Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Book on summer reading now available for FREE

Summer Reading: Program and Evidence (F. Shin and S. Krashen) originally published by Allyn and Bacon in 2007, is now available FOR FREE!

The book is now public domain. You can download as many copies as you like, make print copies, use for classes, and share with others.

You can download a copy (or copies) from www.sdkrashen.com (left side of page, Books On-Line)

Summer Reading: Program and Evidence reviews the research on "the summer slump" and the studies showing that reading for pleasure might be the cure, including Barbara Heyn's groundbreaking study. It presents, in detail, a description of a successful summer reading program that resulted in substantial gains in literacy development for middle school students. 

It also includes a case study of a high-school student whose reading scores declined during each school year, but rose substantially during each summer break. It was her summer reading that was responsible for her improvement during her high-school years.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Something to think about this summer...

A few weeks ago, MISD staff was asked to take a survey regarding technology use. Since part of our job as librarians is to support, model and encourage using technology for learning, I wanted to share some of the survey results with you. By having an awareness of this data, you will be able to use this summer to think about ways you can help move your campus along in some of these areas.

Critical writing is one of the fundamental five and the best way for students to process and share their thinking. Writing in a digital format increases their engagement and connects them to a read world audience, but 72% of our teachers never ask kids to do it. How can you help improve this number?

Library Services provides access to many tools that students can use to get information. From video streaming services to newspaper and magazine databases, online encyclopedias to an image database - we can meet pretty much any information need, yet 71% of our teachers NEVER ask students to get information from these tools. What can you do to improve this on your campus?

MISD provides Google Apps for Education to teachers and students, yet 54% of our teachers never ask students to use it to share and collaborate on projects/assignments. We have been using it in Library Services for many years, so librarians are more than capable of sharing and modeling how to use it. What can you do to promote the use of Google Apps on your campus?

79% of our teachers ask their students to do research, but according to the chart above that research is not typically based on an authentic problem. In order for research to help develop students' critical thinking and problem solving skills, the research project must be designed to tap into those higher level questions. How can you help teachers on your campus raise the level of rigor/thinking required by their research projects?

We will be looking at this data in more detail when you return in August, but hopefully this will give you some insight and you can already have some ideas about how you will help your campus improve in these areas when you come back.

Enjoy your summer!

Monday, June 1, 2015

All about the books or all about the readers?

Over the weekend, this video appeared on my Facebook wall and at least four (if not more) friends tagged me on it. They thought I would enjoy it, but I have to say - it hurt my heart a little bit.

While the video is a cute and well-done parody of a popular song, it just perpetuates the age-old stereotype that librarians are all about books and not about readers. 

Using phrases like "you've got my books and they belong to me" or "librarians don't mess around when it comes to fines" keep up the image of the librarian as the owner/keeper of the books whose wrath you will incur if "her" books are not returned.  

Shots of kids with sad/scared faces, teachers wagging their pointers in a shaming motion, and the librarian skulking around the halls trying to catch kids with overdue books - these are not the images that I want people to envision when they think of school librarians and what we do.

Instead, these are the images I'd like people to have:

  • librarians matching kids with the perfect book
  • happy readers visiting the library
  • groups of kids talking with the librarian about what they are reading
  • librarians sharing new titles with kids and teachers
  • books flying off the shelves and into the hands of our precious readers

It makes me sad that this video has over a million views on Facebook. I'm sure this librarian isn't really "all about the books." She's probably a wonderful librarian who connects her students with books and does all of the things mentioned above. She's obviously creative and talented, but this video doesn't show any of that. 

It's a wasted opportunity.

Did you get tagged with this video over the weekend? How did it make you feel?