Everyone has to start somewhere

My journey as a teacher-librarian in the world of 2.0 and beyond

Everyone has to start somewhere

Timing

November 16, 2013 · No Comments · Uncategorized

The last few times I have been planning to move, things have happened faster than I planned.

If I remember correctly, I came up with idea to move overseas in 2004 and I think attended an information session that November. I looked at my debts, my car lease, apartment lease and all signs seem to point to finding a position for the 2006-2007 school year. I decided I would attend a job fair in early 2006, I browsed the websites of some of the schools that had been at the fair in previous years, prepared my application package in September and October and mailed it off. But then I repotted some plants the weekend of October 23 and that changed everything. The newspapers I laid down on the table were the Globe and Mail employment ads. My flatmate at the time wasn’t enjoying her job so I was reading out various ludicrous suggestions when I came across this ad for the Canadian International School in Singapore:

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I had missed the deadline for the Ontario interviews (I was living in Ottawa at the time) and something was wrong with my home Internet at the time but on Monday morning, I quickly edited the cover letter I had written for the job fair and emailed off my CV and references. Long story short I ended up with an interview that Saturday and by the next Wednesday I had been offered a job for second semester so I moved in January 2006 instead of August 2006.

When I moved to Singapore, I had an initial contract for two years but I thought I would probably stay for 5 years if things went well. By early 2008 I had decided that I would move on at the end of the 2008-2009 school year unless my position changed – which it did. I moved into the library in August 2008 and stayed for another 3 years which fit with my original 5 year plan.

Sometime in the first half of 2009, I went to a presentation by Gemma Sisia about The School of St. Jude in Arusha, Tanzania. It sounded like she was doing great work and I signed up for the e-newsletter but didn’t think too much about it. The December newsletter mentioned they were looking for a teacher-librarian which was intriguing but I didn’t think I could afford to take a year off so I let it go. Around the same time, a friend and I were planning a trip to East and Southern Africa for July 2010 and I thought about visiting the school. I made a donation to the school in January 2010 and got a reply asking if I would consider coming to volunteer for a year. I visited St. Jude’s at the beginning of the trip and then mulled over volunteering for the rest of the trip. By the time I flew back to Singapore from Cape Town in August, I knew I was heading into my last year there and that I was keen to return to Tanzania. The school year at the School of St. Jude runs from January to December so I figured I would go in January 2012. This meant being unemployed for the latter half of 2011 so I signed up to teach summer school in July. Shortly after I committed to that, I received an email from St. Jude’s asking if I could come earlier, say March 2011, and I ended up going in August 2011.

In October 2010, the principal and PYP coordinator of a school in Switzerland came to my school in Singapore. I was intrigued by the idea of a bilingual (French/English) PYP school and I was very impressed by the presentations and workshops they put on. I filed it away, thinking that maybe I’d look into the school after Tanzania.

I thought that I would stay at St. Jude’s until at least December 2012 and possibly longer. In January 2012, the teacher-librarian job was posted at the school in Switzerland. My initial reaction was that it was too soon so I couldn’t apply but then I realized that if I did get it, I could stay at St. Jude’s until August thereby fulfilling my commitment of one year. I applied, got the job and did just that.

I came here thinking that it would be good to stay for three years. One year to figure things out, a year to put things in place and a year to consolidate, job hunt and prepare to leave. (However my contract is only two years so I don’t have to stay three years.) I told myself last year that I was not to think about where to go next for fear of it all happening too soon. Job postings are starting to appear but I think I will stick with my original plan.

 

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Resign or Resign or Resign?

September 27, 2013 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

Although it is still early in the school year (for schools that follow a Northern hemisphere calendar), it is the time in many international schools when teachers whose contracts finish at the end of this school year need to decide if they are job hunting or staying put. Recently a couple of friends joyously posted on social media that they have resigned (signed again) and will be staying at their current school for at another year or two. I have been in touch with others who are resigning (handing in their resignation or stating that they will not be resigning) instead and looking for a new post. I have a feeling I will also be hearing from some who debated moving on but instead have resigned (reconciled) themselves to resign.

