Looking, seeing, visioning

I am currently procrastinating on an assignment that asks me to articulate a vision for my school library. It is a pretty exciting assignment because I am gathering (far too much) information on what a library can be, what it can provide and how it can position itself as the hub of the school.

I have pages of quotes and examples of what I want my library to be and this is the reason I am procrastinating – how to meld all of the ideas, suggestions and scenarios into a succinct, cohesive and do-able vision for the next three years.

As a very new TL in training (I still haven’t been in the library for a full year yet or completed my TL course) I am finding it a tad overwhelming trying to sort out and deal with the number of roles the literature expects me to fulfill.

I am beginning to see, however, that this assignment is helping me to pare down these expectations and take hold of the aspects that are important for the students and school community at my school in the next little while. This is a great chance for me to really focus in on the roles and functions that I can best undertake to move us from where we are now.

It doesn’t matter what we should have been doing, where we should have been working, how we should have been learning – we have the power and the ability to move forward confidently in a way that is authentic and purposeful and relevant to US.

This is truly exhilarating and scary as well. Yet, through the structuring and direction of my learning so far, I know that I can do this, I have to do this, it is my responsibility to do this – with the strategies and skills I am developing as I am learning.

Articulating my vision will help to tie up the many stems of my learning: it will enable me to really develop learning experiences around what is important, it will help me to provide learning opportunities for all students and it will  enable me to collect evidence that supports and celebrates the learning occurring throughout the library and school.

If I could just finish this assignment and start putting it all into action …….


Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/52193570@N04/5774680570

To Do List #1

'To Do's' photo (c) 2011, Courtney Dirks - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/I need to share what I am learning in this module with staff to help build up a common picture of what Information Literacy, Information Skills and Guided Inquiry are, and the benefits to students.

I need to address the “what” and “why” before we can move on to the “how” and “when”.

I need to look at best practice examples of Guided Inquiry , have opportunities to learn from these examples and then look at ways to support each other as we work together to apply this model in the school.

I need to make a great case for taking the trouble to plan and work together collaboratively, when most of the staff are used to working autonomously in their classrooms, formulating and driving their investigations in Key Learning Areas. It will be quite a challenge for some staff to see the point of information literacy skills and guided inquiries and letting go of being the sole leader in their room.

Hmmm – this is an important step in moving forward ……

Inspire Innovate 2010: Extras You Asked For :-)

Here are the extra planning and programming bits and pieces that you asked for in the workshop yesterday:

Planning Proformas/ Grids

Backward Mapping Proforma

Blooms MI Matrix

My wiiMusic Worksheets

wiiMusic booklet 1

wiiMusic booklet 2


Final Task Rubric  

My wiiSports Tennis Plan

Tennis Skills + Planning Sheet  

I hope that these  sheets help guide you in  planning and using games consoles in your classroom.  

Please link back here so we can all see what you have tried in your classroom.

Who says that learning is all not all fun and games????

P3240567    P3240566  P3240565  P3240562

If you need/want any other info or help or ideas please just leave a comment here 🙂



I have always got my class to set goals at the beginning of each term or semester. I think that this is one small way that my students can learn to grow as effective and more independent learners. I think that setting  goals for the term or semester can help my students organise themselves and “learn to learn”.

Goal setting is important

  • to focus
  • to get involved
  • to “own” learning
  • to build confidence
  • to motivate
  • to set what needs to be done
  • as a path to learning

Some times and classes are more successful than others –

  • is it the particular students, their understanding, their commitment?
  • is it the structures or scaffolds that help the students to set goals and targets?
  • is it the follow through/reminding / checking / follow up that SUPPORTS students and keep them focussed?

Students gain much from articulating their goals and their targets to reach their goals, and in my experience they need to

write it down

mark it off

check it


look for “personal bests”

celebrate reaching targets

think about the goal

affirm themselves

Student goal setting needs to be open, students need to be accountable, they need to be able “see” and “say” their goals and targets.

You’ll find some useful proformas to adapt and use this semester, and a SMART site  might help.

Now, in the spirit of keeping on, we will track where  we want to go this semester ….

Image: ‘P1000737.JPG

Mind Map Magic

I am so excited about being able to embed things like this into my class blog, that I had to blog about it here too 🙂


How cool is this?

Last week we tried out a mind mapping tool called mind42.com to organise our thinking about Natural Disasters.

We had just been introduced to Natural Disasters through some wonderful hands on science activities from the CSIRO and we thought that we would like to investigate further.

This is what we came up with – have a look at the map above – you can move themap, make the text bigger/smaller, open and close the nodes. WOW

AllStars – leave a comment about the area you would like to investigate.  

ReView and PreView

 timeout.jpgAfter an interesting week or so on Jury Duty I’m back – rearing to go after an enforced “time-out”. 

My last week at school saw me using our new laptops in my room. After a frazzled first session – sorting internet cords, and placement of the laptops within the room – we made a great start at our individual maths focus contracts. The students felt responsible for getting on with their work and seemed very motivated to work on their own to complete the maths topics they needed to work on. 

The setting up of the laptops got quicker over the week and the students came up with exciting ways to take advantage of the laptops when they were set up. We had a great session with the kids working in threes using Google Earth to locate places referred to in the “Behind the News” current affairs program we watch each week. 

My use of the iWB was probably not as exciting as I had hoped – a few techno problems, but they will be sorted soon I hope and I will continue on (and on and on!) 

My focus for this coming week will be:

  • Laptops – in the room as much as possible – set up and ready for the kids to work on.
  • Writing Focus – narrative using an internet game again to support and motivate students and improve their writing. This time I will start with the planning of the game narrative: does it fit the planning model we are using? How does it differ? How are the different parts of the narrative linked to each other?

            Hmmm, lots to work on here!

  • Look at using the DSLites for daily? thrice weekly? basic maths practise. I’m sure this will really motivate the class to improve their basic operations skills, and by recording their scores we can collate and graph results. This will link in to the Data section of our Mathematics curriculum, and “interpreting graphs” is an area my students need to work on.

        The DSLites are set up to use in the Library at lunchtimes so I will have to make sure we use them first thing in the morning and then reset them up ready for lunch 🙂

 Heaps to look forward to……. BIO!  (bring it on!  😀  )

Image is “Timeout” by katenet

My Week in Preview


Thanks to a motivating post from Jess McCulloch (language teacher from Victoria, Australia), I am trying out a preview post to focus on the week ahead.  

Jess said, “I get to think about what I really want to get out of this coming week which allows me to focus my planning a bit more. I’ll be able to check back at the end of the week and see how I’ve gone and then start all over again for the following week. Hmm, could be a good process!”

I agree! I always seem to have a plethora of things that I have to accomplish, it all gets overwhelming, so I give up and accomplish very little at all. I’m hoping that by focussing and writing down a few items to concentrate on, I will be able to keep what is important at the forefront of what I am doing, and I will be able to actively work at achieving/doing what I set out to do.

1. Laptops: I am going to take advantage of our mobile school laptops in my room. My students can use them for their individual “Areas of Focus” work in Maths. This will allow everyone to work through the protocols of using the laptops, as well as having the opportunity for some on-line Maths work.

2. iWB: I will use my board in three new ways this week (Thanks again Jess  🙂   )

3. Blogging: tutoring of class “newbies” by class “oldies”  worked really well last week, so I will continue this week by focussing the class on

  • positive commenting – keeping conversations going
  • “inside” a blog – how to find your way around, what it all the headings mean, how to post

So, I know exactly where I want to go this week (and I’ve written a blog post too 😛   ) and as Jess said, “Bring It ON!”

Image is “Focus” by ihtatho