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!
Submitted by Laura Guest
One of the activities I completed for the LS 593, Invigorate Your School Library with the ASSL National Standards class was answering the question: What does attribution look like at each level for the students you work with?
I begin teaching copyright and citations in kindergarten. As I read to the students we talk about the author and illustrator and their ownership of the work. If we have an activity relating to the story, they fill in parts of the citation depending on the time of the year and their grade level. It might be a word from the title or part of the author’s name.
A few years ago, Anchorage School District, asked us to pilot an assessment for library at grades 3 and 5. About 3% of my fifth graders could create a complete citation. I was so disappointed because I knew I had been teaching this for five years! After some detective work, I discovered most teachers do not require any time of attribution for any work done in the classroom. If students practice a couple times a year during library but never use it outside of my classroom, it doesn’t stick with them.
I created “fill in the blank” slips (about ¼ of an 8 ½ x 11 page) for the most commonly used sources such as book, image, encyclopedia, magazine and database article. They are on different colors to help the student see where their information is coming from.
Completing this activity reminded me that, I need to get the classroom teachers on board with requiring students to cite sources properly for every assignment. If the teachers know that I’ve already taught the kids and I provide them with my slips, they don’t have to do any teaching. Even if they don’t grade the works cited page other than “it is there” or “it isn’t there”, it will let students know it is important.
After I teach the students, I will ask for volunteers to present “how to cite common sources” to their teachers during lunch. I will provide a home cooked meal to bribe the teachers into the library. At that point, they can’t claim they didn’t know the kids already knew how, right?
By Pam Verfaillie
Digital MakerSpace - what will YOU make?
How are you going to express yourself in the digital realm?
Click on the icons to connect with free online tools to get you started in making everything from infographics to presentations and books, music to videos. Explore basic coding or even experiment to make your own apps!
The majority of these websites have been recommended by the American Association of School Librarians. Check out the websites here.
By Debi Tice
When the opportunity to attend the School Library Leadership Academy presented itself, I didn’t hesitate to sign-up. 2018 was to be one of the few summers I would spend in state. I was blessed with the opportunity to visit with forward-thinking, future ready librarians who are as excited about professional development opportunities as I am.
I came away with so many ideas and goals that I am feeling overwhelmed with where to start. One very helpful tool to get me started, however, is Shannon McClintlock Miller’s “goal chart” that has the Future Ready Librarian’s framework in a Google Sheets that is ready to go! She also shared the FRL framework that is in a cross-walk with ISTE standards! Soon to come is the additional AASL standards cross-walk, where all three will be combined.
In the process of self-reflection, I want to share my goals and ideas for the beginning of the year, hoping they may serve as inspiration. One idea came from the Future Ready standard “space”. After thinking extensively about how to make a MakerSpace space that is convenient, attractive, central to the library space, etc. I have decided to re-purpose our central library circulation desk and eliminate it as a “librarian” space and make it a space for students and staff to access materials that are important for them.
Another goal of mine has been to integrate the reference materials that are cataloged as “in house check out only” into the circulating non-fiction. In conjunction with this, I will collaborate with teachers and consider creating “unit” checkouts. Often teachers will ask for their “elements” cart or ‘ancient Egypt’ cart of books to be checked out and brought to their classroom. These books are usually in several places throughout the library collection and the time it takes to gather those materials could be streamlined by creating unit shelving. These books are rarely if ever checked out except by the teacher, so creating a collection shelving that would free up time for other tasks would be ideal.
I also want to take the opportunity this year to create a set of bookmarks that will have all the information for a “library in your pocket”. Instead of giving the returning 7th and 8th grade students a repeat orientation, I want to have them bring their own devices and ‘bookmark’ or download apps that will allow them access to the library 24/7. I also hope to have the library Instagram/Facebook account up and running and hope to have the students and teachers follow us.
Another goal is the creation of bookmarks that can be left any and everywhere our students and families can be found. Let’s call it “guerilla advocacy”. Places for the bookmarks include the gym for sporting events and other assemblies like ‘back to school night’ and the front office counter. Bookmark contents can include “best apps” of 2018, how to be safe online tips, etc. I will also have our iPevo portable smartboard/document camera setup on a cart that can be mobile and checked out for students and teachers. Training sessions will be offered on a regular basis for both staff and students. They will also be able to use the iPevo setup in the library where there will be a station for them to collaborate and present.
The last thing I want to implement is a rotating station of “cool” things next to the library copier. Often copy jobs will take teachers and students some time to complete. By putting up a computer with headphones and a “playlist” of TedTalks or podcasts like science Friday or RadioLab, teachers can get instant PD! The ideas are endless: school events, a running slide show of new resources, new apps to try, and/or videos/images our students and teachers at work.
Best wishes for a great 2018/19 school year!
Ideas from the 2018 School Library Leadership Academy
Librarian, North Pole Middle School
One of the core concepts discussed and explored during the 2018 School Leadership Academy was STEM/STEAM. I looked forward to the variety of sessions that showed us ways to incorporate the philosophy of the movement into the library and/or how library staff can support the inclusion of STEM/STEAM in other curriculums.
Read the rest here.
By Debi Tice
The 2018 School Library Leadership Academy in Juneau focused on the lens of STEAM. I have been interested in coding for some time, and would primarily use Scratch for a unit on coding when I taught middle school Computer Science classes. In my role as librarian, I would promote “Hour of Code” and would use their site in December for a week or two of lessons. This past spring I was able to host an after-school coding club for our middle school students. We used a variety of resources such as Code.org, Spheros, Google’s CS First. I built lessons for the students in Google Classroom and allowed them pretty much free time to explore and build where they saw fit. This Google Slide, “Coding as MakerSpace”, has multiple links for exploration that I used. It also includes many of the resources shared with us during the STEAM academy in Juneau.
View slides here