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in the hoosegow

Thursday, February 22, 2007


We had a fairly large group of high school students in today (70+) working on in-depth research papers. We planned a fairly loose day of instruction, free searching/retrieving time, more instruction, etc. The group was split into two groups so I am not sure how things went down in the other class, but in my room, it was like this:

Me: okay, so that's how you use the catalog. Take this time to search for some books, go get them, and make sure you're back here by 10:35.

Some of Them: okay, cool, I'm going to take advantage of this huge research library and get some stuff done!

The Rest of Them: can't we just go to lunch? This is stupid. I know how to use a library already.

I begin to realize my mistake, which was to not have a more structured approach to the day. Some classes do well with large amounts of free time and others do not. The rub is not knowing the first time around which type the class is going to be. Repeaters, now I can usually remember what they were like last year and plan accordingly. I did have some good interactions with the kids though. One girl said to me, in response to my asking her if her searches had been successful, "I figured out what my topic is going to be!" She had, and it was an excellent topic, and I helped her find some related materials.


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