Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Tuesday Slice: The ability to think

I felt like a high school senior again, touring a college campus, peeking at what the cool older kids were doing.  It was my third time attending the Greater Austin Area Information Literacy Symposium, or GAAILS, and that feeling has always been the same.  Listening to sessions on research, adult learning, and information literacy geeks me out and gives me a perspective beyond the elementary school library walls.  I'm grateful that the coordinators invite school librarians to participate.

This year's offerings had more to do with my realm, as several sessions covered the collaboration between the librarians of Austin Community College and local districts' Early College High Schools.  It was heartening to hear that the research skills I'm teaching to my second through fifth graders are exactly what these older students need.  They may act as if they've never heard of citations or databases before, but the college librarians assured us that once they see the information again, a lot of students go "Oh, yeahhhh, now I remember."  

What was disheartening was the report on the decline of critical thinking in this age of quick news clips on a smartphone, an overabundance of extremely biased media, and clickbait.  Students--and adults--are quick to pass along anything that plays into strong emotions, without really thinking about the source or validity of the information.  Many don't read past the headline before sharing.  

I left the symposium with several resources to boost my information literacy lessons (did you know John Green has an IL video series?).  I'm scanning posts in my FB feed with more focus, skipping over stories with vague sources and sharing very little.  I'm taking more time to digest information before commenting.  I'm doing my best to think and explore more. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Tuesday Slice: Packing and pressing

What did the teacher of these students learn in training?
Photo by Corey Seeman https://www.flickr.com/photos/cseeman/8348973979

Yesterday in the library, three school nurses
Showed slides with wounds real and imagined
A leg blown off here, a bullet hole there

Facing the fairy tale section, I learned
To place a tourniquet "high to survive"
To compress a laceration without peeking

(It might disturb the clotting sequence)

Later in the science lab, three school nurses
Watched as we packed gauze strips into gouged rubber molds
Tightened a tourniquet on our own arms
Learned how to place a chest seal

(Vented on the front entry, plain on exit wound on the back)

We were assured that the techniques
Were tested and approved by The Committee
on Tactical Combat Casualty Care



(Just for the record, this BRAT
Briefly considered a career in the armed forces
Before being dissuaded
By her military father and brother)

Maybe I didn't escape the draft after all

At what point do I go AWOL?

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Tuesday Slice: Turning pages

He was sitting on the floor with a paperback picture book of Going on a Bear Hunt.  He had asked me to read it when I sat down for storytime, but I already had two books picked out to share from the library.  He acquiesced at that moment, but obviously hadn't forgotten his first choice when it came time for independent reading.

I am constantly reminding kindergarteners to turn their pages "at the corner, corner, corner", trying to avoid the tears in the middle of the page.  So when I see a pre-K student with a regular book instead of the board books I bring to share, I am extra-vigilant, just waiting for a page to be ripped.

But that didn't happen here. He sat by himself in the middle of the carpet, focused on the images and ever-so-gently turning the pages.  You could tell he was silently reading the story, if only by walking through the pictures.  I wasn't about to disturb that reverie with "at the corner, corner, corner."  

Leaving him be, I turned my attention to the table, where another insistent little boy coerced me into reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, forcibly turning the board book pages before I barely had time to finish the lines.  

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Tuesday Slice: There will be fun

I am doing something just for fun this upcoming Spring Break.

I don't know exactly what it is yet, but it will be fun.  And outside of the city limits.  There will be little to no shopping --I am weaning myself off of retail therapy.  Fresh air will be involved.  Maybe some art, maybe some learning.  Definitely good food, cooked by someone else.

My husband tried to poke a hole in my spring break dreams by replying to my request for fun with the need to declutter.  I countered with the fact that the reason our home is so cluttered is that we don't plan for fun.  We just sit at our respective computers and windowshop for hours on end until packages arrive on our doorstep and clutter up the house--a habit I've successfully worked on breaking this past month.  Until we address the "why", this decluttering process will be like shoveling snow in a blizzard.

My grand experiment this year is to spend money on experiences, not stuff.  The theory is that by switching focus, the currently owned stuff will lose importance, and will be easier to part with.  I was already planning on spending two or three days of Spring Break testing that theory by cleaning house--as long as I get to play, too. 

As God is my witness, there will be fun.