Wednesday, 6 October 2010

List poem

I had all of 15 minutes with a small group of y9 students to write a poem. Given that and that they were low ability I think we did quite well. First we brainstormed and then I gave them a sample of two lines of "I hear..." They chose dogs for their first line and then as a group made suggestions for the other lines. They all contributed and found it easy to come up with the rhymes. However they did not really like their finished product as they thought it was boring to keep repeating the I hear....
I could have done with editing and second draft but for 15 mins I was pleased that they all engaged and focused on the task

Hearing Homes

I hear dogs barking

I hear Jimbo larking

I hear cats scratching

I hear Mum snatching

(the dog)

I hear the TV blaring

I hear Mum caring

I hear my brother scaring

I hear blue snake hissing

I hear my sister kissing

I hear rulers bending

I hear my Dad mending

I hear my brother reading

I hear the scouts leading

I hear beds bouncing

I hear fish pouncing

White Crow Sedgwick

The minute I started reading this book I knew it was going to be great. It is a great gothic thriller, really scary with four main characters and two parallel stories, 200 years apart. What is heaven like? what is hell like? what happens when we die?

One line particularly struck me
"Does there have to be a victim to commit a crime?" or something like that.
Thought that would be good for a discussion.

I think it might be a good book to move students on who are stuck on vampires!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

SLYA 2010 Ceremony

I had a wonderful day yesterday at the 6th SLA School Librarian of the Year Award ceremony. I was one of the judges but unfortunately I did not visit either of the winners schools, each judge bar Ginette only visited two schools. However I am sure all the libraries were great and I got loads of ideas from the two I visited!

I was fortunate to be on a table with MG Harris for the event. She gave a super talk and would recommend her for a school visit. I think this would work really well if you wanted to link it with her doing a workshop on codes and code breaking.

Anyway congratulations to Duncan and Kevin and I hope we see lots of them in the media in the coming months.

Below is a picture of myself (on left) with the winners and other past winners

Sunday, 3 October 2010

National poetry day lesson plan

One teacher has said that she would like to do something in part of a lesson for NPD and so I thought I would prepare something for her and hopefully others to use. The theme for this year's event is Home and as I needed something that would be quick and easy but also give good results I decided to adapt some of the ideas from The List Poem. I hope the students respond, fingers crossed.
Using list poems

These are an easy way to get students to produce a poem quickly. They also begin to show students how to write poetic lines. Everyone knows about list so they are quick to introduce.

As the theme for poetry day is Home I thought you could start with a brainstorm list of things in the home

Mum, beds, doorbell, chairs, stairs, cups, books, lights etc

Then you could give the students a format to follow. They could present their poems in a shape relating to the house or just draw the outline of a house and write the poem inside the shape

1. I hear Mum singing
I hear Mum singing

I hear the doorbell ringing

I hear the clock ticking

I hear the dog licking

I hear the stairs creaking

I hear my sister peeking

2. Thankful

My Dad is thankful for his home

My Mum is thankful for her comb

My sister’s thankful for the colour pink

My Gran is thankful for the sink

My dog is thankful for his bone


The kitchen’s thankful for the sink

The marshmallow is thankful for being pink

The pie is thankful for the custard

The sausage is thankful for the mustard

3. Colours

Brown is the dining table

Brown is my Dad’s shoe

Brown is the sugar just for coffee

Brown is the truly scrumptious toffee

Brown is my brother’s curly hair

Brown is my mood when nothing’s fair

Brown is the ginger cake

Brown is the muddy rake

4. When I am alone at home

When I am alone at home I get scared because I think the bogey man will come and take me

When I am alone at home I get happy because I can go anything I want

When I am alone at home I put music on and dance and pretend I’m a star

When I am alone at home I feel like going into my sister’s room and messing it up

When I am alone at home I play Scrabble with Teddy

When I am alone at home it’s a mission to survive

Till they all come home

Friday, 1 October 2010

Retro posters

RETRO POSTER - In the Library by Enokson. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Just come across these posters through Changing the Game blog
Just want to check out the CC license to see if I can use some of them in the library.
Cant remember seeing any in the 60s?

