Library Update

Teacher Edition - March 2016


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I see so many great things in South Milwaukee! We have innovation, great technology, superb access, personalized learning, professional learning networks, common planning times, great resources, a beautiful combined campus, terrific educators/staff/administrators, and awesome students! If you’ve worked here a long time, you might have forgotten how fortunate we are. Trust me, we are very fortunate! One thing about my position is that I can help to enhance what is already great in South Milwaukee. Our world is changing exponentially, it's impossible to be an expert in everything. Like the graphic says, we are not experts in technology, we are experts in habits of mind.

We choose to be vulnerable. It’s difficult to be vulnerable, but in choosing to be vulnerable, we give up some control and we open ourselves up to new growth and learning experiences. SM has an entrepreneurial spirit and growth mindset, we encourage and support each other.

We are co-learners with our students. This is especially important knowing that there is a digital divide between students and teachers and that gap gets greater when students are issued a dedicated device to use 24/7. We need to change our teaching because it is no longer about the device (or tool), it’s about the learning!

Don’t wait to become an expert. How can we? Being an expert in everything we need to do is impossible! I cannot be an expert in everything, I rely on your content knowledge and expertise. We are living in a time of information overload! Use your resources, collaborate, and use the expertise in others, share your expertise. I’ve worked to ensure that you have the best of the best resources in our libraries, please do not hesitate to ask for assistance anytime. Feel secure asking colleagues for help.

  • I encourage and invite you to take a closer look at this graphic and decide where you are on the road to becoming a modern educator.

  • Next, take an inventory of the things you’d like to take a risk at in your teaching. What have you held yourself back from trying? What would you try if you had a little encouragement? Or someone willing to collaborate, plan, brainstorm, organize, and co-teach with you? What would you try if students had their own device?

  • Then think about where that risk-taking can occur with your curriculum and with your students. What do your students need? What do you need to make this happen? Time, resources, tech tools, experience, trial and error? As you think about adjusting lessons and units, where can you add a tech component? How can you Substitute? Augment? Modify? or Redefine the teaching and learning of your students? (SAMR / SAMR ThinkLink of activities / SAMR Zaption presentation )

I can certainly help anyone wanting to add a new tech tool; a learning management system, formative assessments, apps and extensions for projects, but let’s dig a little deeper and find ways to enhance the great lessons and projects you already have, what you already do.

Read the 7 Models of Co-teaching in the next section to determine how you’d like to collaborate.

Maybe you've thought about adding active learning strategies? Or considered flipping or blending your classroom to maximize the time in your class? I can collaborate with you on ways to flip or blend in easy beginner steps or more advanced ways like mastery flip or hybrid online/face to face instruction.

Consider reinventing a unit for next year. Remember that you don’t have to do this alone, schedule some one on one time or grade level time with me. Let’s use your common planning times to brainstorm and set goals for reinventing a lesson design.

Dream big and ask “Why not?”

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Co-teaching Models

Here are the seven models of co-teaching from the Teacher Quality Enhancement Center at St. Cloud (MN) State University:

  1. One Teach, One Observe: One teacher has primary responsibility while the other gathers specific observational information on students or the (instructing) teacher.

  2. One Teach, One Assist: One teacher has primary instructional responsibility while the other assists students with their work, monitors behaviors, or corrects assignments.

  3. Parallel Teaching: Each teacher instructs half the students. The two teachers are addressing the same instructional material and presenting the material using the same teaching strategy.

  4. Supplemental Teaching: This strategy allows one teacher to work with students at their expected grade level, while the other teacher works with those students who need the information and/or materials retaught, extended, or remediated.

  5. Station Teaching: The co-teaching pair divides the instructional content into parts. Each teacher instructs one of the groups; groups then rotate or spend a designated amount of time at each station. Often an independent station will be used along with the teacher-led stations.

  6. Alternative Teaching: This strategy provides two different approaches to teaching the same information. The learning outcome is the same for all students. However, the avenue for getting there is different.

  7. Team Teaching: The lesson exhibits an invisible flow of instruction with no prescribed division of authority. From a student’s perspective, there is no clearly defined leader. Both teachers share the instruction, are free to interject information, and available to assist students and answer questions.

5 Essential Insights About Mobile Learning - article from MindShift

Great article on mobile learning . . . especially useful for the 1:1 Planning Committee.


