Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Media and Its Messages

Seventh graders are coming to the library each week this fall to consider ways in which the media sends messages to us all through newspapers, magazines, radio and television and -- yes -- the internet. We began our examination of the mass media with newspapers, identifying the major components of the paper (articles, editorials and ads) and, in some depth, the parts of the front page. We had the great good fortune to welcome a speaker who is a new kindergarten parent at Lawrence: Ellen Clegg is Deputy Managing Editor of News at The Boston Globe and makes the decision about what gets featured on the front page! She led us through a typical day in the editorial offices of the paper, a fascinating journey. We thought about banner headlines, human interest stories, hot-breaking news... and found plenty of examples of each over a period of just a few days given stock market fluctuations and a lively election season!

Down the line, we will examine in more depth the impact of advertising and the difference between fact and opinion in the media we confront in our lives. It is startling to really consider how surrounded we are by media messages.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The First Full Week

Always, the first full week of school is a great one in the library. Teachers have already loaded up their arms with books from the library to have on hand as students come into their new classrooms. I have connected with almost every teacher the previous week to determine a time when their students can come to the library on a regular basis to talk about books, to explore resources and of course to sign out interesting reading material. There is good energy from summertime -- and good hopes for the school year. The bookshelves are more-or-less orderly, a goal we struggle with each day as literally hundreds of students and teachers come through the library on their various teaching and learning missions. We enjoy hearing students' tales of their reading adventures as they hand in their summer reading lists. We have new books to show them -- and new displays to put up. Everyone is excited!