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K12 Library Curriculum & The Common Core--RILINK presentation: Final Touches

Presented at RILINK Conference, Strengthening the Core: SLMS as Curriculum Leader, Aug 14, 2013

Evidence and Artifacts

Once you have decided:

  • what to include in your scope and sequence
  • how to configure your curriculum map
  • how to get everything into the specific  template/format that your district may require
  • what additional, district priorities to attach in your resources/appendix

...then, it will work well for you to have some evidence of the type of lessons that your teacher librarians are using, some sample assessments, and some student work.

Instead of attaching documents, I am linking to some of the archived work that Cranston librarians have done.  Some embed technology for increased student engagement; some are technology- enhanced to extend access to resources; some are presentation sites for student works; some are blogs to facilitate parent and community engagement.

Here is a sample.  When you have amassed these for your own district, you can enjoy how this serves as a showcase to demonstrate exactly how good you all are.  It's validating when other people in your district realize that as well.

Meredith Moore, at Garden City and Stadium Elementary schools, maintains parent/community engagement blogs.  This is a drool worthy way to showcase your lessons and student work, and Meredith does this to perfection.

Mrs. C,  at Hope Highlands and Waterman elementary schools, also maintains a parent/community engagement website.  This one is so current that it is intently focused on the importance of summer reading:

Katie O'Kane (formerly of Gladstone Street Elementary School)  was able to reach out to the 75% of her families who speak Spanish with her Spanish Story Hours.  It helps that the information is offered in Spanish as well.

Katie also posted her 1st grade penguin research

and her fifth grade planet research presentations

Carolyn Steward of Oak Lawn and Dutemple Elementary schools decided to go paperless for RICBA voting.  You would not believe how impressed people are when you use a google form as a matter of course and efficiency for instruction.  Here's what Carolyn did:

Katie Tanner of Stone Hill and Edgewood routinely posts assignments on her wiki.  Here is her web evaluation exercise.

Heidi Blais at Cranston High School East maintains a book blog to encourage students to read, review and share.  (It's okay to drool.  It's a great looking blog)

Susan Evje of Cranston High School West has a similar book blog to encourage student engagement and enthusiasm.

Stephanie Mills of Park View Middle School has a pretty darn impressive wiki as well.  Feel free to drool over at:

Beth Grabbert of Arlington, Waterman and Early Childhood maintains a weebly site which is a virtual archive of student work.  Enjoy browsing at:

Ellen Basso of Woodridge and Eden Park Elementary schools created a Cranston City webquest that is compellingly aligned with the social studies curriculum.

Nancy Gaiewski of Orchard Farms uses the padlet web 2.0 tool to record and display student reflections.  Here the students reflect on using a paper slide show for research.

Karen Shore of Hugh B. Bain Middle School jumped into LibGuides for self-contained, one stop shopping research project support.  Here is her LibGuide for Latin American research.

Karen also uses quizlets to motivate and reinforce student learning

Deanna Flynn of Western Hills Middle School also has many quizlets available on her RICAT page.  In order to encourage students to adopt the new Accelerated Reader program, she has embedded an Accelerated Reader Bookfinder survey so that students can find books in their interest area, etc.

Sue Rose (me :-) has tried a bunch of things:

This is a totally self-contained project beginning with Mysteries of Harris Burdick and ending with the Chronicles of Harris Burdick.  The standards, resources (embedded power point), rubric, etc are all there.  The fact that the students could enter the information in a google form made them much happier than writing would have.

Here's a book review assignment.  Same process.  Standards, rubric, support documentation all there.  Doesn't matter how many times they leave it at home, they can always download another copy.  Again, the google form for entering the information really made this much more efficient.  This was the first year I ever had students voluntarily complete assignments at home, on their own.  

LibGuides is an incredibly efficient and liberating tool since it's so easy and quick to assemble any kind of a guide, especially a study guide.   If the classroom teacher gives you a day's notice, you can come up with one of these.  (If they tell you that morning, it's the usual story--sorry, I can't do something visually amazing and beautifully functional with under five minutes of warning).  Here is a 3rd grade social studies project.

The other great thing about a LibGuide containing all handouts, rubrics, checklists, etc, in digital form is that it becomes much easier to experience family engagement.  If the parents can SEE the assignment along with the student, there may be the added benefit of family learning in a unified project.

I also threw together a libguide for Reading Week.  Since the Reading Week theme was "Dig Deep" and it was so close to Earth Day, I just went a bit overboard, but the PTO enjoyed the effort and the resource.  File this under "Community Engagement".

So, amassing technology integrated lessons and assessments is fabulous... and, it isn't quite enough.  You will have to acquire lessons that your department members have written up for a variety of reasons (think evaluation, RITTI or collaboration) and include samples in the curriculum.

If your creative juices have gone dry, some neat places to get it refreshed include:

               Open Education Resources (OER).  If you haven't seen them yet, now is a great opportunity.  Not specifically for

                librarians, but there is some great stuff on information literacy.  Also, it's a valuable resource to be familiar with.

Remember!  Your curriculum will need to be revised and revisited every 3 to 5 years (gulp)!  It's a process rather than a final product.

Good luck with your voyage!  We hope that we have saved you some time, and pointed you in some productive directions.  Time is short and valuable.  Librarians learn from each other.  Hopefully this has shortened your journey.

--- Sue and Steph, July 2013 and beyond ( be continued)

Subject Guide

Sue Rose's picture
Sue Rose
Chester W. Barrows School
9 Beachmont Avenue
Cranston, RI 02905