After attending a workshop with the amazing Kristin Fontichiaro, who blogs at School Library Monthly and tweets at @activelearning, I made mental progress in my curriculum map work. The professionals who gathered to put together the toolbox of resources for working with the AASL standards, summarized them as Think, Create, Share, Grow. Perfect! These four little words have opened up the standards beyond just instruction for me.
First, I created a graphic (because I like any excuse to photoshop):
Original images from sxc.hu, used with permission and attributed to Andrzej Gdula, thornsa, Sanja Gjenero and Laura Shreck
I have made a large version of each icon to display above my hall bulletin board and inside my library for the year. I plan to put this graphic on all of my curriculum documents when I share them with teachers. Each grade level will receive a curriculum summary highlighting the priority skills at each standard.
I’ve been trying to brainstorm four topics for library family nights during the year. I want to plan them out now so that I can get the flyers made and activities planned well in advance. I’ve had no inspiration.
I am going to plan one family night centered on each of these four themes. I think it will be a great way to share information with parents AND plan interesting activities for students. That will make the nights appealing to me, participants, and my administrator. During the first night, “Think,” I’ll highlight online resources available and set up stations for students to use some of their thinking skills, on the second night we’ll create information in some way, we’ll dig into sharing tools on the third night, and the final night should be just in time to share summer reading lists and inspire students to “Grow” as self-selectors of their own content.
All of this together gives me a ‘theme’ for the year that allows me to pull together curriculum and instruction, provide resources for teachers regarding information skills tips and tricks, and plan programming that is curriculum related yet creative for students.
I encourage you to dig into those AASL Standards. If you do nothing else this year, just pick one standard or one indicator to focus on. Add one or two lessons at each grade level. Provide just one resource to teachers helping them understand the skill better. Read one professional journal. Just one of these will help your students be more successful learners. One.
Think! Create! Share! Grow!