Thing 31: Evidence Based Practice – Getting Started

This lesson has given me a lot to think about for a few days. I did not want to jump in right away. Instead, I read the articles and took a few days to reflect how the library program and I support other stakeholders’ goals, missions and visions. I kept a daily log for a few days of what I actually did:

Capture

I continued to reflect and thought how some people think I only check out books and read all day, but the evidence above shows different. Teacher-librarians wear many hats: teacher, tech/helpdesk, rep for meetings and these are only a small bit of what I do. Add program manager, PR, social media manager, manage a budget, order and catalog supplies and much more. But, how to effectively communicate all I do to my school community with evidence?

When looking to see if my program supported the school’s mission, I was shocked to discover the mission statement was not on the website. The overall district’s is available, but my school’s was not anywhere I could find. I know we have a mission statement, but with a district-wide website redesign, where is Granby’s mission statement? Has it not been posted yet? (Will look into this further with people).

So, I looked at the district’s mission instead:

“It is the mission of the Fulton City School District, in cooperation with students, parents and the entire community, to enable students to develop the knowledge and skills needed for relevant, lifelong learning and to become responsible, respectful, and productive citizens.” Fulton CSD Mission Statement: http://www.fultoncsd.org/ 

I looked at my program’s mission statement and it somewhat supports the district’s by teaching students skills (information literacy, tech) and provide “access to diverse materials to engage academic and personal interests.” I think I need to edit my mission statement a bit more to coincide with the district view. First, I need to recall Granby’s mission statement, too. I hope to edit my mission statement for the next part of this lesson to match Granby’s and the district’s more effectively.

Additionally, I do keep track of statistics each month:

  • Materials circulated
  • Visits to the library (free read, AR program, makerspace, book exchange, research, computers)
  • Check outs for technology (ipad cart, labs, laptop carts)

I would like to put all this information into an infographic annual report at the end of the year, instead of a Google Doc. The visual might be more effective and eye-grabbing. I looked at some on Pinterest. I thought I could take photos of students during an exit ticket using thumbs-up/thumbs-down method or working on a Google Form.

At the end of the year, I could have students take a survey asking what has helped them this year and what they would have liked to learned that they didn’t learn. I did a similar survey with students for an autobiography project, and many said they would have liked to use a new tech tool-to challenge them more. I am taking the data and reflections to revamp this project for next year. Their feedback helped immensely.

For student data, I use Google Forms or Schoology for most of my exit tickets to ensure students have understood a concept of a lesson. I look at the data to see if I need to reteach. I do have some print exit tickets, and look at this data the same way.

I also need to take a closer look at the CCLS and the IFC standards to see what skills crossover and communicate to my community that I help students with these skills, too. (Example: Understanding character, setting and plot in first grade).

I am excited about this project; it will be a long-term project, but it is something that needs to be done. I will have three years under my belt at my school and it is time to up my game even more to help students and school community.

Here are some things I need to do in between now and the next lesson:

  • Find my school’s mission statement and edit mine to match it
  • Post my new mission on the library’s website
  • Keep collecting evidence and statistics to store until it is time to make an infographic
  • Continue a log of projects I do and a daily journal of activities completed at school
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Thing 2: Photo Fun

Pixlr

For this lesson, I wanted to try a new photo-editing tool. Looking through the options, Pixlr caught my eye. I wanted something that looked user-friendly. I uploaded some photos from a New England vacation last summer to use in Pixlr. The Express option proved to be a better-fit option because I wanted a simple editing tool. It was easy to use and I appreciated the number of options that came with the Express version.

I thought how I could use this tool at school, and some options came to me:

  • For the school’s Facebook page. Something as simple as brightening up the photos or adding a border would spruce up the photos that are posted
  • For a makerspace class. I toyed with the idea of using PhotoShop, but that might be too advanced for one class. Pixlr appears to be a more effective photo-editing tool to use for one
  • For an autobiography project that one of my grade levels complete in the start of a school year. Students could edit their photos instead of simply inserting them into the tech tool
  • For sixth-grade ancient civilizations curriculum. Students could find a photo of a well-known monument of that time period and edit that
  • Find a photo through a website that has photos under Creative Commons or the Public Domain. Edit that photo for a lesson about copyright of photos

Big Huge Labs

I have known about this site, but I would like to use it more this year. For a sixth-grade unit, students will research a Greek god, goddess or creature. Instead of a traditional presentation, I will have students create a trading card for the final project instead. However, I thought that a few things will have to happen first before students create the card, as we will only have 25 minutes in class to complete this. Prior to making the card, students will have to:

  • Have the photo saved to their drive for a fast upload
  • Already have written the profile/info so all they will have to do is copy and paste into the website