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To Flex or Not to Flex… That Is the Question Presented by Pamela Kuck Instructional Technology Director CESA 8

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Presentation on theme: "To Flex or Not to Flex… That Is the Question Presented by Pamela Kuck Instructional Technology Director CESA 8"— Presentation transcript:

1 To Flex or Not to Flex… That Is the Question Presented by Pamela Kuck Instructional Technology Director CESA 8

2 The library media specialist plays important roles: Information specialist Information specialist Teacher Teacher Instructional consultant Instructional consultant Partner of the learning process Partner of the learning process

3 Significant change can occur with flexible scheduling Curriculum-integrated instruction Curriculum-integrated instruction Focus on the individual as learner Focus on the individual as learner Accommodation of students in a variety of ways - singly, in small groups, and whole group Accommodation of students in a variety of ways - singly, in small groups, and whole group Classes based on instructional need, rather than a fixed calendar Classes based on instructional need, rather than a fixed calendar Classes designed to support a classroom activity Classes designed to support a classroom activity

4 Common barriers to flexible scheduling: Traditional blocked time does not support a reason to be there or a connection with the classroom Traditional blocked time does not support a reason to be there or a connection with the classroom Coming to library on a certain day can be viewed as an escape from the classroom Coming to library on a certain day can be viewed as an escape from the classroom Media specialists are "trapped" in a rigidly scheduled program Media specialists are "trapped" in a rigidly scheduled program Administrators may fear the librarian isn't working when he or she isn't teaching a class Administrators may fear the librarian isn't working when he or she isn't teaching a class Teachers perceive library class as their prep time Teachers perceive library class as their prep time

5 Class visits to the library media center are scheduled to facilitate use at point of need. Any functions that restrict or interfere with open access to all resources,including scheduled classes on a fixed basis, must be avoided to the fullest extent possible." (AASL and AECT, 1988)

6 Instruction will have meaning if: It meets a need and can be applied to a current problem, rather than teaching in isolation It meets a need and can be applied to a current problem, rather than teaching in isolation Students can learn a library skill while simultaneously using it Students can learn a library skill while simultaneously using it Library resources are not separated from the classroom Library resources are not separated from the classroom We provide students with the intellectual tools to accomplish work in content areas We provide students with the intellectual tools to accomplish work in content areas We integrate the library into the classroom curriculum We integrate the library into the classroom curriculum Library media skills are used as a means to an end and not an end in themselves Library media skills are used as a means to an end and not an end in themselves We combine classroom teacher's subject expertise with the library media specialist's knowledge of learning materials We combine classroom teacher's subject expertise with the library media specialist's knowledge of learning materials

7 It makes sense: To bring students to the library when there is specific instructional need That what is taught in the library be integrated with what is taught in the classroom That what is taught in the library is taught when students need to know it

8 Benefits: Better management of library resources Better management of library resources More awareness of areas that need additional materials More awareness of areas that need additional materials More responsive to students needs More responsive to students needs Use not determined by a schedule Use not determined by a schedule Increased student interest in books and more enjoyment in reading Increased student interest in books and more enjoyment in reading Increased use of critical thinking skills in Increased use of critical thinking skills in students students More student access to the library More student access to the library Increased circulation of materials Increased circulation of materials More positive attitudes in students More positive attitudes in students More use of diverse, resource-based activities More use of diverse, resource-based activities

9 The importance of principals sharing the vision of the library resource center program as a collaborative partner in classroom instruction cannot be overlooked. The importance of principals sharing the vision of the library resource center program as a collaborative partner in classroom instruction cannot be overlooked.

10 Library media specialists in schools with flexible schedules: Engage in more consultation with teachers and develop more integrated units of study than do those with fixed schedules (ratio of 4:1) Engage in more consultation with teachers and develop more integrated units of study than do those with fixed schedules (ratio of 4:1) Teach more information skills lessons integrated with classroom instruction than those on fixed schedules Teach more information skills lessons integrated with classroom instruction than those on fixed schedules Conduct more assessment of student work than those on fixed schedules Conduct more assessment of student work than those on fixed schedules Plan more frequently with teachers and for longer periods of time than do than those on fixed schedules (fixed schedule spends up to five minutes planning with a teacher whereas flexible schedule spends more than thirty minutes.) Plan more frequently with teachers and for longer periods of time than do than those on fixed schedules (fixed schedule spends up to five minutes planning with a teacher whereas flexible schedule spends more than thirty minutes.) Foster more critical thinking in students Foster more critical thinking in students

11 Questions to ask: What are the services you would like to provide to children on an on-going basis? What are the services you would like to provide to children on an on-going basis? Which areas of the curriculum for each grade level will best integrate into the information skills and literature promotion programs you want to provide? Which areas of the curriculum for each grade level will best integrate into the information skills and literature promotion programs you want to provide? How can you accommodate for flexibility and meet scheduling requirements at the same time? How can you accommodate for flexibility and meet scheduling requirements at the same time? If this necessitates new thinking and new requirements of staff, how much support will your administration offer you to help make changes? If this necessitates new thinking and new requirements of staff, how much support will your administration offer you to help make changes? What are realistic expectations for change in one year? in two? in three? What are realistic expectations for change in one year? in two? in three? What will be the measures of success for each year? What will be the measures of success for each year? What are your criteria for the overall plan of change? What are your criteria for the overall plan of change?