My contract is up at the end of this year but at my current school contract renewals don’t take place until February…

pencc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo by Andrew Magill: http://flickr.com/photos/amagill/85194577/

 

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Too much time online?

May 5, 2013 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

I spend a lot of time online and I often wonder if I should take a break from it all.

I read more articles online now and fewer novels. I jump between various apps and sites. I am guilty of checking my phone when I should be talking to the people I’m with. I check Facebook, Twitter and Instagram throughout the day (in spite of the first two being blocked at school). I often check social media if I wake up in the middle of the night to pee. I have three email accounts on my phone. I use WhatsApp to connect with some friends, Viber for others. I currently have at least 3 Words with Friends games on the go. I keep track of books I have read and want to read on GoodReads and check what others are reading to find more. I have an iPhone, an iPad and (an aging) MacBook and I am often using two of them at once (right now I have music playing on my phone and I’m typing on my MacBook). I have been known to check Facebook via the experimental browser on my Kindle in a pinch (ie during an 8 hour layover in Nairobi airport). The longest time I have been offline in recent memory was an 8 week trip from Nairobi to Capetown in 2010. (But even then I had things set up so I could send a text to Twitter which both created a tweet and cross posted to Facebook and I recall free wifi at a café in Stonetown, Zanzibar and a hostel in Capetown as well as once paying for some online time while we were at Vic Falls.)

This morning began how most of my mornings do – checking social media on my phone while still lying in bed. I usually start with Facebook, move on to email, check to see if it’s my turn to play on Words with Friends, look at photos and comments on Instagram and Flickr and if I still have time, take a pass at Twitter (I used to check it far more when my TweetDeck app still worked). On weekend mornings when I don’t have to be anywhere at any particular time, I follow more links than on weekdays and I often spend time catching up on NY Times top news and most popular articles as well. Yesterday was one of those days.

I had a lovely exchange via DM on Twitter with my friend Edna who lives in Melbourne, Australia. (Edna and I connected when she commented on a blog post of mine and a year or so later I spent a day with her at her school when I happened to be visiting a friend in Melbourne). In addition to being active on Twitter (@whatedsaid), she has an awesome blog that I love to read and I often pass her posts on to friends and colleagues (especially those not on social media). Edna is very supportive and encourages me to blog more. It came up today and I promised to blog at least once this weekend. She also asked if I had any examples of tech integration in middle/secondary schools. I said I’d check with my brother (@edtgraff) as he teaches high school history and often incorporates tech in his lessons and assignments.

One of the articles that struck me this morning was posted by my friend, Keri-Lee (@klbeasley):

KL and I worked at the same school in Singapore back in 2006-2007 and she was later one of the people who helped me develop a PLN on Twitter and increase my tech knowledge and skills though she was at another school by then. She also has an awesome blog. I think I had already read another article on the same topic the day before. As all this was going on my phone battery went flat so it turned itself off and I got out of bed long enough to grab my iPad. I plugged the phone in and when it came back on, I chatted with Edna on the phone while surfed other stuff on the iPad. Then my wifi quit working so I got out of bed and opened my (ancient white) MacBook to troubleshoot. It was being painfully slow so I texted my brother to ask if had any tips about Air vs Pro etc as I think it is time to replace it. I didn’t get a reply and his blog appeared to have disappeared so I sent him a PM on Facebook instead to ask about resources for Edna (using 3G on my phone). I then decided I might as well go to the grocery store and checked bus and train times using an app on my phone. I had just missed one so I tethered my iPad to my iPhone and surfed using both. A mutual friend, Adrienne (@amichetti), had replied to KL’s post with a link to the original article so then I read that one as well.  

 Adrienne and I met via Twitter and she ended up moving to Singapore shortly before I moved away. We met up a couple times during the overlap. We have kept up our friendship and she has become friends with quite a few of my Singapore friends. She blogs nearly everyday and I admire her short, succinct posts because I am not capable of frequent blogging or of keeping my posts short.

By that time I needed to head out for the next bus but first I checked the forecast on my phone to see if I needed to take an umbrella and to make sure I was dressed warmly enough.

