Submitted by Jill Gann
Kenai Central HS & Kenai MS
Submitted by Walt Chapman
Insights based on the article found here:https://knowledgequest.aasl.org/gimme-a-c-for-collaboration-meeting-the-needs-of-special-education-classrooms-through-outreach-and-advocacy/
Creating an inclusive environment in our school library has been a priority for me. In the class, Invigorate your School Library with the AASL National Standards, taught by Deborah Rinio of University of Alaska Fairbanks, I was introduced to the standards. The second foundation that the standards are based on is “Include”. Our school has a diverse population with many languages and cultures represented. It has not been too hard to find literature that represents our student’s heritage. I have had a more difficult time getting our physically and behaviorally challenged and developmentally delayed students to be part of our library community.
I have been in discussions with our integrated preschool teacher and our DEC spec. ed. teacher on how to provide services to their students who are in self-contained classrooms. At the start of the year we had talked about formally scheduling an adaptive story/library time to get students and staff used to using the library. In both classrooms, the student’s challenges made it difficult for them to come to the library. Each teacher said they would try later in the year and I did not think too much about it.
Reading the article about how a Public Librarian is going into Spec. Ed. Classrooms, brought out what should have been an obvious next step for me. If the students are not ready to go to the library, the library needs to go to them. I am now envisioning following the model of the librarian in the article and slowly getting acquainted with the students, assessing their needs and providing story time and chances for inquiry learning experience in their classroom. Hopefully this will build relationships and make it easier for these students to eventually make down to the library.
By Sheryl Wittig
Teachers are expected to post their learning goals for students. I do not have a fixed whiteboard, or open wall space. I do have a 12’ screen and ceiling-mounted projector, and often post our goals on Google Slides. I’m not going to drop the screen, flip on the projector just to show my kinder class today’s learning goals (unless the rest of the lesson was online). But I want something present in my classroom that acknowledges the new standards and encourages students, staff and especially me to consider each foundation, key commitment, domain and competency. I want students to ask questions about what they see. So - something interesting and near where they like to be in the library.
I picked up some of those vinyl clings promoting the new standards. The view out our bay window is too beautiful to obscure it with anything. The windows to the computer lab have potential, but usually full of drawings made during this year’s graphic novel illustrator guest visit (thanks, Mini-Con). But the kids love spending time on the computers. We have two large built-in computer counters with a rows of lights crossing over each. I built six mobiles - one for each of the shared foundations. The top layer of each mobile is the shared foundation on one side, and its key commitment on the other side. The next layer down are the four domains, and on the back side of each of those is it’s competencies. These are ceiling mounted and dangle about over the computer counters. I had the pieces cut out (you know, like half a year ago, then set aside), and the fishing line and swivels. So I had to learn more about making mobiles. https://www.marcomahler.com/how-to-make-mobiles/ was a good starting point. I got myself some galvanized, 14 gauge wire and several hours later I had six mobiles hanging above my computer tables.
By Sheryl Wittig
I would recommend taking the LS593 Invigorating Your Library with the AASL National Standards to anyone interested in delving deeper into the new AASL standards and applying them to your program. Attending multiple Standards sessions at AASL in Phoenix was a great orientation to the new standards. For me, that gave me a good overview of the Standards and each of the six Shared Foundations. But I still wasn’t ready to implement them.
The Alaska School Leadership Academy in Juneau this summer also addressed the standards; many of our activities gave us opportunities to apply the standards. But the online, self-paced course that kept a dozen or so of us busy most of the fall was the most helpful. It was the opportunity to really read, study, reflect, and share that has better prepared me for the task at hand. We studied the learner framework, including aligning lessons to the new standards. We looked at our own practice in the librarian framework, and found alignments with evaluation tools used in Alaska, such as Marzano and Danielson.
I found the library framework study to be enlightening, and after conducting a library program evaluation, I now have a game plan for what I need to do to improve my library. I would recommend this class to all school library staff in Alaska. In particular, if you don’t have an administrator in your district facilitating your standards work, or a support network, participating will help you find that network - in your district, state and/or nationally - and together you will be better prepared for the task at hand.
For more information:
https://standards.aasl.org/ Portal with all sorts of resources to support our implementation of the new standards.
http://www.ala.org/aasl/ecollab Great webinars about timely topics PLUS catch those sessions you missed or revisit those you did attend at the last AASL conference. Some webinars are free, so require current AASL membership.
https://knowledgequest.aasl.org/ A handy website for finding out what other school librarians have to say about a topic, or find that article you remember reading.
Submitted by Laura Guest
How Well Do You Know Your Library Collection?
One of the activities I completed for the LS 593, Invigorate Your School Library with the ASSL National Standards class was an analysis of a small section of my library collection. I chose this activity because I changed schools and am not as familiar with this school’s collection as I was with my previous school. I admit I learned more than I expected and will slowly use this technique to work my way through the entire collection.
In the past I weeded using the standard weeding guidelines and then made a list of areas that were “empty” and in high demand by students and staff and began replacing books as my budget allowed. I tried to purchase a range of reading levels based on what grade it tied to curriculum or what age student’s seemed most interested in the topic. Some areas I wrote Donor’s Choose Grants to get quicker funds. Though this approached works, it isn’t as organized as it could be.
One of the resources provided by Dr. Rinio was from the National Library of New Zealand. The website, https://bit.ly/2PoEbNg, Assessing your school library collection, addresses: Why assess your library collection, When to assess your library collection and How to assess your collection. They have both Nonfiction and Fiction forms for gathering information to analyze the collection. One of the columns, Level(s) required reading /curriculum level, had me looking at the books in a way I hadn’t before. I used the Follett Collection Analysis report to quickly find the reading levels and copyright dates. I was able to create a report from my library software to get the number of checkouts for each book. I analyzed 550-559.99 (average age 2001) and 580-589.9 (average age 1992) and found most of the books are at a 7th grade or higher reading level. I am at a PreK-6th grade elementary school.
The combined information was very useful and I will definitely use this procedure again. This website also has a section on “selecting resources for your collection”. This is one of the most useful websites I’ve encountered in my 17 years as a librarian!