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Things are getting better all the time

After our y10 induction lesson being praised, I have now been asked to do a brief intro to USIC to all the y12 tutor groups. I am pleased and will be able to use some of the things I did for y10, which makes planning easier.

Came across this website IPL2 for teens some of the info on projects is really useful and will definitely add it to our USIC homepage. I find that our students often are given or choose a topic that is just too big eg Victorian literature and they do not seem to know how to go about narrowing down the topic. IPL2 includes a link to a page on the University of Victoria's website which explains nice and clearly how to do just that

So busy term on the lesson front at the moment. 17 lessons this coming week (out of 21) but will share them with my assistant.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

First Y10 induction lesson

Did the first of 12 Y10 induction lessons, 12 groups is one of the joys of a large school, at least I have 12 chances to get it right. This is my least favourite lesson. We feel that we have to do something to introduce the students to the upper school library but only have one lesson so there is not time to give them lots of activities to do.
Anyway the teacher who brought the group said that she thought it was the best lesson I have ever done with Y10 so was dead chuffed. But still felt it was too much of me talking and not enough of them doing stuff.
I asked the students if they could remember the author and title of the last fiction book they had read. In the first group only one student could but in the second about five could. I dont think they believed me when I told them that reading impacted on their test results.

So 2 down 8 to go.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Study habits

Forget the advice you normally give students as it appears that the tidy space and focus on one topic at a time is not effective!
Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits
Apparently  varying the topics and where you study helps. Also the article suggests that testing should be called something else because it "...cognitive scientists see testing itself — or practice tests and quizzes — as a powerful tool of learning, rather than merely assessment. The process of retrieving an idea is not like pulling a book from a shelf; it seems to fundamentally alter the way the information is subsequently stored, making it far more accessible in the future. "
“Maybe we need to call it something else, but this is one of the most powerful learning tools we have.”
Think I will have to share this with staff?

To every page, turn, turn, turn

This was the clever title for an article in THES which I was alerted to by the wonderful CILIP weekly news bulletin, which I find ever so useful
But back to the article, which is about the value of reading and his love for it
""Hold on to your books," I say. "They will help you through. Let them be your best friend, and they will remain a solace in your life as they continue to be in mine."

He has his 4am books which he turns to in times of stress!

How do we turn students to this from their worlds of online surfing and channel hopping?
We have a number of students who come into the library each lunchtime and sit in front of pcs and really do nothing but flit from screen to screen. Not quite sure how you would turn them on to reading.
Reading the article gives me a great feeling because I can relate to his passion for reading but not sure if the article would turn his or my students on to reading.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Publicity in Daily Mail
Why when so much is appearing in the press do the cuts continue.
Reading is what makes us uniquely human, without it would would not have the knowledge of our past.
Reading unlike film and TV gives us time to think and reflect

One of our targets for the year at our school library is to try to ingnite more of a passion for reading.
We are have lots of stuff planned and hope it will work
We seem to have a little window of opportunity at the moment with all this press coverage to show the world what we can do to change children's lives and to show everyone how shortsighted it would be to stop employing librarians

Friday, 3 September 2010

Nurturing good readers

I was asked my the SLA to write an article on what school librarians do and what we were looking for as judges of the school librarian of the year award. The article was published in Book Brunch today!
Ingrid Hopson, SLA School Librarian of the Year 2007 and a member of the judging panel for this year's award, explains why schools need librarians and what the judges were looking for when they selected this year’s Honour List (BookBrunch story)

You ask: what do school librarians do?

I answer: we help our pupils become better learners.

Libraries exist not as collections of resources but as places that foster creativity and independent thought. We cannot know what the world will be like for our pupils when they reach adulthood, but we can prepare them for their future.
 I do not really like doing this sort of stuff as I am always worried what people will think of it!

Not sure if anyone I know will even see it as you have to register to read the articles


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

What issues should I focus on this coming year?

The great thing about schools is that you have the opportunity to start over. Not only do we get the chance to change and adapt what we do but we also get the chance to try it out on a whole new set of students who do not have any preconceived ideas about you or your library.

