Saturday, October 27, 2012

Common Core and the Kentucky School Library

Lexiles, folktales and informational texts – oh my!  With the introduction of the Common Core ELA in Kentucky, school librarians across the state are in the perfect position to really show collaborative skills and show their resource power!
When I found out that we were going to the Common Core, I was just starting my LMS job search, so it was the ideal time for me to learn the standards and learn them well. I’ve spent a lot of time reading through them and internalizing them.  For me the ELA standards came easily because they are set up so much like the ACT standards- which were standards that I had already been consulting and using for three years in my high school English content.  With the addition of the Speaking and Listening standards, and the research and multimedia aspects that are now present, I think it’s an exciting time to come up with some new ideas.
Here are a few of the things that I’ve learned about over the last two years that make my job a million times easier:
1.       Thinkfinity rocks!  Thanks to some excellent emails last year from KET Education Consultant, Cynthia Warner, I really discovered the benefits of searching through lessons on Thinfinity using the standard search. I do usually preview the lessons for a certain standard before sending the list off to my teachers because sometimes the connection to the standard isn’t apparent.  If you’re looking for good lessons on myths and folktales – it’s good to start here.  There are some really great ArtsEdge resources for myth listed under those standards that could make for some awesome collaboration opportunities between classroom teachers, librarians, and art & humanities teachersJ
2.       Tennessee is doing it right!  With Read Tennessee and the Teacher’s Reading Toolkit there is a lot to explore  for our K-3 teachers. On their Common Core Standards for English Language Arts Page you can choose a grade on the left (K-3) and then explore lessons by selecting the standard.
3.       KATE – TICK is working hard to give KY teachers awesome technology resources! TICK (Technology in Classrooms of Kentucky) is hosted by the Kentucky Academy of Technology Education (KATE) and they are encouraging Kentucky teachers to share good, technology based lessons that relate to standards.  You can do a standard search and find some great resources.  It might also be worth your while to add a lesson or link or two that you know is going to be helpful because they do prize drawings every now and then.
4.       Pinterest is a constant source of good stuff!  Simply doing a search for “common core” will yield tons of results for pins and boards you can follow.  Browse around and find a few boards that really have things you like; then follow them.  It’s much easier to sort through ideas as they come up on your “Following” page than it is to try to back track and go through everything out there.  A lot of the good pins will come up over and over anyway  - so don’t feel like you’re missing out!  I have a Library - Common Core and More board, a Library - Informational Texts and Library - Literary Texts board that may be helpful to start.
5.       The Common Core App can be a great resource!  At the beginning of the year when I mapped out my curriculum, I used the Common Core Standards to determine what we would be doing and when.  It helped having those standards in one place at my fingertips.  I use it for a quick reference weekly when I’m listing the standards on my lesson plans.  Search for the app in the App Store of your Smart Phone or iPad.
6.   LiveBinders is an organizational dream! I’ve been using this to begin tracking some of my favorite links and pins so that I can access them at school easily if I need them.  My Common Core ELA binder is a total work in progress – the key is: books – if you want to check it out.  You can also search for other shared binders are in this site – a good one appears to be ELA Common Core States Standards Resources
What are your favorite Common Core resources and how are you using them?

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