Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Evaluation Done & I Hit Every Section on the Librarian's Rubric

I have been teaching for over 30 years. You would think that I would not get nervous about being observed by my principal. She has certainly popped in the library many times while I was teaching a class. However, having a formal teacher evaluation did make me a bit jumpy. If you would like to read the rubric used to evaluate school librarians in Louisiana, open here.

To plan for this event, I knew that I had to do a collaborative lesson with one of my teachers. I selected the biology teacher because we have worked together before, and she was going out on maternity leave. I knew that having me work with her students for two 90 minute periods was not going to eat into her teaching time. Together we decided to do a project on human diseases. Last year, after her students completed the Louisiana end of course test (EOC), they told her there were some topics on the test that were not covered in class. How technology is used to diagnose and treat human diseases was one of those areas.

We first talked about what kind of product the students would produce. The students in groups of two would create a brochure describing causes, pathogen, chain of infection, symptoms, treatment and prevention as well as technologies used for diagnosis and treatment. The teacher and I selected 8 different diseases with different characteristics, so the students could share their findings. Since I wanted the students to research electronically in reference books and websites, and I wanted them to visit sites that offered accurate and reliable information, I created a Livebinder that they would use for this project. See the Livebinder embedded below.

Click here to open this binder in a new window.


Then I created a pathfinder for the students to use that would lead them through the different resources for all the required information. The pathfinder is embedded in the Livebinder on the first tab, and you can download it. Within the pathfinder, I asked students to look at authority, currency and accuracy of the various websites. 

I knew some of the weak areas that the students had in information literacy. I had given them a pre-test on Trails to assess their skills. I developed a short list of high level questions that would help them with these weaknesses. I know that many teachers get points counted against them during their evaluation for not having high level questions in their lesson. I was worried that I would forget my good questions. I created a script of questions, typed them in Evernote, and then used my iPad mini with Evernote open to the questions, so I would have them at my fingertips. 

Students working on their brochures
The lesson began with the questions. Then I went through the Livebinder tab by tab very quickly to explain what the students would find under each tab. Then the students began the pathfinder. I circulated around the room answering questions, asking questions and helping the students with their searches. Then the next day the students returned to the library to take the information literacy post-test and complete their brochures. What a nice holiday gift to have this behind me. The lesson was very successful, too because the teacher remarked that she plans to use it again next year. 

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