So what will I focus on this year?
My thoughts are beginning to crystallise as the summer holidays progress and lots of little things all start to pull together. Lots of the non fiction reading that I have been doing is helping this thought process.
I would definitely recommend these four books. Igniting a passion and Readers Advisory complement each other and this whole area of Readers' advisory services is going to be a focus for the year. This will mainly focus on fiction

The second focus I think will be all around the area of notetaking/referencing and citing. I am considering purchasing a subscription to Noodle Tools as I think this might be better than getting all the students to use Evernote and citation tools, not sure though.

And the third focus (everything has to be threes, or so they say)

Still not sure though, maybe as 1 is so big I ought to split it into two bits.

Fortunately there is still time to ponder.
Still need to decide that I am going to do in the Y10 into to USIC lesson and the English Y7 booked up lesson.

Libraries supporting literacy

Henning Mankell, plenary speaker, IFLA 2010, World Library and Information Congress, Gothenburg, Sweden.
I was alerted to this by the CILIP announcement of the untimely death of Bob McKee. What a shock as I had only been speaking to him on 20th July at the House of Commons launch of the school libraries survey. He had supported SLG so well in all our efforts and he seemed to be looking forward to his retirement.
So I then went to investigate the conference and listened to two presentations, this one and the Hans Rosling one (which was very annoying as you could not see the ppt he was pointing at, but much of the content seemed similar to other of his talks available on TED)
This Mankell talk was about literacy and the role of libraries. I would suggest you listen

Laugh at least once a day or life would be too miserable
To be able to read and write the question of being literate
What I want more than anything else in my life is an identity card, to get an identity card I need to be literate
Illiteracy is a plague that haunts the world.
The internet is the only thing we can thank the army for
People who read are armed forces words and pens are among the most dangerous things there are

His talk reminded me of a poem, in the past we did a lesson using this poem as a writing frame to discuss identity. Some of the poems the students produced were amazing and gave us such an insight into their lives, far more than if we had just asked them to write about what was  important to them. When I read the poem I realise what Mankell means about words being dangerous things but they are precious too and we need to take care how we use them.

Poem by Miroslav Holub A boy's head

In it there is a space-ship

and a project

for doing away with piano lessons

And there is

Noah's ark,

which shall be first.

And there is

an entirely new bird

an entirely new hare

an entirely new [bumble-bee.

There is a river

that flows upwards

There is a multiplication table

There is anti-matter

And it just cannot be trimmed.

I believe

that only what cannot be trimmed

is a head

There is much promise

in the circumstance

that so many people have heads.

Miroslav Holub

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

The Perfect Book

I have been trying to read lots of teenage fiction ready for the new book club I want to start in September. Think I will call it First Choice Club, unless I think of anything better. Members will get the opportunity to read new books first (wont include the major new titles but the new ones that they might not otherwise notice) and hopefully the students might than do some sort of recommendation for the books to promote to others.
To remind me of each book I read I am making a brief record about it, again following ideas in Igniting a Passion for Reading. For each book I am trying to think of a hook, how I would sell the experience of reading the book to the students, not what it is about but how they will feel if they read it.

Then a few notes on plot to remind me and and idea of genre and target age. Just finish Simone Elkeles "Perfect Chemistry". At first I thought it was going to be very chick lit but infact it is more about loyalty and doing the right thing rather than what is expected of you. Even shed a few tears towards the end. Not sure about the epilogue though.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Readers' Advisory Work

At the moment I am planning a lesson for Year 7 about choicing fiction and was thinking of planning it on Steven Layne's shopping for fiction ideas. And now, as always, once something it going round in my head I spot other relating items. Checking emails this morning alerted me to SLJ's latest issue and I read this article
Then thought it would great if I could read "Readers' advisory service in the public library" By Joyce G. Saricks and low and behold it is available online in google books. or at least up to page 41!
Skimming through spotted these sentences.
"most readers are not usually looking for a book on a certain subject. They want a book with a particular "feel""
We often ask students what they are interested in and then try to find a fiction book on that topic. But in reality this is probably all wrong and explains why the football fiction books are not popular. Perhaps if you like football you like playing it not reading about it. For reading you probably want something that makes you feel the same way you feel when you are playing football.
Now will have to buy or borrow thew book if I want to know more

Friday, 30 July 2010


Thought it was about time to sort out a header for the blog.
This is part of a display that we have had in the school canteen. It is on a huge display board so it was quite a challenge to come up with something that filled the space.
You can see the full image on my flickr photostream

Next challenge will be to change it regularly!

