Today is the last day of my break, so I am scrambling to get all of my to dos in, as I have been EXTREMELY slackful this break! The month of December was so busy, so it was nice to actually take some time for myself and family. I wrote about my personal year in review over at Bee in the Bookends.
-I got a grant to bring a ukulele program into the library (another blog about that coming soon!)
-I finished up my practicum and my last class at TWU
-I graduated!!!! I am officially a librarian!
|I LOVED decorating my cap, there were some great ones in the crowd. I wanted to get more pics on the TWU campus, but the rain said otherwise.|
A little bit of background.
-This is a kindergarten-5th grade school (about 650 students)
-I do not have an assistant. I do have the most wonderful paraprofessional that comes in for about 30 minutes a day to help.
-I am not on a fixed schedule.
Is this a perfect system.. NOPE.. but it is working for me :) (and of course I have room to grow and change with other ideas and as I learn)
The first six weeks of school, was teaching students/teachers and staff how to check in and check out books, how to sort books once they have been checked in, how to use the computers and all of those little odds and ends to make the library run smooth.
This is my fixed day card. Kindergarten is all on Wednesday and they have 45 minute slots. This is for a lesson along with check in and check out. Ever class, however, has a 30 minute time slot to check in and check out books. I encourage all my teachers to come at least every other week, but of course I really like to see students weekly. Although there might be free blocks of time on the fixed check in/check out schedule... it might not look that way on the flex schedule! During those first six weeks I also taught teachers how to run the circulation desk if I was working with another class during flex schedule.
The librarian has such an important role as an extra academic support on campus. I mean, we have the opportunity to work with every grade level, administration, and community members!
Last year, I did only the day card and every class had a 45 minute weekly slot. On A week they would get a lesson and B week they would not, but would always have that 45 minute class. Say it was a 4th grade class. I would do the same lesson for 2 weeks for 4 different classes. I spent lots of time on my lessons, I talked with the teachers, and I looked at curriculum. They were good lessons.. but they could have been so much better and more appropriate for what the students needed at that time to be successful. I wanted to be more intentional in my lessons and working with classes this year, so I have a modified flex schedule.
EDIT- Update 1/2/18-
I did A/B week rotations last year. I no longer do A/B week rotations. The weekly schedule of fixed times for check out stays the same. I hope to see each class every week, but I really stress that they at least come every other week during their designated check in/out time. I send out another weekly schedule for for all teachers to use for the flex lesson schedule. The flex schedule looks different every week based on the needs of the staff and students.
Hopefully that makes more sense.
Each week I send out a link to a Google Doc that has times for teachers to sign up for 45 minute slots. Of course this is still a work in progress. When I first started doing it, I only had a few takers for extra lessons. The library is still flowing with students for their fixed check in/check out time. But I have a TON of space for teachers to be able to use!
Now, it is an organized chaos (or at least I think it is organized) because there are times that I might have over 50 students in the library. 30 for a lesson in the flex schedule and 20 for a fixed check in/out schedule.
I continually look at the Google Doc and converse with teachers about what supports they need. By doing the flex schedule my lessons are much more on target for what is going to be useful for a teacher and students. Are my lessons always great.. OF COURSE NOT! We all have flops!
I also write all my lesson plans in Google so I can easily update and change as needed. When working with teachers and students I want to be intentional in what I am doing. I am a planner.. so I need to have everything written out and prepared
One of my favorite days of this new system was.. I had one group of 30 students working on research with their teacher in my large work area, I had a group of 20 first graders working on a different project that I was teaching in my story time area, and then I had 2 different classes come in to check in/out their books. Was it loud... of course. Did everyone find what they needed.. probably not. Was it showing that the library is a large classroom and the heart of the school.. it sure did make my heart happy.
So, even though there are spots in the fixed check out schedule and also spots in the flex schedule that are not filled.. I use those times to quickly organize books, shelf books, work on lesson plans, talk to teachers... and continually work on that list that I have. I have lots to learn, but I am so thankful to work in a school that has such supportive teachers helping me grow as a librarian and instructional leader.
How do you make your schedule work? What are your go to idea places?
Upcoming blogs- The Uke Can Do It Program, Extra activities that I do, and so much more!