Gale Databases

Diane Konjura (the elementary LMS) and I have decided to purchase some of the Gale databases for our students K-12. Gale has many great resources, articles, primary sources, video, audio, magazine and biographies. However, the features we are most excited about are the ability for students to close read articles by annotating, highlighting, taking and saving notes.

Teachers are able to save articles, by reading levels, to Google Classroom to assign and differentiate for students on numerous topics, multiple content areas.

I'm happy to give you or your students a demo anytime.

Take a look:

South Milwaukee MS page

passcode: smms

South Milwaukee HS page

passcode: smhs

***Please note that KidsInfoBits is a lower level resource for our Special Ed or low reader kids.

Destiny - Resource Lists - Update from time to time

Many teachers are taking advantage of Destiny's Resource list feature! This is great! I hope you are making lists for yourself and when appropriate, also sharing with your students.

One word of caution . . . especially, lists by lexile or reading levels, please be aware that when we add new books to our collection, and we are adding great books often, these books DO NOT automatically get added to your resources lists. You will want to update them from time to time to get the most accurate resource listing.

Penny Kittle Book Love Podcasts

If you love Penny Kittle and Book Love, you have to listen to her podcasts! If you don't know Penny Kittle, you have to listen to her podcasts!

I think there's so much to take from her experience, but the thing I appreciate most is her take on and suggestions for building stamina in teens. Finding ways to build reading minutes in our day and passing that on to students is vital.

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Write 4 Change Project

Designed to connect teachers who believe that young people writing for real and meaningful audiences and purposes can lead to social change, the Write 4 Change Project provides students opportunities to write for social action, challenge inequality, and make change in and across their communities.

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Leisure Reading (from NCTE)

Research shows that leisure reading enhances students' reading comprehension, vocabulary development, general knowledge, and empathy for others, as well as their self-confidence as readers, motivation to read throughout their lives, and positive attitudes toward reading. The benefits of leisure reading apply to English learners (ELs) who read in English as well as in their native languages. Because interesting texts provide comprehensible input as well as practice with reading, leisure reading offers many benefits for ELs.

Given the ample evidence showing the benefits of leisure reading, the International Reading Association (IRA), the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) take this position on leisure reading.

Upcoming PD

UWM-Writing Project 2016 Invitational Summer Institute

I cannot speak enough about my positive association with the UWM Writing Project. I spent three summers working with colleagues on inquiry workshops; without a doubt, the best professional development I have ever experienced. If you would like to know more, I would be happy to give more information, as I'm sure Erik Richards can also provide. Stop by anytime, or send an email.

Here is information and application for the UWM Writing Project's 2016 Invitational Summer Institute (ISI).

The ISI is an opportunity to critically examine your own teaching of writing, to pose a question about your own practice, and to research potential approaches and strategies to answer that question. It is a time to explore your own writing processes and to get to know teachers from all around southeastern Wisconsin. Teachers of all subject areas and all grade levels Pre-K through college are encouraged to apply.

Participants will engage in extensive writing experiences and reflect on their own writing, will be acknowledged for their own expertise in the teaching of writing, and will become leaders in the area of writing by conducting in-service presentations.

The Invitational Summer Institute follows the basic assumptions of the National Writing Project:
•Successful practicing teachers are the best teachers of other teachers.
•Summer Institutes involve teachers from all levels of instruction, elementary through university, as well as teachers from across the disciplines.
•Writing is as fundamental to learning in science, in mathematics, and in history as it is in English and the language arts.
•Teachers of writing must also write.

Participants will become members of an elite cadre of Teacher Consultants throughout the nation with the National Writing Project.

Here are some important dates related to the ISI:

•Final Application Deadline: April 1, 2016
•Interviews Scheduled: Saturday, April 9, 2016
•Notification of Acceptance: Friday, April 15, 2016
•Required Pre-Institute Conference Date: Saturday, May 7, 2016
•Required Open-Conference Date: Monday, May 16, 2016
•Invitational Summer Institute: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on the following dates:
-Monday through Thursday, June 27-30, 2016
-Tuesday through Friday, July 5-8, 2016
-Monday through Friday, July 11-15, 2016.

Again, the deadline for the ISI application is April 1, 2016. Here’s the link to the ISI application:

Diana Knight

Library Media Specialist/Tech Integrator

South Milwaukee High School and Middle School