While waiting for the train, my brother replied to my question about resources for Edna. I found out he hadn’t gotten my text because his phone was out of commission and he gave me tips about a new computer.

I also checked in on Foursquare which I don’t use much but I am connected to some friends there. I read an article about cooking food and early humans that I then emailed to the Year 3 teachers at my school as it relates to their current unit. Once I arrived at the mall where the grocery store is, I posted a photo on Instagram, exchanged texts with a friend who has been in the hospital this week, stopped at the book store, picked up a book for the friend, one for myself and two for the school library (but only after checking our OPAC to make sure we didn’t already have copies and checking the suggested ages and reviews via my TitleWave app). Then I headed into the grocery store where I checked my shopping list on my phone and checked the bus schedule to go home.

At home, my internet had healed itself so set up my iPad to stream CBC Radio, used my laptop to search for recipes – both new ones and ones I had saved to my Diigo account. I used online banking to change my password because the bank had emailed me to say there had been failed login attempts. I also continued to ponder the articles and how my life would be different without the internet and my smart phone. I sent a couple tweets to KL with a short list:

 

And decided I had my blog post for the weekend. But I didn’t just spend time online, I also made a potato, lentil and spinch soup; a tabouleh inspired quinoa salad; a fruit salad and a pan of brownies. I took all of these to over to my friend who had been released from the hospital and his wife and had a lovely dinner and evening with them. (I even left my phone alone until dessert when we were talking about their former colleague who now works with a friend of mine and couldn’t remember his first name. I checked my friend’s Facebook page and it happened that she had reshared a link he had posted so we had the answer.)

My day would have looked quite different without an Internet connection and it would not have been nearly so rich and connected. I won’t be going offline (on purpose) anytime soon. And now that the author of the article has pointed out that although there was an initial improvement in his quality of life, the internet was not the cause of his problems and without it he liked the person he was even less, I won’t feel like I should.

“My plan was to leave the internet and therefore find the “real” Paul and get in touch with the “real” world, but the real Paul and the real world are already inextricably linked to the internet. Not to say that my life wasn’t different without the internet, just that it wasn’t real life.”

 

 

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Reconnected

March 11, 2013 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

Last Thursday, I blogged about feeling “homesick” on my other blog. (Homesick is in quotation marks because I usually miss people not places and I haven’t even lived some of the places I miss.) Then I spent Thursday and Friday at an SGIS conference in Leysin, Switzerland (and I got to hear Stephen Krashen speak! But that’s not what this post is about).

My school blocks Twitter (that could be another blog post as well) but the school where the conference was being held does not so I was able to spend two days on Twitter and connect with friends new and old along the way. It made me realize how much I miss that connectivity.

At the conference there were only 3, yes 3, people tweeting. Me, my friend Kate and Glenn (a librarian at the host school). I realized pretty quickly that I was not in Asia anymore and it made me sad. At one point I sent out this tweet:

At a conference and there are only 3 people tweeting. #notinAsiaanymore Missing @librarianedge @klbeasley @colingally @louisephinney & more!

— Megan Graff (@megangraff) March 8, 2013

 

Within a few minutes I had heard back from both K-L and Colin and I missed them even more. However exchanging a few tweets with them and with others was good for my soul.

Today, back at home, I managed to catch up with several friends in Singapore via Facebook and Gmail chat (and to connect with @whatedsaid via Twitter too). Combined with bright sunshine and having gone for coffee (in France) this morning with a friend here, I am feeling more connected. It made me realize I need to make an effort to catch people online and maybe even go so far as to set up chat “dates”. When I lived in Singapore, I made sure I always had phone cards to call friends in N. America and Australia but when I was in Tanzania it was harder and  I got out of the habit and never got in the habit of regular contact with those still in Singapore. This carried over when I moved here. Now six months later I am realizing how much being connected is part of who I am.

I haven’t booked any flights as of yet and if I can catch my sister online perhaps I won’t need to…

Photo Credit: HikingArtist.com via Compfight cc

 

Update: I have changed the title of the post from Disconnected to Reconnected (but not the URL because I already Tweeted it) AND I caught up with my sister, my niece and my nephew via Facetime.

