had a lot of fun choosing their slogan, choosing fonts, and choosing colors for their poster. This project gave them a chance to navigate the computer to find their files and to save them again when they were finished.

The third graders are getting to be pros at finding their way around the computer but I had to do a refresher because few of them remembered how to work our new Follett Destiny library catalog. There are so many new things for third graders between Study Island, Accelerated Reader and the catalog and they all require usernames and passwords! I did try to make the AR and library usernames and passwords the same, but I don't set up Study Island.

Second Grade

The first genre we are going to look at is nonfiction. I chose that one because so many of my elementary students choose nonfiction books to check out. The book I read to them was The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer's Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors by Chris Barton and Tony Persiani. It was a 2010 Honor Book for the Robert F. Sibert Medal which is given for the most distinguished informational book. Luckily, a number of the students had day-glo colored shirts and shoes on today.

On Wednesday, I read Alpha Betti by Carlene Morten to this group. We talked about putting things in alphabetical order.

On Thursday and Friday we were doing math in the lab. I divided the students into groups and took them to Arcademic Skills Builders where we all played Jet Ski Addition. The kids really enjoy competing to see who can be quickest with their math facts. There were lots of cheers from the winners when their jet skis crossed the finish line first. There were also lots of groans when the computer won.

First Grade

Our Monday-Tuesday stories this week were A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka and Blackout by John Rocco. We enjoyed reading the pictures in Daisy's story and we enjoyed exploring an area not familiar to us when we saw what happened during a black out in a big city. My rural and suburban kids liked finding things we had in common.

The Wednesday books were Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger and One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo and David Small. The kids were intrigued by the holes in the pages and were eager to see what happened when we turned the page. Many of them wanted a penguin of their own after we finished One Cool Friend.

On Thursday and Friday we went to the computer lab where the students played letter and number games at ABCya. Of course, before we could play, we had to navigate our computers to the folder where this website was stored. There are a number of steps but most students are getting comfortable with the process.

That was last week in the Media Center.

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