Standing desks?

If it is good enough for Claude Monet, I should take this idea seriously! Public Domain image via Wikimedia Commons

This idea has been floating around the internet for a little while now. I just read an article about trialling standing desks with students at school, using pedometers to measure activity levels over time, which said that the measurements showed increased activity across all grades, the younger the student the more they moved about. Anecdotal reports from teachers claimed higher attention/engagement from students too, although this was not specifically measured – that sounds like a great opportunity for someone (not me, but someone in the education-engagement research field).

Working in a school library I have break-time supervision duties every day, and often find that the easiest way to get some work done while keeping an eye on my customers is to put my laptop or iPad on the end of a bookshelf right in the middle of the Library. I am able to answer emails or read articles while still being aware of what’s going on around me, and I am very easy for students to find when they need help.

Looking around my office with built-in cabinetry, I am not sure how I could change this space to allow a standing desk with or without a stool… I suppose some kind of mini-table or shelf arrangement on top of my existing desk would work…

A quick online search and I have found an excellent set of ideas here, a Pinterest collection here, an amazing idea for putting a desk over a treadmill to keep you moving gently all day here, and of course Lifehacker has a collection here.

I am quite interested in trying this, but will have to think further about what I can do to set it up in the space I work in.



Things I am reading about online…

I do this a lot: check on my Twitter feed, click a few links, think “wow, so cool, how interesting”, or “I don’t agree with that” and then move on. Similarly with reading blog posts from educators I follow, or articles in various online or print media – I read, reflect, and tackle the next job.

Today is a Tuesday, which means I have only one class (I make up for this with heavy days on Monday, Thursday and Friday, and an extra dose of meeting on Wednesday). So Tuesdays are the day when I can tackle that flicking through tweets, reading professional articles, plan lessons, work on the Library displays, tidy my desk… well maybe that last one gets neglected. Perhaps I should also make Tuesdays my day for blogging?

Anyway, this morning I am thinking about an upcoming ASLA Tas mini-conference, where I am going to speak about the role of social media in professional learning, so I’ve been cruising through my Twitter stream and reading very interesting things!

Thing 1# The Art of Listening by Library Girl. She talks about her first day at her new school, finding out that she was supposed to be prepared for a staff activity and having to come up with something on the spot. This turned out to be a fantastic opportunity for Library Girl and her staff to really focus on the role of the school library and how they could work together. I am really inspired by this and would love to try something similar…

Thing 2# Online Building Offline Relationships by George Couros. This blog post reminds us that online vs offline is an artificial and unhelpful distinction. The video at the end of a young teacher using an online form to better connect with her students is great. George also links to two posts by Dean Shareski on the topic of “digital dualism” – here and here.

Thing 3# September is here! September is here! by Nikki D. Robertson. Nikki helps to run the TL Virtual Cafe – I think that I have been neglecting a great opportunity to learn from other TLs by leaving this in the ‘Different Time Zone- Too Hard’ Basket. The TL chat at 8pm Mondays is 10am here – halfway through my one and only lesson, but surely I can catch up after recess? Nikki has links to lots of other ways to connect with and learn from other TLs, so I am keen to look through these, especially the Global TL: Librarians Without Borders Google+ community.

Thing 4# The stream from the PETA conference today #petaaconf is interesting too.

Thing 5# The Book Chook always has something worth reading, and in this case something worth watching! Enjoy 🙂

Michael Rosen performs We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Reading, at last!

Book Week approaches apace, which means it is the season to be reading shortlisted titles to my classes, and for my own amusement as well!

Today I read Windy Farm by Doug Macleod and Craig Smith to my Kinder classes; I loved the silliness of the illustrations bringing out the true quirkiness of Doug’s ideas! There are also many subtle jokes in Craig’s illustrations, and each time I read it (three different Kinder classes) I found something new to make me giggle. I am looking forward to reading it with Preps and Year 1, as children pick up different qualities from stories as they get older. The little Kinder boys were very concerned with absolutely literal ideas and personal connections (I’ve seen a chicken!), while some of the humour floated past them. I am looking forward to the other classes who may pick up on jokes without any explanation (eg making selfish, greedy uncle sleep with the pigs).

I read another funny book today, by Barry Jonsberg: My Life As An Alphabet. I picked it up to flick through and couldn’t put it down – the main character/narrator is hilarious in the most unintentional way! At one point (involving almost drowning, only to be saved in the most peculiar fashion), I laughed till I cried, prompting my Library Tech to come down and see what was going on at my desk. This is a very funny story, but also quite touching – Candice’s family is falling apart and she decides to do something about it, but both her methods and the results are quite unique and unexpected. I don’t know how I would share this with classes, other than picking out the seasickness page to grab their attention, but it is one I will promote quite heavily!

I am looking forward to reading many wonderful books with my classes this term, rediscovering the fun of exploring new titles with the older classes, Too often the joy of story can get buried under the weight of timetables and curriculum outcomes, but Book Week provides a welcome chance to bring books up front and centre!

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