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Blogging in My Head

November 23, 2012 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

I do most of my blogging in my head. (That’s my excuse for there being so few posts on my blogs.) I blog in my head while walking to school and on buses, in line at the grocery store, in the shower, lying in bed and so on. But then I get in front of the computer, I check Twitter, Facebook, email, read a heap of articles etc and never get back to the posts floating around in my head.

My friend, Edna (@whatedsaid), who has a great blog, really hoped I’d blog more when I was in Tanzania but it didn’t happen. I thought it would. I figured I would have empty evenings that would lend themselves to composing posts but no. I filled them hanging out with friends or waiting for webpages to load (the bandwidth was painfully slow). I blogged in my head but that’s as far as it got.

I know that part of the problem is that I like blog posts that have pictures and videos and links to all sorts of interesting connected and tangential articles and posts but it takes time to put together those sorts of posts.

After an exchange on twitter in early October about blogging in ones’ head between myself, Edna and Tanja (@tgaletti), Edna sent us both an email suggesting that maybe it would be less daunting if we set up a collaborative PYP T-L blog as we could invite others to contribute thereby relieving the pressure to post more frequently. (How exactly I could blog less frequently than I currently do is a bit of an enigma…) My reaction to the email? I read it, marked it unread and it is still in my priority inbox waiting for me to do something with it. While I appreciate Edna’s encouragement to blog more and appreciate her suggestions of a possible solution, the thought of a third blog for me to neglect is too daunting. (The other blog I currently neglect can be found here.)

Two nights ago, I sent Edna a tweet with the topic of my most recent in my head blog post: ”gateway” books (ex. Captain Underpants and Rainbow Magic). She suggested I should bite the bullet and blog seeing as I had also tweeted about spending an hour replying to an email and said that the blog posts (that one and this one) wouldn’t take nearly as long. I did end up blogging that night but not about gateway books or blogging in my head. Instead I wrote about thoughts raised by the email I sent and posted it on my other blog.

Tonight Edna commented on that post and passed it along to Clive, Sir (@clivesir) who had the audacity to call me annoying saying I don’t blog enough. ;) Well it worked. Two blog posts have made it from inside my head to outside in 3 days. I wonder when the next one will emerge… and will it be about gateway books or some other as yet unknown topic? In any case, don’t hold your breath.

 

 

 

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In One Year…

August 26, 2012 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

In one year, I…

 

…met many people at St. Jude’s. Said goodbye to some who were here when I arrived, greeted those who arrived after me and said goodbye to those who left before me.

 

…made friendships that I hope will endure as more than the occasional post on Facebook as well as ones of that sort.

 

…encouraged over 500 students to read more.

 

…arranged an author visit that inspired many student writers and illustrators.

 

…cooked lunch over an open fire in a hut where goats sleep at night.

 

…only visited Gentle Hands once (and that was my only plane trip all year as well).

 

…took many dala dalas and a few local buses but never took a piki piki.

 

…ate makande more than I would have liked and enjoyed ugali more than I would have thought (the pili pili made all the difference).

 

…received lots of praise for my brownies.

 

…took more screenshots (while creating library procedure documents) than I am likely to ever take in my life.

 

…realized you can wear the same clothes over and over and not be bothered by it.

 

…stayed connected in spite of limited bandwidth.

 

…barely blogged at all.

 

…learned lots about managing colleagues (and even more about myself as a manager).

 

…lived simply and didn’t acquire many new possessions.

 

…came to appreciate electricity, running hot and cold water, and indoor plumbing.

 

…didn’t catch malaria or typhoid and had no major illnesses or health issues.

 

…swapped the mold of Singapore for the dust of Arusha.

 

…learned just enough Swahili to greet people and make them think I spoke it more than I do.

 

What will the next year bring?

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Field Trip to the Kenyan Border

October 2, 2011 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

Note: I’m posting this without photos or links because my internet has been down all morning and is still cutting in and out. I did put the photos in a Picasa web album that can be found here.

