Colleen Graves is at a new school and unsure of how to initiate her high school students into #HourofCode activities. She had used code.org with elementary students and was looking for a new idea. Luckily, she has a teacher always willing to try new things so she suggested programming REAL THINGS like marshmallows and bananas with a Makey Makey.
Colleen had experience writing lesson plans for Makey Makey, so she decided to teach the ELA Logic Puzzle Lesson with an entire class. This lesson seems to be simple on the surface, until the kids have to actually design a logic sequence. Students have to use real problem solving skills to make the game play logistical AND they learn coding terms all while making what appears to be a pretty simple game in a fun atmosphere. What could be better than hearing classes giggle while they learn?
As more classes hear about what is going on in the library during #hourofcode more teachers will be enticed into incorporating coding into their curriculum. Through her example in the library makerspace, students have the option to:
Follow Colleen on Twitter @gravescolleen
Instead of marching through the same traditional sequence of required classes as their peers, upperclassmen at Oyster River High School choose from electives like mythology, journalism, sociology, forensics, and other classes that best suit their interests. It’s a rich experience that keeps both students and teachers engaged and excited about learning, but as librarian Kathy Pearce quickly recognized, the seemingly endless paths that students took to graduation made it difficult to teach overarching skills in a cohesive and consistent way once students entered sophomore year. She wanted to find a better way to coordinate when skills will be introduced, reinforced and assessed in the various freshman classes to eliminate redundancy and identify gaps.
By forming the Freshman Skills Collaborative, Pearce and her colleagues were able to collaborate during summer professional development days and improve foundational skills instruction in the freshman year, creating teacher resources, rubrics and informational handouts. The group incorporated the school’s 21st century learning expectations and other key skills into the curriculum and aligned instruction of classes common to all freshmen, targeting areas such as study skills, information literacy, and digital citizenship.
Follow Kathy Pearce on Twitter @KathyPearceNH
Madeleine was excited about her new position as a Library Media Specialist at Franklin High School last year. Even for a Librarian with many years of experience, starting a new job is never an easy task. Madeleine’s first priority was to build collaborative relationships with faculty. When Madeleine learned about the School Librarians Advancing Stem Learning Project, she seized the opportunity to work with Science and Math faculty.
The project is led by the Institute for Knowledge and Development in Education, Granite State College, The New Hampshire Department of Education, and the New Hampshire Institute of Higher Education. The goal is to provide leadership opportunities for librarians in developing STEM curriculum.
Madeleine recruited a Chemistry and a Math teacher from Franklin High School. They all attended a two day seminar to learn how to create a unit of study using the tools and resources available through Open Education Resources. It took about five months to co-plan and co-create their unit on the Vaccine Debate. The project was well worth the effort for creating lasting collaborative relationships.
Read more about their Vaccine Debate project here.
Lisa Petrie, Souhegan High School
When a high school literature teacher approached Lisa looking for ways to help students gain deeper understanding of a classic text, Lisa suggested bringing members of the community into school to discuss that book with the kids. Excited by the possibility, the classroom teacher presented this opportunity to her students, and Lisa worked the streets to find a group of adults who would be willing to spend an hour discussing a novel with the kids. When the time came, library tables were arranged to accommodate small-group discussions, and the school chef and a cooking class prepared lunch for the group. The experience exceeded expectations. Adults who were afraid that the “kids wouldn’t like them” went away with a newfound appreciation of the students’ intellect and compassion. Students were pleasantly surprised by the fact that “older” residents were so smart, open-minded, and fun. Not only did students leave with a much richer understanding of the novel, but inter-generational relationships were forged. Five years later, Souhegan High School students are still sharing lunch and books with members of the community (this month, a graphic novel!), and the local Friends of the Library organization has taken the lead in introducing new adults to this experience. It takes a village, indeed.
Follow Lisa on Twitter @lisajpetrie
Caitlin Ahearn, Londonderry Middle School
Caitlin recorded this video during her first year as a middle school librarian. She shares some simple ways she works with teachers in her school.
Follow Caitlin on Twitter @caahearn #libraryleaders
Beth Wilkie, Plymouth Elementary School
When Beth joined the faculty at a PreK-8 school, she walked into a traditional role of providing read-alouds in a jam-packed, fixed schedule. After building professional relationships for several years, the breakthrough came when when an innovative classroom teacher sacrificed plan time with Beth to teach collaboratively two and three times a week, developing research strategies and information literacy skills. The class moved forward into a research project that attracted the attention of grades 3-5 teachers, and so began the work for a collaborative and flexible library program.
The big picture changed for Beth when one of these teachers began teaching grade 6, which is part of the middle school. Toting her partnership with Beth to the middle school has sparked the revolution with upper grades as well. These two now manage a 20% project in which students spend 20% of their class time pursuing a meaningful topic of their choice using the Engineering Design Process. Students now understand that becoming independent finders of information is the key to true knowledge, and their time in the library is more about comparing strategies and notes rather than avoiding reading class.
Follow Beth on Twitter @bthelibrarian #libraryleaders
Angie Miller, Inter-Lakes High School
As a previous English teacher, Angie wanted to make sure that her library offered partnered support in writing. Working with faculty recommendations, she invited students to become writing consultants. The writing consultants trained with Angie, in the library, examining strategies to run successful conferences for writers of all abilities in all disciplines. They calibrated their writing expectations by using sample student papers as common ground for discussions, used tutorials and readings on the practice of consulting, and became familiar with the Common Core Writing Standards. Writers schedule themselves for conferences, and bring their assignment as well as the writing piece so that consultants can assist them in meeting teacher expectations, while also personalizing the feedback process.
With the guidance and advisory of the local university writing center, Inter-Lakes Writing Center became the first high school, student-led writing center in the state of New Hampshire. Through the creation of the writing center, Angie has become a leader in Common Core Writing Standard implementation, while also elevating the culture of writing within the building. You can visit their website here.
Follow Angie on Twitter @angiecmiller74 #libraryleaders
Jessica Gilcreast, Bedford High School
In a school of 1500 high school students, Jessica didn't have time to co-teach with every teacher in her school, so she create a flipped library curriculum.
Teachers embed chunks of the library information literacy scaffolding videos and instructions into their classes. Teachers can choose from a variety of skills, grade levels, and tools to share with their students. And then.. Jessica uses her time to visit the class when the students are actually using the skills and resources they learned. Voila! Check out Jessica's lessons at: http://bhslibguides.sau25.net/plagiarismandcopyright
Through the development of a flipped library classroom, Jessica has led her school in the integration of vital research skills that will prepare her students for college and career.
Follow Jessica on Twitter @GilcreastNH #libraryleaders
Pam Harland, Sanborn Regional High School
When Pam arrived at Sanborn five years ago, she was thrilled to see a lot of research happening across the curriculum. Students in English, Social Studies, Science, Technology, World Languages, and Wellness were reading, using the online databases, and writing throughout the semester. However, she quickly realized that instruction was all over the place. Science teachers said one thing while English said something else. Pam approached the English teachers to work with her on creating a single school-wide research rubric for use across the content areas. They used the research language from the Common Core and developed a simple to use rubric teachers could easily insert into any level of research: from formative to summative projects. They relied heavily on this rubric scoring guide to keep the language reader friendly and objective while the content remained challenging.
Through the creation of the school-wide research rubric, students are getting a consistent message about making claims, finding evidence, and citing their sources. Pam's leadership has improved instruction and aligned research across all content areas. You can use and adapt any of Pam's research tools on her website.
Follow Pam on Twitter @pamlibrarian #libraryleaders