A passion for reading

As well as reading lots of fiction I do like reading books about reading. By fire my imagination and inspire me to keep on trying new tacks at school to get kids reading for fun.
My latest find is Steven Layne's Igniting a passion for reading

Although really for teachers it has some great ideas for how to do just that.
I am now reading it for the second time so that I can pick out stuff that will work for me.
I am going to use his idea of teaching students about shopping for books with the booked up books this September. ( the book is available online at the moment, this section being on page 78)
He suggests that students do not know how to shop for books in the same way as they would know how to shop for clothers, phones etc. and that at school we do not really model the choosing process. He reminded me of Goggle Eyes (Anne Fine) when he jokes about kids going into a shop and asking for the yellow dot section. My daughter hated choosing books at school because the teacher told her that as she was a good reader she could only choose from the pink shelf, which was all the classics, when what she wanted to read was the Jean Ure's and Paul Danziger's (it was a while ago)
Anyway I digress. The shopping idea model's the whole choosing process and cant wait to try it out. At least I get 10 tries at getting it spot on!
I also like the way he emphasises that it does matter that students remember who wrote a book. (and who illustrated it) His analogy for this is that students would know who made their favourite clothes, which team their favourite footballer plays for and who sings the songs they like so they ought to remember who wrote the names of the people who write the books they like.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

House of Commons

Time has flown as ever and the event now seems historic.
Got there early and it was great to catch up with people. I wonder if everyone's career world is so wonderfully networked as school librarian's, probably.
Cakes and tea were lovely, could have done with a goody bag as there was lots left over.
I was disappointed that Jim Knight was not there but Stephen Timms expounded the wonders of libraries.
Sue Shaper gave a great speech with key messages for different groups of people, will ask her if we can put her speech on CILIP SLG site.
As she said at that event we were preaching to the converted and in reality it is all the others that we need to reach.

Friday, 16 July 2010

SLG survey launch

I am so excited that I have been invited to the celebration at the House of Commons for the publication of the UK school survey. Stephen Timms is hosting the event and their should be around 50 plus people there.
Now what should I wear?.....

Surprising feedback

Last night I went to an end of term do and one of the teachers gave me some really amazing feedback, that I still cannot believe was genuine. She had been to an event at a uni with y12 and for their final activity the students had to create two brainstorms, one being on what they would miss from the school when they go to uni
One group drew me! The teacher chatted to them thinking at first that maybe they were taking the michael, but infact they weren't and did mean that they would miss me!
Makes me feel quite invigorated and keen to put lots of new things in place next year.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Frog and

Got v excited today when I learned that it is now possible to put Eclipse widgets into Frog and cant wait till tomorrow to ring up and find out how to do this. Apparently there are some lovely Frog brick that we can use

I am now going to redesign the student's frog homepage and add some Eclipse bricks. Let's hope it will work.

Changing titles

Just decided to change the title at the top of the blog. This was the title for my dissertation when doing Ultraversity course about 4 years ago and it has two meanings for me
1. the is the road I try to lead the students along when they read and research
2. it the the road I travel on my professional journey to trying to achieve the goal of helping the students to develop information and reading skills the need to succeed in 21st century!

Trouble is I do not think that I will ever reach a destination. The road seems very bendy with lots of u turns and very few Le Mans straights.
But as long as I am still enjoy the trip I will continue

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Book trailers

Started writing an article for SLA mag on trailers
Could spend ages searching for sources but did find some really useful stuff and this lovely trailer

