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Action Research in the Library (Part 1 of 3)

In my Action Research Grant proposal, I combined technology tools with centers based learning to create an innovative model for instruction in the media center. I developed this model in order to address the achievement gap in Kindergarten students (in literacy) at my school.  My main goal was to move these students forward to proficiency by the end of the year so they would be ready for first grade; the crucial reading year.  But, in addition to academic goals, I wanted to create a different kind of learning environment in my media center.  As we all know, learners have changed and continue to change.  Young people expect to be involved in the action, they want to “do”, not watch, and they want to use technology to learn.  My hope was that a model that included technology, movement, group work and lots of talking would be a better way to help my students master basic literacy skills—as well help me keep the sanity with classes of over 24 students and no assistant!

Many of our students come to Kindergarten without a quality preschool foundation, and many come with very limited Standard English literacy skills.  I worked with the Kindergarten team to identify six basic literacy skills that our students need to develop the most, in order to catch up and be proficient by the end of the Kindergarten year. We looked at assessment data for incoming Kindergarteners and proficiency benchmarks for EOY Kindergarteners in order to choose specific instructional goals for each of the centers. 

In addition to the literacy goals, I wanted to address the social-emotional needs of my students.  Because of socio-economic issues, many of our Kindergarten students do not have the advantage of a quality Pre-K (or any previous school experience) and therefore many lack basic skills crucial to success in the collaborative framework of 21st century learning.  Because of this, I chose centers based learning with technology tools that required students to communicate, cooperate and collaborate.  The centers were designed to require oral communication skills in order to complete the work.

I had six centers in rotation: Listening center, Sequencing, Retelling, Letters/Sounds, Vocabulary I (matching visuals with oral/written word),  and Vocabulary II (working with targeted words from the featured story).  Most days the class would have time to complete two of the centers within the class time.

I began each lesson rotation with a read aloud story (for example “Biscuit Goes to School”) projected on the Activboard (whole group).  Students would then move to the centers.  The center work is directly tied to the featured story.  We would end each lesson back on the carpet, giving students the opportunity to talk about what they had learned and/or share work and give one another (positive) feedback. 

In my next entry, I will go into more detail about the technology tools I chose for each center and how they support the specific literacy skills.

-- Melissa Chiti, Media Coordinator

   Glenn Elementary School; Durham, NC

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Comments on "Action Research in the Library (Part 1 of 3)"

Comments 0-5 of 2

Sherri Kilby - Saturday, September 06, 2014

Are you presenting at the conference?

Sherri Kilby - Saturday, September 06, 2014

I absolutely love this idea and will try this myself. I would love to read the rest of the story first...when will part 2 and 3 be published?

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