Focus on RSU 10 Library/Media Services

Each school in RSU 10 has a library that provides a wide range of services for our students and teachers. Gone are the days of the silent, oppressive rule-ridden library. I am happy to say RSU 10 libraries are very vibrant places staffed by energetic and creative Library/Media Specialists who are on the cutting edge of teaching and learning.  RSU 10 Library/Media Specialists play a critical role in supporting student learning. They are focused on teaching our students specific skills that will help them learn, study, research and inform themselves throughout their lives. Specifically, our Library/Media Specialists are engaged in supporting:

  1. Student Inquiry: Academic learning is no longer simply about students being able to learn what they are taught in class. Student learning in the 21st Century means that students are able to pose intelligent questions and respond to challenging problems. Library/Media Specialists play a vital role in helping students identify a multitude of electronic and print resources to be able to answer questions and solve problems.
  2. Guided Inquiry: Students need considerable guidance and support throughout the learning process to ensure that they are not simply “cutting and pasting” existing knowledge or text.   Library/Media Specialists and teachers educate students on how to create new knowledge from the analysis of a variety of informational resources.
  3. Literacy Competence: The amount of print information in the world has doubled, tripled, and quadrupled at an ever-increasing pace. How do students and professional educators discern high quality information from low quality information? Library/Media Specialists play a crucial role in encouraging our students to read more, read better, develop vocabulary, and develop a discerning eye for the information they read; they partner with teachers to support high levels of literacy for all our students.

Library BlogThis blog entry offers some descriptors and photos that should depict for you the role our Library/Media Specialists play in creating libraries that are geared towards Student Inquiry, Guided Inquiry, and Literacy Competence. Our libraries are providing an excellent service for our students and teachers.

To learn more about School Libraries in the 21st Century, go to: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=School+libraries+in+the+21st+century+rutgers

Buckfield Junior-Senior High School-The Art and Science of Teaching

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Donna Whitney is engaged in a lesson with her students at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School. The purpose of the lesson is to compare and contrast the different lifestyles of the ancient Greek cities of Sparta and Athens so that students can understand that different cultural perspectives that lead groups of people to interpret the same events differently. By presenting and working with new information in small “chunks,” students are more likely to maintain a working memory of the new knowledge. This lesson uses two short close read articles with questions asking for textual evidence. Each line in the article is numbered so the student may use that to cite the evidence. The lesson ends with the students writing a paragraph to the prompt: “How is the life of a Spartan different from that of an Athenian?” Having students write out their conclusions is an effective way to help students interact with and use new knowledge.

Dirigo High School-The Art and Science of Teaching

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Heidi Broomhall, center, uses technology with her Spanish III students at Dirigo High School to show short video clips which are broken into digestible bites followed by comprehension questions in order to deepen students’ understanding of unit vocabulary. Through the use of technology in Spanish instruction, students have more access to visual aids, access to video and other multi-media Spanish content, and more choices to demonstrate learning.

Mountain Valley High School-The Art and Science of Teaching

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Tom Danylik has done a great deal of work to establish proficiency-based learning in his classrooms. According to Mr. Danylik, “I strongly believe in practice and repetition to fully grasp a new concept. However, I try whenever possible to incorporate a hands-on activity to help students meet the learning standard. Many of my students are hands-on learners and often a lab or experiment can solidify their understanding of the standard and help them reach proficiency when it comes time for the assessment.”  Fast moving and engaging (hands on) activities help students effectively interact with new knowledge. The photo demonstrates Mr. Danylik presenting new knowledge in small “chunks,” an effective way to help students remember important related concepts.

Mountain Valley Middle School-The Art and Science of Teaching

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Mrs. Garbarini, science teacher at Mountain Valley Middle School, facilitates a lab with her seventh and eighth grade students. This lesson was part of a larger unit on the respiratory system. Students measured lung volume and discussed why different students might have different lung capacities. Mrs. Garbarini began the lesson by introducing relevant terminology as a preview strategy. She asked students to identify factors that may contribute, either positively or negatively, to the lung capacity of different people. Students worked together collaboratively to ask questions, find answers to these questions, record their findings, and discuss the implications of their findings. This lab activity is a prime example of how students interact with new knowledge.

TWK Dirigo Middle School-The Art and Science of Teaching

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Ms. Hersom incorporates a variety of strategies to help her students interact with and use new knowledge in her daily lessons. Working with 6th graders, Ms. Hersom guides students as they identify critical information by visualizing what they read in the story. Students then represent the new knowledge non-linguistically by drawing what they see. The students are processing the information in a small group setting where Ms. Hersom can focus the instruction in both linguistic and nonlinguistic ways.

Hartford-Sumner Elementary School-The Art and Science of Teaching

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Ms. Vining, a third grade teacher at Hartford Sumner Elementary School, is working with her students practicing and deepening their knowledge of the vocabulary from their current Reading Street story by demonstrating the meanings of the words through a lively game of charades. This is an example of how teachers effectively review content with students. This technique connects the previous learning to current learning and allows the teacher to re-orient students to previous lessons. Reviewing content can be used as a formative assessment to drive future instructional decisions. It sets the stage for deepening the children’s understanding of the content.

Meroby Elementary School-The Art and Science of Teaching

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Shane Smith’s fourth graders at Meroby Elementary School have a book discussion to clarify and deepen their understanding of a shared text. During this literature group, students are encouraged to share their thinking about the text through note taking and conversation. The teacher guides the learning by scaffolding with laser-targeted questions and comments that are determined on-the-run while the conversation is in progress. Students practice discussion skills by building upon each others’ responses. This technique is effective because it creates an atmosphere whereby all students participate at his or her level of understanding. By bringing questions to the surface, students get his or her understandings clarified.

Rumford Elementary School-The Art and Science of Teaching

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Ms. Newell and her students participate in Book Walk activities to get students thinking about the topic, activate prior knowledge and help prompt student questions. Students enjoy listening to music and stopping at the book in front of them when the music stops and taking a few minutes to explore the title before continuing and repeating 5 or so times. The students then “turn and talk” with their partners and tell them what they noticed in the books and what the possible new theme is. The class “votes with their feet” as the teacher reads an anticipatory guide, addressing ten main learning targets about oral health. The teacher reads the statement and students stand under the posted agree or disagree signs. This activity introduces some of the vocabulary students will learn and corrects misinformation about oral health and gets students wondering, setting the stage for the rest of the unit.