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.