The growing role of technology in education is opening a door for school librarians to play a larger role in schools' digital transformations, Stephen Joel, superintendent of Lincoln Public Schools in Nebraska and Mary Reiman, the district's director of library media services, write in this column. "Our librarians are at the table and on committees helping us plan and implement," they write. "They are instructional leaders aligning the curriculum with subscription and open-source digital content."
Problem-solving, teamwork, technology, math and other skills recently were put to the test when some students from an elementary school in South Carolina gathered to build mini-libraries. The community-service project involved students constructing the libraries, which are then placed around town to give people easier access to books. "We're using a mixture of math and we're learning how to use tools appropriately," student Trevor Millington said.
Students will be expected to read and analyze complex material -- besides nonverbal works -- under the Common Core State Standards, writes Todd Finley, an associate professor of English education. In this blog post, he offers suggestions and resources for helping students understand nonverbal works, including relationships among ideas or characters and style.
Students at Range View Elementary School in Severance, Colo., learn through asking questions and making mistakes, a process that is part of the school's effort to become an official International Baccalaureate school. Reading and writing are emphasized across subjects, while social studies and science lessons are grouped together, said Range View's IB coordinator, Shauna Curtis. "Questions from students almost always direct instruction. Which leads to less off-task behavior because they're actually interested in what they're learning," third-grade teacher Lori Bluemel said.
Lincoln Public Schools in Nebraska is implementing a new K-6 language arts curriculum aligned to Common Core State Standards that offers teachers both print and digital resources. Students can read books in print or on mobile devices, and teachers can incorporate online lessons and assessments and collaborate virtually with peers. "It's the best of both worlds. Overall, we're really excited about this, because it helps us move forward in multiple directions," said Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for instruction.