Common Core Take-aways

Over the Thanksgiving break I finally got caught up on a couple of issues of School Library Journal.  In them I noticed ads for a series of webcasts they’re doing about the Common Core specifically for librarians.  Two of the three have already gone by, but I decided to register for the third in January and view the archived ones I missed.  (The link below will get you there.  You have to register in order to view the archived sessions.  Once you register you’ll get an email with the webcast link.)

I especially enjoyed the first one with Marc Aronson and Sue Bartle.  Called Getting Real it focused especially on the shift in the CCSS to more informational text.  The second dealt with how librarians can take the CCSS and use them as a way to start conversations and collaborative efforts.  Here are my takeaways from both of the sessions:

How you read shapes how you will write

The third “C” in CCSS needs to be collaboration

We need to be talking to each other (teachers and librarians) to assure that major shifts are happening

Librarians are well poised for helping kids to be active questioners

How well do I know my non-fiction collection?

The issue for kids (in reading a text) is “Do I care?”

I need to approach non-fiction in new ways–aim, approach, point of view, voice/style

Spend more time with non-fiction elements and structures

Do the “heavy lifting” for teachers–unpack the standards and show how I can help

Less content, but more meaningful learning

Process is the emphasis;  content will be learned as a result

Why I’m Excited about the Common Core

The more I delve into the Common Core State Standards the more I’m excited about the prospect for librarians.  Close reading of quality texts, the 4th R-research, reading across multiple texts, writing about what you read, etc. are areas where I know we can shine!  The timing for conversations around complex texts and  informational texts is perfect, too, with Candlewick’s “We Believe in Picture Books” campaign. I maintain that picture books are often the perfect choice for direct instruction of lots of literacy concepts, right up through middle school.  So if CCSS gives me more ammunition to “sell” picture books to my teachers I’m all over it!

(I have a feeling the CCSS will provide me with blogging ideas as well, and that’s another good thing!)  Please leave a comment and tell me how these new standards are impacting you.

October Bulletin Board Idea

Something I saw on Pinterest this summer inspired this bulletin board (I’m sorry–I don’t remember where I saw it!)  To launch our mini-unit about mysteries, we made silhouettes of enlarged pictures of some book characters we thought many of our K-3 students would recognize.

We have contest entry forms numbered 1-8, and all forms that have all eight answers correct will be entered into a random drawing for a prize at the end of the month.

We’ll also be having students put their arm into our mystery box (blindfolded) to see if they can guess what objects are inside (dice, emery board, etc.).  It’s amazing how the birthday party games of your youth can come in handy!

What to do about Dewey?

Yesterday’s post by Van Meter super-librarian Shannon Miller has me thinking.  She’s not the first to blog about making the switch from the DDC system to more of a bookstore model of organization.  But what I appreciate about Shannon’s post is that she not only made a case for the why, but actually walked us through the how.  She made it seem….well….do-able.  There’s no question that it’s a lot of work (much of it  happened in the summer) but now I think I can be more open to the possibility because Shannon laid out what it entails.

I’m in a pre-K to 3 building and I can definitely see the positives;  naturally this would have to be a district librarian decision.  We would want all the kiddos that feed into the 4-5 building and middle school to have a similar experience.  Food for thought, maybe for some of this year’s meetings!

In the meantime, if (like me) you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and want to support your students within the Dewey system, Sonya over at the Library Patch has recently done six great posts  called “Deweying it My Way.”  She has found ways to tweak the system and make improvements which help kids find books more independently . Sonya also shares the how-tos for more attractive and effective signage, etc.  (Everything Sonya does is top-notch quality and she generously shares her templates and sources.)

Wherever you are in this debate, both of these ladies can help.  I highly recommend you check out their posts!

Another “e”-vent!

Where are you in the transition from building a collection with mostly print materials to one with more “e” materials?  If you need help and are interested in what others in the field are saying and recommending about this shift, check here for a day-long “e” conference coming in October.  This is the third annual E-books and Beyond conference sponsored by MediaSource (the folks who bring us Junior Library Guild, SLJ, Library Journal, and the Horn Book) and offered at a low-cost for your professional development.  Team up with some of your librarian buddies, go off-site for a day and learn together!  Site licenses are available, as well as early bird discounted registration.  (Do it soon, though.  You only have ’til the end of August.)

More information about specific speakers and sessions is available here.

Image : ‘Show Me Your Library Card – downloadable+audiobooks+and+eBooks

flickr.com/photos/42437434@N00/5014437293

Are you Connected?

If you are one of those people who has heard a lot about PLNs, PLCs, nings, Twitter, etc. and you’re thinking that maybe the upcoming school year is the chance for you to dip your toes in the water so to speak, there are lots of opportunities just waiting for you!  It seems like every day I get notification of at least a couple of ways to grow as a professional and to connect with others and learn new things.  Over the next few posts I’ll share a few that sound intriguing. Here’s the first, from Lisa Schmucki (lisa@edweb.net) on behalf of edWeb:

The US Department of Education has declared August Connected Educator Month, aimed at broadening and deepening educator participation in online communities and networks while providing opportunities for education leaders to work together to move forward faster.

I hope you’ll join in this celebration of how the power of online communities can improve teaching and learning. Join in a month of online events and activities, including forums, webinars, guided tours, open houses, contests, badges, and more–sponsored by more than 60 major national education organizations, communities, and companies, including edWeb!

All of our edWeb events in August will be celebrating connected educators!  Check out the calendarand join in the many special activities being held this month.  Join our community on edWeb Connected Educators to received notices about all edWeb events.

Don’t miss the Learning 2.0 Conference!

edWeb is delighted to be a sponsor of the Learning 2.0 Conference, a free worldwide virtual event from August 20 – 24, 2012 that is being held in conjunction with Connected Educator Month.  This is a great chance to participate (and present or volunteer!) in a global conversation, with educators all over the world.  Join the conversation on rethinking teaching and learning in the age of the Internet. Subject strands include changes in the classroom, student learning, professional development, school environments, and pedagogy.

See you online!

Newbery update: The Hero and the Crown

Still working my way through this challenge.  Fantasy/dragonslayers, etc. isn’t really my cup of tea, so this one was a bit of a stretch.  The verdict:  2 out of 5 stars for the writing. In terms of selling this book to my students, my population is still too young (K-3).  Even my most capable readers are probably not ready for Aerin and Luthe.

Previous Older Entries