Monday, March 29, 2010

Hgh School Internship: Day 2

(16 hours down, 24 to go)

When I got to the high school this morning there was a message from another teacher that wanted to collaborate with me. It is a bit awkward when I get the "so what were you thinking?" type of question right away, since I haven't had a chance to think yet. Fortunately I was able to come up with an idea right away that was good. The teacher is a Read 180 teacher (Read 180 is a 2 hour daily block that works on reading skills with students who are targeted as needing extra help). They're just about to enter into a digital citizenship unit so I thought right away of using BrainPOP!'s free digital citizenship tutorials.  They're geared toward jr. high kids, but I think they'll work really well for this group. There's a funny little video, and then 10 questions that go with it that kids can complete online and e-mail to their teacher.

Unfortunately the only day that will work for them is Friday, and I'll be done with the internship then. I talked to Ms. S and she said she'd  teach it on Friday. It's a simple lesson, pretty self-explanatory, so I think it will work fine. She showed me how to edit the Online Links section of her website, and we put the Digital Citizenship page of BrainPOP! on there, so that it will be easy for the students to get right into.

This morning I spent about three hours doing inventory.  Many schools wait until the end of the year to do a library inventory, however since the LMC is open during the summer too, it doesn't really need to be at the end. Ms. S and Ms. Y start their inventory in January, and usually get their student aides to do the work, but since I've never done inventory I wanted a chance to see how it was done (this was especially helpful since they have the same cataloguing system as I use). They have a nifty hand-held device which they can take over to the bookshelves to scan every book. I got through the 600s and 700s this morning (about 1600 books), with only 2 books unaccounted for.

Most of the time I was scanning I was reading through the titles, enjoying what was out there, and part of the time was spent trying to figure out how I could do an inventory, too. I don't have any student aides, or a nifty hand-held device. Ms. S thought that maybe I could use a laptop connected with a scanner (although I'm thinking our scanners don't connect to Macs) and do just one section at a time, maybe even only one section a year, just so it gets done every once in a while, to weed out books that have been long-gone.  I think I'll wait until June when we reorder the library, it might be a good time there.

I also had the chance to talk to Ms. S about her tech responsibilities. Her district is pretty tough about not giving out any administrative passwords to the media specialists, unless they have "tech" specifically built in to their job description. She's actually worked really hard to try to get the chance to go to district tech meetings, but since they take place during her working day, she wasn't allowed to. Right now her school does not have a tech committee; the past assistant principal headed it up previously, but it fell apart when he left. There is a tech committee in the works, though. Ms. S had the chance to work in Bloomington for a year, and that district seemed to have a great model. There was a weekly half-day meeting which all the district media specialists went to, and were frequently visited by the district leaders in other areas. As it is in her current district, there is a once-monthly meeting before or after school (which is the same in my district).

It's kind of silly, really, since Ms. S still is an in-a-pinch building tech. She gave me a tour today and showed me the school's auditorium (with an elaborate sound booth/system) and a room called The Forum which has room for about 120 students in a lecture-hall type setting with a state-of-the-art projection system. Ms. S is responsible to help out with these if there is a need.

It was a pretty slow day as far as kids are concerned. The LMC hosted only 3 classes today, the rest of the time there were individual kids in and out, but it wasn't nearly as busy as it was on Friday.  I had an interesting discussion with a girl about the book  Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters  by Ben Winters and Jane Austen. She really liked Pride and Prejudice and Zombies , and was excited to see this Austen classic re-done, too. I found P&P&Z really hard to get into, the contrast between the Austen text and the Winters zombie inserts was just too weird for me (but really creative! I admire Ben Winters' for re-doing the classics).

I also had the chance to work with a girl who had done a slide show on her mac at home, e-mailed it to herself, and was trying to open it on the PCs at school. Unfortunately, she didn't use PowerPoint on her mac, but she is going to bring in her laptop tomorrow and hopefully we'll be able to work something out.  I'll bring some cords from home for her (she has to present it tomorrow), since the school has no macs nor the accessories to go with them.

I'm still working on my Prezi presentation on the Harlem Renaissance. I am getting really interested in the subject. It is great working on Prezi, because it is almost like I'm taking notes on what I'm reading on the Prezi workspace, and then just reorganizing my notes into a presentation.

Off to do more Prezi-ing!

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