Mason, Ariella

CA

DuNeene, J. (n.d.). 25 Things Successful Teachers Do Differently. Retrieved February 11, 2018, from https://www.teachthought. com/pedagogy/25-things-successful- teachers-do-differently/

This article lists and discusses several strategies for a teacher to be more successful. Some of the suggestions included: having very clear objectives, adapting to student needs, welcome change in the classroom, and never stop learning.

I liked this article and found it useful because it is helpful regardless of experience level in teaching. Meaning that I found it very helpful as someone who hasn’t taught, but I also feel that the things listed may be things teacher who have been in the classroom for a long time could use as well.

Advertisements

Mason, Ariella

ET

Semrud-Clikeman, M. (n.d.). Research in Brain and Learning. Retrieved February 11, 2018 from http://www.apa.org/education/k12/brain-function.aspx

I liked this resource from the American Psychology Association because it covers a lot of areas, such as different ages or grade levels. It focuses on how the brain functions and how we learn. It also included helpful hints for teachers in the “Do’s and Don’ts” section.

I would recommend this resource because it helps a teacher better understand what is happening in student’s brains as they develop. Knowing how a student thinks and learns can better help a teacher adjust how they teach to how the student learns, therefore making an effective learning environment.

Building Bridges

Litzinger, Vicki

ET, CO

Wong, Tracey. (2013) Building bridges. Library Media Connection, Oct2013, 32(2), p30-31.

Summary

Ms. Wong starts by being very clear about a rocky relationship she had with a principal over a difference of opinion regarding her professional responsibilities. She knew she needed to take the initiative, and through hard work and a lot of communication and advocacy, she overcame this “adversarial relationship.” (32) In this article she discusses how she “learned to stand up for myself” with “the five points on building bridges.” (32) The points are: building communication, building community, building partnerships, building relationships, and building resources.

All five points were about advocating for herself and her program by discussing, highlighting, and showing what her students did and were learning through her programming. Through building communication, Wong kept her principal informed of all the work she did specifically around grants and opportunities she brought to the school. For community building, the author created a newsletter where she she highlighted student work as well as the collaborations she was forming with colleagues. To build relationships with her colleagues, she made herself invaluable when they needed help with projects or classroom work. And she made a point of conducting professional development opportunities for her staff. Wong also developed community partnerships to plant trees and to bring volunteers into the school. Finally, building resources was about her continued work to bring in grant funding for special projects. She was so successful at this, that she was asked to write a grant for their at risk student population and brought in $144,000.

Overall, “building bridges” took a lot of time, energy, and commitment. However, the “180 degree” (33) turn that happened with her principal was all worth it.

Evaluation

I am constantly looking for practical, no-nonsense, suggestions of what I can do to advocate for myself and my program. Wong is very clear about the time and commitment it will take to “build bridges.” And as professionals, this article is very clear about constantly needing to build these relationships, partnerships, communications, resources, and communities. Yes, we will be recognized as the professionals we are and what we contribute to our programs and schools, but it’s our students who will win the most.

I Can’t do Inquiry! I’m on a Fixed Schedule!

Litzinger, Vicki

IL, CO

Fontichiaro, Kristin. (2014). I Can’t do Inquiry! I’m on a Fixed Schedule! School Library Monthly, 30(5), p 49.

Summary

A very short article, yet Fontichiaro provides several sound examples of how to build inquiry into your teaching even on a fixed schedule. She suggests making it part of storytime, break the inquiry process into smaller “targeted, mini lessons,” asking “teachers to swap planning periods,” or creating a club in which students do research on “current events.”

Evaluation

This article was an excellent reminder that undertaking inquiry in your library classes does not have to mean a huge project for you or your students. It is so easy to get frustrated given what we have to build into our 45 minute classes which also usually includes a book exchange time. So, we don’t get our entire 45 minutes for reading and teaching inquiry. I particularly appreciated Fontichiaro’s suggestion about building inquiry into storytime where we “model active reading and questioning,” and “point students toward resources that can help them answer those questions. Ask students to share answers when they check out.” An article of very practical, and easy-to-integrate suggestions.