Monday, April 6, 2015

Pre-Practicum Musings: Part 7

I had a chance to do a little bit of lots of different things last week, including the following:

1) A few more pesky Nook contracts (like I said, the glamorous stuff!)
2) Search for a missing book (even more glamorous, no?)
3) Compiled a student-submitted "cheat sheet" of what to do and not do when taking notes based on their own notes that they turned in after a lesson on notetaking (a crucial lesson to deliver just before they start research for their final research paper). Some good takeaways in here - nice to see that many of them were actually listening during the lesson! - and having it in a concise format that they can refer to throughout their research process.
4) Some initial research into interesting ways to present Summer Reading for all the incoming 6th-graders. In the past, the LMS has book-talked the books which hasn't been ineffective, but she was wondering if there were any resources out there that might liven up the presentation so that she's not just talking the whole time. Ran short on time a bit, but found a few interesting trailer-type videos that I included in this working file.

Our class discussion this week was around Project-Based Learning (PBL) which is some pretty interesting stuff. What is Project-Based Learning?

I was able to make some real-library applications in talking with the LMS that I've been working with during my pre-practicum. Simply put, while I think PBL is a worthwhile endeavor, and perhaps where education should be going, it's a fundamental change that can't just happen overnight. There have been some PBL-inspired projects I've been able to observe in the library (one example: The Egyptian Virtual Museum) and while there was enthusiasm on the part of the content-area teacher, snow days and other time constraints required that he move on with other parts of the curriculum before the project actually finished, leaving library personnel to tie up the loose ends and get the virtual museum up and running. Not the end of the world, of course, but it does leave out the 6th step of PBL (Presenting the Results and Reflecting on the Process). Does this matter? At the end of the day, students learned more about Egypt than previous classes did when they just worked on creating one artifact, they had exposure to information literacy skills while they created the hierarchy for their museum rooms, and the LMS and history teacher had a chance to collaborate on a truly new way of teaching the unit on Ancient Egypt. So while maybe it's not a "true" PBL example, it helped pave the way (hopefully) for future collaborations with other teachers.

Today's Hours: 3

Total Hours: 18

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