12 You will still be teaching encyclopedia and skill lessons, literature enjoyment lessons, and production lessons, but these will be taught within the context of social studies, language arts, science, health, or literature. You will still be teaching encyclopedia and skill lessons, literature enjoyment lessons, and production lessons, but these will be taught within the context of social studies, language arts, science, health, or literature.

13 How to Start Be committed to the concept Be committed to the concept Get support and commitment from the principal Get support and commitment from the principal Work towards it in stages Work towards it in stages Explain concept to teachers and have them set it as a one year goal Explain concept to teachers and have them set it as a one year goal Plan inservice workshops for teachers on resource-based instruction Plan inservice workshops for teachers on resource-based instruction Start with one teacher, one grade level, one activity Start with one teacher, one grade level, one activity

14 Best way to make changes: Begin with your most supportive staff members Begin with your most supportive staff members Realize that your schedule has to be the most flexible Realize that your schedule has to be the most flexible Seek out new teachers, some of the strongest advocates for flexible scheduling Seek out new teachers, some of the strongest advocates for flexible scheduling Inservice teachers by providing information on the topic, examples, suggestions, alternatives Inservice teachers by providing information on the topic, examples, suggestions, alternatives Communicate staffing expectations in an enthusiastic, vocal, and articulate manner Communicate staffing expectations in an enthusiastic, vocal, and articulate manner Initiate change from the top -- Principals need to be the initiators of the change in library scheduling and program planning Initiate change from the top -- Principals need to be the initiators of the change in library scheduling and program planning Update and revise library policies Update and revise library policies Continuously evaluate and solicit feedback Continuously evaluate and solicit feedback Assess, modify, reject, and change Assess, modify, reject, and change Spend considerable time beforehand working through the idea with staff Spend considerable time beforehand working through the idea with staff

15 Teacher concerns: Lack of time for planning Lack of time for planning Loss of prep time Loss of prep time Fear of losing quality library time Fear of losing quality library time

16 Flexible scheduling does have a schedule. Schedules include the progression of the curriculum, the school's calendar, each grade's daily schedule, assorted duties, and planning time. Flexible scheduling does have a schedule. Schedules include the progression of the curriculum, the school's calendar, each grade's daily schedule, assorted duties, and planning time.

17 Role of the principal Require teachers and the library media specialist to plan together Require teachers and the library media specialist to plan together See that rules and regulations are developed in order to encourage maximum instructional use for teachers and students See that rules and regulations are developed in order to encourage maximum instructional use for teachers and students Assume the responsibility of making the media specialist and the teaching staff aware of the interdependence of classroom instruction and the use of the library media resources. Assume the responsibility of making the media specialist and the teaching staff aware of the interdependence of classroom instruction and the use of the library media resources.

18 Advantages of flexible scheduling Students and teachers use the library media center more often Students and teachers use the library media center more often Students make better use of the library media center since they use it only when they need to Students make better use of the library media center since they use it only when they need to Instruction is improved and research skills are encouraged Instruction is improved and research skills are encouraged Students become independent users of information Students become independent users of information Instructional gains are greater Instructional gains are greater Information skills are integrated into the instructional program Information skills are integrated into the instructional program

19 Problems to Overcome: Lack of resources to meet increased demand Lack of resources to meet increased demand Lack of space to meet teacher demands Lack of space to meet teacher demands Lack of time to meet the increased use Lack of time to meet the increased use

20 Useful Tools A master monthly calendar to keep track of who is coming in when and for what A master monthly calendar to keep track of who is coming in when and for what A binder divided by grade level to keep track of which classes and grade levels have achieved what skills, state standards, etc. A binder divided by grade level to keep track of which classes and grade levels have achieved what skills, state standards, etc. Library passes for teachers to give as students have a free minute. When they return to class, the pass is free to be used by another student. Library passes for teachers to give as students have a free minute. When they return to class, the pass is free to be used by another student. 15-minute weekly blocks scheduled with the aide for checkout time 15-minute weekly blocks scheduled with the aide for checkout time Planning forms on hand, including what objective will be met, which state standards will be covered, and who will be doing what. Planning forms on hand, including what objective will be met, which state standards will be covered, and who will be doing what.

21 Flexible scheduling is not for the easily flustered or the control freak: It requires patience, flexibility, compassion, and an enormous sense of humor It requires patience, flexibility, compassion, and an enormous sense of humor Its noisy Its noisy The shelves are more disorganized from increased use The shelves are more disorganized from increased use Resources are often tattered and scattered Resources are often tattered and scattered It requires one to think on their feet It requires one to think on their feet Lessons often change direction in midstream Lessons often change direction in midstream Library media specialists feel torn in several directions Library media specialists feel torn in several directions Budget cuts and shrinking resources can be a challenge Budget cuts and shrinking resources can be a challenge

22 You CAN create a flexible environment that will encourage your students to become lifelong independent learners and ensure that you become an integral part of the learning environment within your school You CAN create a flexible environment that will encourage your students to become lifelong independent learners and ensure that you become an integral part of the learning environment within your school

23 Is flexible scheduling worth it? Yes, yes, a thousand times YES!


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