Saturday, August 26, 2006

A bookcase, a curriculum, and LibraryThing

Last Monday I had to take the swimming pools from summer school to their storage place at the high school where the summer school principal teaches in the Alternative Program [Note: I taught math there in the school year 2004-2005]. He told me that the Alternative Program was getting rid of some things which were marked with a pink tag saying "Discard." I could have anything so marked. I ended up taking a bookcase (14 feet long), a desk, a file cabinet, and a computer workstation.

This photo is of stacking the desks so that the carpet could be shampooed. It is the only photo I could find that shows the finished carrels with the desks separated by the double-sided bookcases.

My summer school work with the autistic children introduced me to the TEACCH program. The classroom is arranged with a row of student desks separated by bookcases along the wall, effectively forming cubicles. Hence, my interest in the 14-foot long bookcase with plans to break it into 4 individual bookcases as seen in the photo above. Of course, the immediate problem was to move the bookcase. Howard agreed to help me. The school district could not move the furniture as the man who does the moving just got out of the hospital, so if I wanted to get my classroom set up before school starts (September 6), then I had to rent a truck and move the stuff myself. Fortunately, Howard discovered that the 4 bookcases each were attached by 8 bolts for a total of 24 bolts). For the move, we split the unit into 2. The truck was loaded and taken to my school by the end of Monday night.

For Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I was scheduled to work on integrating the English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum with science, social studies and math from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. each day. So I had to go early to school, get the custodians to help me move the furniture from the truck into my classroom, and return the truck before 9:00 a.m.! It was done!

It was fun working on the curriculum even though I was not finished by Thursday at 1:00 p.m. I am continuing to work on it and I am very happy to have had the chance to do this planning! I am locating a teacher's edition of our social studies book so I can complete the social studies.

Yesterday, I was reading the September 5, 2006 edition of PC Magazine where on page 50 they tell of LibraryThing. I first did a search on LibraryThing and I liked what I read. There is an interesting interview with the LibraryThing founder, Tim Spalding just a couple of months after he launched the site. I also found Delicious-monster which is doing a similar thing but only for the Mac! Delicious-monster allows one to catalog his/her library using a camera attached to a Mac computer and pointed to the ISBN bar code. Using the bar code, Delicious-monster puts in the rest of the information. I like that, but I would have to rig up the camera and buy a Mac. So today, I used LibraryThing where you can type in the ISBN number and the info will be added through a search. You can see a few books from my library here.

[Posted first August 26, 2006 on MySpace]

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