 

Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to join 4 grade six classes who have been studying human migration on a field trip to the Kenyan border.

We loaded on to three of the smaller school buses taking along buckets of drinking water, food, dishes and spoons. The students were doubled and tripled up in the seats and some were even sitting on the buckets in the aisles. Once everyone was ready, a student led us in a short prayer and we set out at about 9:15 am.

Before we departed it was announced that since we couldn’t bring along the chai that is usually served at morning break we would stop to buy juice and biscuits along the way. We stopped at one grocery store and several teachers who were on the other buses went in and came out fairly quickly. After another few kilometres we stopped for much longer at another grocery store, as it turned out they had been unsuccessful at the first. This time we had to wait for around 20 minutes but they did get what we needed.

Namanga is around 120 km from the school and the road is fairly decent. However by the time we got there, it was later than expected (nearly noon) and the immigration officer who was supposed to be our host was nowhere to be found. A couple teachers went off to see what they could do while we unloaded the students and set up to have snack. Buckets of water and cups were unloaded to set up hand washing stations and some of the students passed maandazi, biscuits and juice boxes to the others as they filed by the windows of one of the buses. I rustled up an empty box for the rubbish but the students quickly explained that it was ok to throw it in shallow pit where other things had obvious been burned. I chatted with students while various reports about the status of our guide trickled in – he had gone to the mosque to pray, he had gone home, there was another official who was willing to fill in but he wanted to know what was in it for him. I never did find out what the actual story was but eventually one man did give us a tour. In the meantime, I had learned the Swahili word for fart (jamba, not to be confused with jambo – hello), had a conversation with one student about why he plans to marry a mzungu (foreigner) instead of a Tanzanian (which included him gesturing to his schoolmates and saying, “These girls know my behavior.”), my marital status, age and why I didn’t have children, and plans for the student who wants to marry a foreigner to come to the library at recess the next day for a French lesson. The boys were quite disappointed that I had never met a premier league footballer face to face and that I didn’t even recognize most of the names of their favourite players let alone know which teams they played for.

Our tour started with the students gathered under a tree while the immigration official filled them in on the different sorts of passports and travel documents they issue to Tanzanians. The students carefully took notes and asked pertinent questions. Next each class filed into the departure office one at a time and as various people came in to get their passports stamped into to exit Tanzania the students stood behind the official on duty. He showed them what appeared on his computer screen as he scanned passports, let a student try the fingerprint machine and showed them immigration cards and the like. When the line got long, our guide also took care of some of the people and also provided a running commentary of what he was doing. Meanwhile I was merrily snapping photos of the proceedings. I still can’t believe we were allowed on the other side of the counter and that it was fine to take photos.

After each class had had a turn, we gathered together and walked out of Tanzania, across a short “no man’s land” and crossed into Kenya. Our guide went and found a Kenyan official who was willing to come out and answer a few questions for our students. I started to take some photos but some students were quick to point out that there was a no photos sign in front of the building.

We returned to Tanzania, loaded back on the buses and set out for school. After about 20 minutes or so on the road, we pulled over to have a late lunch (it was 3:30 pm by this time). Again hand washing stations were set up and some students set to dishing out plates of pilau (rice with bits of vegetables). One of the bus drivers filled a plate and passed it to a young Maasai boy sitting by the road. Another boy arrived a bit later, after all the food had been passed out but several of us contributed some of ours and we were able to give him a plate too. The driver also filled a 1.5 L bottle with water for each of them. A little later two Maasai men come along on bicycles with empty jugs draped over the backs. The students filled the jugs with our leftover drinking water. I’m not sure how they knew to come by.

We piled back on the buses and set out again. The students were energized by the lunch and it was a loud rowdy trip the rest of the way. By the time we dropped them off at the boarding houses it was 6 pm. It was one of the longest, dustiest field trips I have ever been on and I was exhausted. However the words of one of the immigration officers resonated with me. He was very impressed by the students’ questions and knowledge about the immigration process and had a long conversation with one of our teachers about the international curriculum and teaching methods that are being used at the school. The conversation ended with the official declaring that in 10 years time the students will bring about change in Tanzania that will move the country forward.

