Literacy Warrior in Millennial Era

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I still remember when I walked into a school library for the first time. I was in second grade of my junior high school. The room was a dim light, dusty, and full of thick books. I really had no idea what kind of books that they had. So, I decided to take one book titled “AKU’, written by Sjuman Djaya, a story of Indonesian poet, Chairil Anwar. I read it for five minutes and I didn’t understand at all. Then, I asked the librarian where the comic books or fantasy books were. But she said there were no such thing as comic books, there were only students’ workbook or Indonesian literature. Since then, I never came to my school library anymore.

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The Power of Library

“We are in a library. The best weapon in the world”. – Doctor Who.

In 21st era, library is not only a place for reading books but also has become the necessities in our life. It is essential in a process of giving someone access to knowledge. Thus, a library will remain for a quite long time. Along with the progress of digital technology, library will also adapt and develop into a futuristic edge of digital information where people can also do research for every single thing in the world. As one of the most powerful place, library becomes one of the core at school. At Sekolah Cikal, library not only provides resources to support teaching and learning, but also turns to be a space where students engage with information and develop the confidence to locate, evaluate, and do research about anything they love. Sekolah Cikal also dedicated its library to give opportunity to all teachers to conduct lessons with all advantages of the latest technology.  Yes. Library has the potential to be hubs of learning for the entire community.

The Essential of Librarian

Being a librarian was actually my dream, I always imagine myself surrounded by books, read it every time I want to, buying books and put it on the shelves . But that dream disappeared by the time I met a-not-so-friendly librarian at my school. Then I asked myself: “Is librarian always THAT boring and ignorant?”. Luckily, I had an opportunity to be a part of Sekolah Cikal, which has a very homey library! After one year I spent my life as a Teacher Assistant at Sekolah Cikal, I finally had a chance to be a Librarian, even I did not graduate from librarian major. And I took that as my turning point. At Sekolah Cikal Library, I see that librarian is essential for the school. Librarian also becomes one of the biggest supporter for students’ learning process.

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Like I ever imagined, I do not only  general works of librarian, like shelving, inputting books data to the system, purchasing books for students and teachers but also learn how to distinguish book based on students’ reading level, do storytelling for students, make engaging activity about the book or library skills. In this millennial era which has sophisticated devices everywhere, books become least favourite thing. each students’ reading desire. Making library alive and fun!

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For me, those are so challenging and exciting at the same time. Student librarian is one of library programs for students whom practice to be a librarian and they are super excited about that. They come to the library at lunch or snack time then help to shelf or do book circulation for anyone who wants to borrow or return books.

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Teachers always provoke the students to read one book per day. Each student has a Webbook to note any books that have been read. Library also provides students with variety of books from the classic to the newest. So, library will become their source to relax their mind with any kind of books.

The image of an old librarian woman who wore thick glasses had suddenly disappeared from my mind. I really believe, every librarian out there should be the literacy warrior in this millennial era.

Annisa Novia Pertiwi – Librarian (Sekolah Cikal Cilandak)


Constructing Meaning – the Literacy of Numeracy

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“It is important that that learners acquire mathematical understanding by constructing their own meaning…”

So how can children make sense of, and then competently use, the language of mathematics? This article looks at ambiguous language and operational language.

The following interaction between a teacher and student was recorded.

T: Can you calculate the volume of this box?                 S: um .. [pause] .. no [has a puzzled look]

T: Do you know what volume is?                                     S: Yes, it is a button on the remote.

One of the issues with constructing meaning of the language of mathematics is the use of everyday English terms that have different meanings in the mathematics classroom.

Here is a list of just some of the many words that have a different meaning in mathematics. These words are just some of the homographs: rational, mean, power, odd, face, property, common


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The operational language can also be confusing. In the early years ‘and ‘is used for operation of addition.  In later years the word ‘and’ is used in an operation for multiplication, e.g. ‘What’s the product of 5 and 4?’

When assessing a student’s ability to solve word problems in mathematics it is so important to consider not only the wording of the question but also the order of the questions.  Two consecutive questions, similar to these, appeared in a standardised test. The word ‘altogether’ is used for a different operation in each question.  What meanings have the students constructed of the words ‘and’ and ‘altogether’?

Question 12.

Budi puts cards into 4 equal piles.

Each pile has 20 cards.

How many cards does Budi have altogether?

Question 13.

Wati collected 68 cans.

Puti collected 109 cans.

How many cans did Wati and Puti collect altogether?

The construction of operational language is so important for problem solving. In some classrooms students can identify words in a problem, referring to displayed visual mathematical vocabulary.

Although language is heavily involved in constructing meaning in mathematics, the use of visual representations and manipulation of concrete materials all support communication and success in the mathematics classroom.  The literacy of numeracy is a challenge for all and an additional challenge if English is an additional language. Our role is to support students to construct meaning as part of the stages of learning mathematics.

Melinda Mawson-Ryan

ACG School Jakarta