Friday, 2 July 2010

Book borrowing data

Have just used Val's idea from SLN to correlate book borrowing with students progress in English throughout the academic year.
Although it does show students who have exceded targets have also borrowed, it also shows students who have failed to meet targets who have also borrowed loads of books.
So no nice neat pattern
My gut feeling is that some of these low ability students read lots but do not read like a reader. I know from chatting to one of the students that she does not remember much if anything about the books she reads and I wonder what reading conversation she has inside her head as she reads.
I would like to be able to do sessions with students like her to see if were to make any difference if we helped her to read like a reader.
Final number is the no of bks borrowed and preceding - shows that they have not met target and number prior to that is the no of sublevels they are below target
Think I need to ponder a while before deciding what to do and how to use the data

The separate list is students from the other end of the scale
student197 White - British Moderate Learning Difficulty 3 6c 5c 4b -2 - 130

student198 Chinese 3 6c 5c 4b -2 - 63

student199 White - British 4 6b 5b 4a -2 - 41

student200 White - British 5 7c 6c 5a -1 - 40

student201 White - British 4 6c 4a 4b -1 - 32

student202 White - British 5 7c 5a 5b -1 - 19

student203 White - British 6a 5b 5c -1 - 17

student204 White - British Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulty 5 6a 5a 5b -1 - 16

student205 White - British Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulty 5b 4b 4c -1 - 15

student206 White - British 6a 5a 5b -1 - 13

student207 Any other mixed background 5 7c 5a 5b -1 - 13

student1 Chinese 6a 5a 5a 0 + 78

student2 Indian 5 6a 5b 5b 0 + 49

student3 White 5 6a 5a 5a 0 + 44

student4 Refused 5 7b 6c 6c 0 + 42

student5 White - British 5 7c 5a 6c 1 + 38

student6 White - British 5 7c 5a 5a 0 + 37

student7 White - British N 4 6b 5b 5a 1 + 35

student8 White - British 5 6b 5a 5a 0 + 34

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Shamed into posting

What a shock I have just received when I have seen my own name listed in a list of Bloggers in the South East, in Eclipse the newsletter of the CILIP SE Branch.
I have never really managed to blog regularly and do wish I could get into the habit as it would be a good record of life and progress

So after pondering on what to blog about I thought I would reflect on the impact I make on teaching at the school. Often I am oblivious to the impact that I am making. On a few occasions recently I have noticed English teachers using materials that I produced a while ago for using with the Booked up books. I had produced a whole folder of activities that related to character, plot, setting etc and given a copy to each teacher. Anyway I now keep seeing teachers using the folder. One teacher said that the ideas in the folder are really good and that she uses them alot.

I have now decided that I will make the activities available through our VLE.

More and more I seem to be making my impact by helping teachers with their planning rather than with the actual teaching.

I did a session for NQTs earlier this week and was v pleased with the feedback. I gave them a number of ideas to tell students what to do with the information they cut and paste.

So all in all maybe I am of more value than I sometimes suspect

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Great teaching

I have just come across the work of Doug Lemov and have ordered his book Teach like a champion
The pdfs and video clips on the link are great and show to me how much more I need to know about teaching to be effective enough to excite and motivate students in the library.

I think it is this sort of practical teaching techniques I need to know to help improve my teaching skills. I see the students in the role of a teacher relatively rarely and so when I do I need to be able to engage them

It all looks so easy when you see someone doing it

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Geeks might be tomorrow's entrepeneurs

From a site I had not used before Big Ambition - your digital career starts here. Also includes a dream career quiz!

Friday, 16 April 2010

There's so much to investigate

What started out as a little search for ideas for our Head of Languages for what to put on our new VLE, Frog and it ended up with lots of exciting finds.
I particularly liked this Social Technographics Ladder
Where are you on the ladder?

 Then noticed this blog entry about Linchpin, which i have read and am definitely going to print out his index for the book.
Holiday working is so useful for catching up with CPD rather than just doing the job

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Pulled off at tangents

Today I started by looking the the CILIP weekly update. I think this it great and I always find something of interest. This weeks was no exception, a real gem and am now buzzing with ideas and things I want to do.
But through following a link to MIT open courseware I came across two poems on reading.
I used to panic when I read poetry as I thought I was meant to find stuff hidden in their to help me understand what the poet was thinking when he wrote the poem. But since reading Rosenblatt, Zimmermann, Keene and others I now realise that I just need to think about what the poem means to me, how I connect with it, how it makes me feel, what connections I make, what queries I have. etc. In other words I use the reading strategies that I teach to the students.

