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Action Research in the Library (Part 2 of 3)

In my grant proposal, I combined technology tools with centers based learning to create an innovative model for instruction in the media center. My goal was to address the achievement gap in literacy in Kindergarten students.  In my first post, I went over the basic model that incorporates technology, movement, group work and lots of talking in order to impact achievement.  In this post, I will go into more detail about the content of the learning centers.

We began each lesson with a simple story, example: Biscuit Goes to School, at the Activboard.  This ensured that every student had exposure to the story, and an opportunity to identify the basic story elements with plenty of support from teacher and other classmates.  Then we would move to center work where students would respond to the story using technology tools.

For example, students in the “sequencing” center would use the “Paint” program to create a picture of an event from the story.  They could choose Beginning, Middle or End.  Students were required to verbalize their choice before they could begin to “paint.”  After class, I would print the work and we would use this in a later class to give students a chance to share (present to group) as well as give constructive feedback (peer feedback: start with something positive, then offer suggestions).

In the “retelling” center, students partnered with a classmate and asked each other “what was your favorite part of the story?”  When they were ready, they used a flip camera on a tripod to make a “movie” of each other telling their favorite part.  At the end of class, we would share one or two and practice celebrating the work accomplished as well as peer feedback.

In the “vocabulary” center, students used the Activboard to click and drag pictures to match with vocabulary words taken directly from the story and then they would use the pens to write the word below the image.

In the “Letters” center, students went to and completed a series of five activities (in increasing difficulty) in order to demonstrate mastery of the alphabet.  I kept track of mastery by using a roster of students’ names for each class and awarded a special colored sticker as each activity was accomplished, similar to “belts” in karate.

We ended each lesson in whole group on the carpet, giving students the opportunity to talk about what they learned, share work and give each other feedback.

-- Melissa Chiti, Media Coordinator
   Glenn Elementary School; Durham, NC
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Comments on "Action Research in the Library (Part 2 of 3)"

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Mona Diggs - Monday, November 10, 2014

I love your idea of doing centers in your media center. I have been researching this idea. I just wasn't sure how to manage all the movement during this time. Can you tell me how long your class periods are? Do you have to do check in /out during that time period? Do you have an assistant working with you? I love the idea of using the flip cameras with the students. Did you have to do a mini lesson teaching them how to use the flip cameras before you started this center? I guess I am trying to figure out how your started with the students using centers with them and managing the behaviors in your media center during that time? Can you tell a little more about setting things up? I love your center ideas. Do you do centers with all your media classes? If so, how do you go about changing out your centers from one class to the next? I am on a fixed schedule with very little time between classes. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Sounds like you are doing a great job!!

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