 

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A New Adventure

September 4, 2011 · No Comments · Uncategorized

I have recently moved to Arusha, Tanzania to be a volunteer teacher-librarian at the School of St. Jude. So far I haven’t managed to blog much but I did post a piece with some details here.

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“Lit Circles? Awesome!”

March 26, 2011 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

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Photo: Heping Village Primary School, Dongxiang County. Gansu province, China. Classroom. 2005 Photo: © Liang Qiang / World Bank. Used under a CC license.

Literature circles are on the long-range plans for our grade three students and most teachers start them in January. Last year, when I was scheduled to work with specific grade levels for certain blocks of time, I worked with our seven grade 3 classes when “lit circles” were introduced. Several teachers modeled the roles using picture books and one chose several picture books by one author (Graeme Base) at different levels for groups she chose to work with but most chose novels or quickly moved on to novels. Some let their students choose the novel or created a group that then chose the novel they would work on.

This year, my schedule is slightly different. I see all my classes once every two weeks which leaves me some flexible time when teachers can book me to co-teach their class or to work with them one-on-one during a planning period. About a month ago, one of the grade three teachers approached me to ask if I would be willing to help with lit circles again this year. I suggested we start using a picture book to model the circles and instead of switching straight to novels we have kept going. The enthusiasm among the students has been overwhelming! The quote I used as a title for this post is just an example of the positive feedback we have had from them. Last week at the request of another teacher (she is a very experienced teacher but had never used literature circles), I began working with her class. Her students are also extremely engaged and very excited about the process. (I have heard a rumour that a third teacher may be approaching me soon as well.)

Here is how we went about introducing literature circles using picture books with the first class and how we will be proceeding in other classes (with possible adjustments along the way – of course!):

Lesson 1 (~60 min): Talk about literature circles with the students (I compare them to my book club) and introduce the roles. There are many different roles and the titles for them vary – my most recent class chose:

  • Discussion Director – writes down “fat” questions to ask group members and leads the circle
  • Passage Picker – picks a passage(s) from the reading, reads it to the group and explains why they chose it
  • Word Wizard – chooses words from the story for a variety of reasons – new, interesting, vivid verbs, descriptive – looks them up in the dictionary if they are new to them, and shares the words and the reasons they chose them
  • Cool Connector – makes 3 types of connections to events in the story (text to self, text to text and text to world) and shares them
  • Artist (these students didn’t feel the need for a descriptor – personally I like “Illustrious Illustrator”) – chooses a part of the story to illustrate and share

Read a picture book aloud (I’ve used Graeme Base’s Jungle Drums a few times and it has gone over very well) and as a group complete the task for each role with the exception of artist.

Jungle Drums

Lesson 2 (~60 minutes): Let the students know that they will have their choice of one of the first 4 roles for a different picture book that you will read aloud. The teacher pre-selects 4 students to be part of a model lit circle during the third lesson. Read the book aloud, students complete their chosen task in their language notebooks. Some students may require extra time to complete their task and those that finish could also tackle the role of artist. Before the next lesson, the teacher reads over the completed written work of all students.

Lesson 3 (~30 minutes): Using a fish bowl model (or Socratic Circle if you want to be fancy), whereby the four students sit together knee-to-knee and the rest of the class sits in a circle around them, help the four chosen students run a literature circle. You can cut each job short if everyone seems to have grasped the task and “freeze” the lit circle to allow the input of those in the outer circle. I emphasize that I am not part of the circle; I am just there to support them.

Lesson 4 (~60 minutes): Pre-select a number of picture books of which you have at least 2 copies (4 is optimal). The number of titles can match the number of groups you will have but I like to have more variety than that. Briefly book-talk each one and then have the students select the one they would like to read – we set them out around the classroom so students could stand by the book of their choice. In one class, the teacher told the students there had to be 2 girls and 2 boys in each group. Once a book has 4 students, roles are selected and the group reads the book aloud together. Teachers can circulate and listen in on several groups or chose a particular group to sit with. As in lesson 2, students then complete their chosen task in their language notebooks and before the next lesson, the teacher reads over the completed written work of all students. Again we have let students who completed their task quickly also do an illustration.