My confusion here is in the second poem and I am wondering why the pages bore no print.

The House Was Quiet And The World Was Calm

The house was quiet and the world was calm
The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being of the book
The house was quiet and the world was calm

The words were spoken as if there was no book
Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much to be
The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom

The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be

The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page.

And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself

Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there.

Wallace Stevens

The Reader
All night I sat reading a book,
Sat reading as if in a book
Of somber pages.

It was autumn and falling stars
Covered the shriveled forms
Crouched in the moonlight.

No lamp was burning as I read,
A voice was mumbling, “Everything
Falls back to coldness,

Even the musky muscadines,
The melons, the vermilion pears
Of the leafless garden.

The somber pages bore no print
Except the trace of burning stars
In the frosty heaven

Wallace Stevens

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

I'll fight you for the library

I am intrigued as to where we all saw the Taylor Mali youtube performance of this poem. I found it through a like on Seth Godin's blog to What a teacher makes, which in fact I had seen before. Then I spotted the link to this poem. I posted it on SLN and have seen two further links to it since. It is the trail that intrigues.
Also reminds me of Clay Shirky's Here come everybody, in which he writes about the power of social networking to make change happen.

As to the poem it probably strikes a chord with many school librarians. I have two libraries and one used to be used for governors meetings until I moved the shelves around and the space was no longer deemed big enough. So they moved the other library, then I moved that around too.

I loved the line, it is the only place with books!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Cilip feeds

I do like the CILIP information world email that we receive each week, there is always something worth following up. This week I have really enjoyed investigating links from
I would recommend, have found lots of new blogs to follow, where do you draw the line though, need another few hours in the day

Monday, 15 February 2010

How do you begin and end the day?

Just caught up on all the blogs and SLN and today's gem was a link to this Maryanne Wolf thinks that all the time kids spend using digital media may be detrimental to their overall developments. She wants to begin her day and end it with a pause button of her own choice. I certainly end my day with a book but dont have much chance to start it with one. Though a weekend treat is to lie in and read for a while.

Started Time Riders today. So hopefully that means I can discard The Slap which I am not enjoying, the story around the slap is fine, but it is the swearing and graphic scenes I can't be doing with, old an out of touch I guess.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Connecting information

I was talking to a Sociology teacher the other day and he said that he was disappointed that his 6th form students could not see the connection between Harry Potter's school experience with the sociology theories of education. I think that this could be because either the students understanding of the sociology is not strong enough or that they are not used to drawing connections between what they know already and what they are currently encountering.

I found that after I read Zimmermann Mosaic of thought and also Goudvis Strategies that work I suddenly started noticing when I was using different reading strategies including connecting. I have tried to get some of their ideas included in teaching, but without much success as it really needs to be all teachers doing it and not just me in the odd information skills lesson.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Recordable speech bubbles

I bought a pack of these bubbles and they arrived yesterday. I was very jealous today as my colleague used them with an English teacher for the students to record brief adverts/reviews for their reading books. My idea is to display them with the book cover or an advert made by the student for the book.
I saw the teacher later on in the day and she said one group went well while the second, Year 9 were not so good as many of them we silly and recorded inappropriate comment. Many of the group are talented students. Why did they not respond and do the sort of work they are capable of?
I always think that when things don't work it must be becaise of one of three things
lack of prior knowledge, poor resources, lack of motivation.
Which would it be in this case? Maybe the motivation was lacking?

I would like to try using them with a teacher to see what happens for myself.
Next job is to find a way of securing the bubbles to a display board so that the students cannot remove them!

This not being around for things is one of the problems of two libraries. Often I never feel in control of what is happening or am unhappy about what does happen. It is difficult to delegate but then still feel that things are happening how you would like them to.

