My name is Terri Curtis, and I am the teacher librarian at Madison Elementary in Norman, OK. Our school is located a couple of blocks from the University of Oklahoma. Our school is a diverse school (especially for the middle of Oklahoma) with learners from many backgrounds… languages, ethnicities, socio-economic levels. We are a school that has quite a lot of behavioral issues and students coming to school with baggage. We have lots of students enrolling and withdrawing all the time, something like 20% each semester. It’s a lot of turnover. It can make teaching them a challenge, but it means that we are constantly getting new perspectives thrown into the mix.
This is my third year as a teacher librarian, all of which have been at Madison. I should probably mention that I love my school. I love the kids. I love the other educators. My principal is super supportive of libraries and encourages me when I want to try something new. My district is supportive of Guided Inquiry and best practices for libraries. The librarian network in Norman is amazing. There is always someone I can bounce ideas off of and get feedback. As a school that is always welcoming new students, the educators in my building really work together to do what is best for kids (and sometimes just to make it through the day). For the past 2 years, I have done at least one Guided Inquiry unit with each grade at my school (PreK-5th) and we are now circling back and many are ready for another unit to finish the year.
This week I would like to focus on Guided Inquiry with students who are not yet readers: both younger students and older students who struggle. I will be pulling parts from GI units that I have done this year with younger grades. I’d also like to focus on planning and implementing guided inquiry with teams of people who have not been trained.
This is my second time to blog. The first time I did I was a library assistant for a middle school in Norman. I’ve learned a lot since then, but you can find my first post here.
I’m looking forward to reflecting and sharing.
–Terri Curtis, Madison Elementary, Norman, OK