Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Visitors from Irvington, NY

L to R: Christina Rosenblatt, LMS K – 3; Greer Fischer, Assistant Superintendent;
Jackie Richardson, LMS 4-5; Joann Malloy, LMS 6 – 12;
missing from photo - Jesse Lubinsky, Technology Coordinator

Today five visitors from the Irvington, NY public schools (pictured and named above) visited four of our schools to observe the ITL program. They specifically wanted to see instances where technology was integrated into the library media program and/or examples of collaboration between a library media specialist, a technology teacher and a classroom teacher.


8:30 AM -- We all met at Long Lots School. Barbara Eilertsen, LMS, and Michael Brownstein, technology teacher, worked with 12 5th graders who produced the daily school news program in their TV Studio. Spanish teachers explained the history of Cinco de Mayo, students read poetry, happy birthdays were given, and summer programs were advertised. Brian Fagan, assistant superintendent, welcomed the group and time was spent discussing our ITL scope and sequence and curriculum, our ITL committee structure in our schools and the process of TV production at LLS.

9:20 AM -- The 5 visitors and I, in role as the EARTH MIGRATION BIOME DECISION-MAKING PANEL from the planet SHTAM (named with the first letters of each of the 4th grade teachers involved: Sullivan, Harper, Taft, Ackerman, Malbin) observed four presentations from Phaedra Taft's 4th grade. Michael Brownstein and Barbara Eilertsen had collaborated and worked with Phaedra Taft and her class on a study of biomes. This activity had been planned as a "Big Think" -- a final activity designed to promote higher level thinking. Each presentation focused on which biome should be colonized by the people needing to leave the overcrowded planet of SHTAM, and the Smartboard with Notebook software was used in the presentation. Two groups chose the Andes mountains, and two groups chose the rain forest. The "SHTAMIAN PANEL" questioned each group and could not decide between the mountains and the rain forest. Students were asked if they could add new facts to persuade the panel to change their decision. (Some new content was provided in a very emotionally charged final plea to colonize either mountain or rain forest regions.) Ultimately the panel decided to give the SHTAMIANS a choice to settle in both regions, with the thought that trade between the two regions would be beneficial. The students suggested that mountains and rain forest exist next to each other in Bolivia. Watch out Boliva -- The SHTAMIANS are coming!

10:50 AM -- Bedford Middle School for a very quick visit. In the library media center we spoke with Rita Hennessey, LMS, about the 7th grade Science research project that was in progress in the media center - Techford Area. We moved to the technology lab where Kathy Fleming, technology teacher, was working with a group of 7th graders on video editing.

11:30 AM -- Staples High School. Julia Roberts and Robin Stiles, library media specialists, prepared several handouts and a DVD for our guests. While we enjoyed lunch, Robin and Julia talked about a new assessment program for ITL skills (TRAILS) that they are piloting with some 9th grade classes this year, which will hopefully be given to all 9th graders next year. They talked about some of the features of their library media program. Natalie Carrignan, director of instructional technology, gave an overview of some district ITL accomplishments and described some works in progress (such as the implementation of an Internet Safety Curriculum in the 2009-10 school year).

1:00 PM -- Coleytown Middle School. John Horrigan, library media specialist, provided an overview of a 6th grade French class working with French teacher, Sharon Gardner, on a study of Quebec. Students used a rubric to prepare a topic, conduct research and present results in a Photostory. [For information related to the class: http://cms.westport.k12.ct.us/cmslmc/foreignlanguages/Quebec.htm]

At 1:25, after visiting the TV Studio we went to a computer lab where Deb Perry, technology teacher and TV coordinator, worked with 8th grade students to setup an electronic portfolio in Blackboard using the content of their recent research projects on green technology topics. John Horrigan worked with the students on this project as well.

2:00 PM -- Irvington Public School visitors returned to New York. It was great to share information and technology literacy stories and activities with each other.

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