This afternoon I did another Y9 careers intro lesson and then did not work too well either.
I tried showing a careeersbox video at the start but sound was too quiet (I think) and also they were not motivated by the video (therefore not right resources) So it is back to the drawing board for another group next week.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

All good things come to those who wait

Surprised today when a teacher came and asked if there was an easy way to show students how to research as some are starting their extended project tomorrow. Surprised because I thought they had started ages ago and pleased to be asked for help. If only researching were that simple. Anyway upshot is I am going to talk to students in their lesson and suggest they make use of social bookmarking and google notebook and referencing tools.
Image shows some of the minibooks and newpaper bag that I have been making and showing to staff as fun ways of presenting information.I love the accordian one at front and the concertina ones are great fun as very easy to do.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Library Day in the Life

Or maybe it should be librarian day in the life.
6.15am Started as normal until I walked into the plank of wood 8ft long or more balanced on crates through the hall and kitchen, while husband is painting with goodness knows how many coats of paint before it can be cut and used to replace rotten timber on outside of our timber framed house. Anyway now got bruise on shin, but arnica did help

7.45am Now at school and have just been reminded that I have to go to a meeting at the end of the school day on support staff views on social cohesion!

Hope to sort out new display shelf trolley (photo) quickly before day really starts. Want to put "books you should read" or something like that on side that is currently empty. Think we should have only bought three shelves for each side not four, hindsight is such a wonderful and infuriating thing.

Off I go then, not sure when I will remember of get chance to blog again during day
8.30am Grrr Internet just crashed so have to type this again. The replacement shelf for the new trolley (original wrong size and bent) had arrived and have just unpacked to find that it too has bent hooks. So it looks like is might be one of those doomed days when everything goes wrong.

9.20am Just finished checking the ppt for Y9 careers intro lesson for this afternoon. Tidied up our new Frog VLE page with links to key sites. Hard to make this sort of lesson exciting.

10.20am just been given the exam papers for textiles, Y12 and 13. Need to see what stock we have to support their research. No time today, will leave till tomorrow and read the papers at home this afternoon
Wish they had been courses like these when I was at school, maybe I would not have been a librarian!
Not sure whether to research websites for them, otherwise they end up with wikipedia and not much else, might wait and see till after their lessons and see how they go on researching

1050am Break time but not much happening. Freezing in here today and I am now working in Sims so not library at all. Sometimes or even quite often I think that the non lib work is valued by senior management far more than lib stuff. Working out students progress to target for KS3 subjects

Break ended and now millions of 6th formers use lib as a corridor to go from 6th form centre to rest fo building.

13.15pm Just gobbled some peanut butter crackers, rest of morning went doing a bit of data stuff and then discussing data with two different members of staff.
Now going to see what is going on in library - lunchbreak and then setup for the Y9 careers lesson

16.45pm Got home at 4pm and starving but don't want to eat as going out later.
Lesson was Ok but felt that it was too boring from students POV. I am going to try something different next time. Was doing it in upper sch lib using portable projector and no speakers. Tomorrow I am hoping to find some speakers and start with a film clip from Careersbox and then work back from that to look at the theory of making choices and finding out about careers.

Think it is really hard to make an exciting lesson to tell students about how to find out about careers.

Finally went to a meeting on school community cohesion! Filled in questionnaire.

Now going to take brief look at Textiles research stuff before getting change to go out.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

CILIP School Libraries Group

I have now taken over being web person, master would sound too professional, for this special interest group. So am searching around to see how others publicise the work of library groups. The actual CILIP website is not that exciting so maybe Facebook, Twitter or other Web2.0 wonders are the answer.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Library Day in the Life 25th January

Worried I am going to forget to blog on Monday, perhaps with writing this I will remember.
So far Monday will include
First career's lesson for Year 9 this year in Period 5. This lesson is part of their options process to choose their subjects for KS4.
Followed by a meeting to give feedback on social cohesion from support staff point of view
Followed by a meal out with my lib manager and 2 ex lib managers!
Must remember to take photos too.
This photo is of a student's memorial for Holocaust

Thursday, 21 January 2010

SLYA 2010

Just got back from the first meeting of the award panel. I am pleased and honoured to be on the panel again this year. It has been a long day, leaving Guildford station at 7.04 and returning twelve hours later.
The journey was an ideal opportunity to read a chunk of Gone with a wind, which is our latest parent's book group book and it is so long 1000 pages. Anyway I will be able to hold my head up at the meeting next week and say I have read it!

