Exemplary Elementary Media Program Open House

After weeks of pulling together projects from throughout the year to showcase to media specialists, the David C. Barrow Elementary Media Center open house finally arrived today.  Almost 20 educators form around the state spent the entire day in our media center asking questions, taking pictures, sharing ideas, and most importantly, listening to students showcase the work that they had created.

The morning started early with several media specialists arriving in time to watch our morning broadcast.  As more of our day’s guests continued to arrive, I spent time fielding questions the media specialist had about our program.  We focused on topics such as flexible scheduling, collaboration, research skills, pathfinders, fair use/creative commons, and more.

Next, Mrs. Hocking’s preK students arrived to show off the weather forecasts that they had created using our BTV studio equipment.  At each student showcase, I did an introduction to the projects, and then media specialists were able to walk around and view the projects and talk with the students who created them.  Even these smallest students were able to voice what they enjoyed about this project, and their teacher talked about the collaboration that went into the project and what she might do differently in the future.

The 2nd grade spectrum students showed off their graphic novels and walked our guests through the process of creating their own graphic novels and book reviews.

A group of 4th grade students showed off their Animoto book trailers and taught our guests the steps that go into making an Animoto using images from creative commons.

Another 4th grade group of spectrum students held a work session to continue producing their digital inquiry projects, and guests were able to see the work being developed and ask questions about how students had gotten to the point that they were at today.

Our 5th grade battle of the books teams held a practice today in preparation for the school competition which will take place next Wednesday.

Several 5th grade students shared their final products from the bigger, better, faster unit.  Their projects included power points, animotos, movies, glogsters, and combinations of all of the above.  After showing their final products, students showed their double entry journals and how they collected direct quotes from online sources and translated those quotes into their own words to put into the projects.  At the same time, the leader librarians, a group of 3rd-5th graders, shared their process for purchasing books for the media center that students would enjoy reading.  The media specialists had many questions about students making decisions about how media center money was spent on books, and the students did a wonderful job answering every question.

In fact, I was very impressed all day by how students were able to vocalize the process they had gone through to create their projects.  They taught the media specialist several web 2.0 tools that were new to them.  I’m sure that many of these tools will start to be used in these other schools.

The day closed with Mrs. Slongo’s class sharing the digital photographs of themselves and the poems that they wrote to complement their photos.  This project was a collaboration with art teacher, Rita Foretich.  Over several sessions students explored mentor poems, took digital photographs, edited those photos with Picnik.com, and wrote poetry that was supported through conferences with Mrs. Foretich and me.  Mrs. Foretich had the photographs printed at Snapfish and mounted them on matting board to create displays to sit on tables.  In April, the entire 5th grade’s poetry will be displayed throughout the media center for poetry month.

Today was an amazing day with many talented educators.  I can’t wait to hear about how spending a day in our media center inspires projects in other media centers across the state.

Still to come….a video clip of the day’s events and an article in the Athens Banner Herald.

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