Two Weeks In

The crowning experience of the SLT program is the two practica, which are carried out at the elementary and high school levels (though starting this fall, middle school will be an option as well).   In addition to a mountain of paperwork and a log that could possibly qualify as a lethal weapon due to its sheer weight, part of what we are meant to do is learn the ins and outs of being a librarian.  This includes not only shadowing our cooperating practitioner, but writing our own lessons, collaborating with teachers, planning activities, creating displays, doing our three minor projects, and, of course, teaching.

Yesterday marked the end of my second full week (though this week was a little off-kilter), so I thought it might be interesting to give you all an idea of what happens at a practicum at the beginning stages.

In the past two weeks, I have:

Introduced myself to the students and found out about what countries some of them have lived in

Written and taught the first lesson of my unit on nursery rhymes to kindergarten, including an animated discussion about the meanness of Mother Goose's goose (hint: it's a very mean goose)

Pulled over a hundred books from the fiction section to be considered for weeding, and actually weeded nearly 70 already

Discovered a whole heap of books that should be recatalogued, including some wonderful treasures that I plan to booktalk and promote in some way

Helped kids draw pictures about themselves using KidPix, and learning that favorite pastimes of some first graders include "building things with Lego," "skiing," and "going on mysterious adventures"

Attended the annual MSLA conference in Hyannis, where I learned of a whole bunch of nifty curation tools that I want to use for a research project

Suggested a poetry exercise to my cooperating practitioner, which developed into a unit on poetry with the fourth graders - this week, we wrote sense poems

Went to a district-wide department meeting with my cooperating librarian

I'm at my school four days a week, which is unusual, but I'm glad for the opportunity.  I've learned an incredible amount already, but the highlight is definitely working with the students.  Elementary school students are not only adorable, they're also bright, inquisitive, and fascinated by what they're discovering about the world around them.  It feels great to finally be putting everything I've learned into practice, and I hope to share more of my experiences with you all over the coming weeks.

School Libraries


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