Back to the award. We met at Cheltenham College, which is a very different world from a standard comprehensive world. In the morning we reviewed and reflected on the process and then after our canteen lunch in the splendid former chapel canteen, complete with stained glass windows we looked through all the entries and made our initial long listing. It was an enjoyable process and we were so pleased to read fantastic nominations. It will be a tough call a think later on in the process.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Careers fairs

Just read Seth Godin's blog about the uselessness of careers fairs.
What I would like to know are his ideas on how we should help students learn about the world of work.
I was intrigued by
"There are average jobs, certainly, average in that they require people to fit in, do what they're told and follow the manual. I'll grant you that those jobs need to get done, but I'm not sure they have to get done by you."

Would not most jobs fall into the above. Most of us do what we are told and follow the manual to some extent and still have chances to be creative, proactive and innovative. What is wrong with doing such a job? Certain tasks need doing everything, every week, every term or whatever. Even the most creative of people will often have to follow the brief or ideas of their client.

When I plan lessons etc with teachers I enjoy it and find it stimulating, but then I might have to deliver the same thing 10 times over to each teaching group.

I wonder what jobs Seth thinks do not fall in this average job category?

Friday, 8 January 2010

Three days at home because of the snow. Took this photo when walking dog around the river next to our house.

Have managed to do lots of Frog while off and pestered the helpdesk far too often. They are brilliant and very patient with idiots like me

Also had time to do other stuff, gym closed too and so even more time on my hands.

Surfed for ages last night looking at knitting and crafty stuff
Fancy making socks and some bags, fabric not knitting
Found some brilliant stuff online and am amazed at the creativity of so many people. My stuff always ends up less than perfect. Knitting is my best bet. But I am a butterfly and do like to flit from craft to craft, sewing is often my least successful. I think it is because you can rush sewing and make mistakes while knitting can only go as fast as your fingers. Hope to get to the shops tomorrow to buy some sock wool and a pattern, or will use one online. 

Started making cushions for lounge and one for daughter which I am going to decorate with Kirsty's flower fabric decorations from her Christmas show, I was so jealous of her getting to do all those crafts. 

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Do students value their librarian?

It appears not.  Thanks to Sheila Webber for this link

Few students in our sample consulted librarians about research assignments (e.g., developing a research strategy) (20%) or about the campus library system (24%) ey did not use librarians for help with a course-related research assignment.

A significant majority of students in our sample—8 in 10—did not ever consult librarians for course-related research assignments. Instead, instructors played an important role in coaching students through the research process—from figuring out a research strategy to finding acceptable resources to writing up their findings.

Looks like we really need to be proactive and push stuff out to the students rather than expect them to come to us

Also looks like we need to send stuff via teachers and students seem more likely to take notice of them

Collaboration then

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Embedding a VLE

Just read this on Seth Godin's blog

Don't have any meetings about your web strategy. Just do stuff. First you have to fail, then you can improve.

I think this fits my ideas for working with Frog this term

I have decided to create one thing each week to show the functionality and try to wow everyone with that.

And then help others to create stuff for themselves
Will also do his idea of making note on whiteboard in staff room to show how much use people are making of Frog.

Just do it, is really what I always do anyway

And yes rather than But

I thought that I would try this one to try to stop creativity. How often do you suggest something or have someone suggest something to you and instead of giving it time and thought you immediately reject it by saying but....
So I am going to try to and yes response instead.
I will hopefully be able to report good results

New Year, what to change, what to aspire to

New year, new decade, new start
Like others I too am using the end of this holiday period to reflect and decide on my aims and goals for the coming months.

When I am off work I always start thinking about all the things I could start to do and get involved in but then I know that once I go back to work life will kick in again and lack of time will cause me to fail with many of these new ideas.

Consequently I resisted the temptation to buy wool for more knitting today.

So what do I want to do?

1. Revitalise the libraries. I feel as if they have been on hold for a good year (for various reasons) now I ought to be able to focus again.

2. Get Frog up and running by March!

3. Use Frog to push stuff to the kids.

4. Sort out my on line presence.

I think I will stop there as any other stuff is really just sub lists of these four.