Lesson 5: Now it is time to sit with each group as they run their lit circle. It often works well to have the class engaged in other independent work and call each group over one at a time. This could be done over the course of several days.

Repeat lessons 4 and 5 until each student has had the chance to complete each of the four roles. This means the groups change with each book and by the fourth round it can be a bit tricky to have everyone doing a new role. In one class we had a group with two word wizards and no discussion director so instead everyone in the group came up with 2 fat questions before completing their own role.

Do you have any literature circles tips to share?

Happy reading!

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One Sunday Morning on Twitter

September 26, 2010 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

Soundtrack for this post: Hello Beautiful Life – Skydiggers

There are many educators (and others) who are skeptical about the value of Twitter. This morning, several things occurred that would not have, had I not been on Twitter as I did other work on the computer.

1. I made a plan to visit Edna Sackson (@whatedsaid) at her school when I am in Melbourne in April.

This came about because I made a comment to a couple of teachers who had already commented her blog post 10 things you can’t just do on Monday in period 6… I arrived at the post because someone tweeted the link with a comment but unfortunately I don’t remember who that was.

As you can see we are both excited!

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2.  I exchanged tweets with my brother, Evan, a high school history teacher. In the process, I became aware that tech integration (which many of us are advocating for in elementary schools vs standalone ICT classes that teach skills isolation) isn’t the best model for secondary unless the students are digitally literate.

The conversation started over my tweeting a quote from the same blog post as above:

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Evan replied and here’s how it played out:

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And along the way Edna chimed in and included a link to a blog post by Iain Guest (@IaninSheffield) about discrete vs embedded ICT lessons.

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Guess what?

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And so does he!Screen shot 2010-09-26 at PM 09.51.14

3. I helped an HS special education teacher in Manila make professional connections.

Evan had mentioned that his colleague was having a hard time finding other special education teachers to connect with and he was encouraging him to try Twitter. He convinced Kevin to sign up (@KGStroudlusk) and I started sending him suggestions of people to follow. Within a few days, Kevin sent out this tweet:

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One of my suggestions was Shawn Ram (@sram_socrates), a spec-ed teacher in Alberta. We exchanged a few tweets and I told him about Evan’s quest to help Kevin.

Screen shot 2010-09-26 at PM 09.49.34And he has been posting links to pass on and using his connections to send more suggestions to Kevin.

Screen shot 2010-09-26 at PM 09.53.39Screen shot 2010-09-26 at PM 09.53.51(The link goes to this site)

Tomorrow Evan is going to help Kevin set up a Twitter client so he can more easily follow some of Shawn’s suggestions.

4. I helped my brother build his argument to take to his admin about why Facebook should not be blocked at his school.

Evan wrote this blog post and tweeted about it:

Screen shot 2010-09-26 at PM 09.51.27

I checked it out and sent this message out:Screen shot 2010-09-26 at PM 09.49.13

With minutes, one of my tweeps had sent it out as well:

Screen shot 2010-09-26 at PM 11.05.51

And within a few hours, Evan had several comments on his post.

5. I got invited to be our school rep for a student film fest being put together by international schools here in Singapore.

Screen shot 2010-09-26 at PM 09.56.50

If I hadn’t had a connection with Tyler (one that started and continues on Twitter though we’ve now met face-to-face a few times), he wouldn’t have thought of me.

6. I followed the tweets of some teachers who were in Hong Kong at an ICT in the PYP workshop.

Adding #ICTinPYP to their tweets, allowed me to follow along and see what different people were saying – not as good as being at the workshop in person but I did get some good ideas, I was able to share some of mine and this tweet about the wiki they worked on made me very happy!

Screen shot 2010-09-26 at PM 11.23.50

So after a few hours of all of this, I tweeted:

Screen shot 2010-09-26 at PM 09.49.48

To which my brother replied:

Screen shot 2010-09-26 at PM 09.52.07

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