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Your Technology Secret Weapon: Collaborating with Your School Librarian
From our Educator Guest Blogger Series
Did you know that librarians aren't just literacy experts?
Your school librarian can be your technology secret weapon by leading PD, modeling, co-planning, and co-teaching tech-infused lessons. Librarians in South Carolina are certified K-12 teachers with a Masters degree in Library and Information Science and we LOVE to collaborate with other teachers. We can be your partner when you want to try a new tool, spice up a unit, or try something out of the ordinary.
I would like to share some of my favorite collaborations to help inspire you to work with your school librarian.
Glow Showdown - An Interdisciplinary Novel Lesson
Partnering with our Freshman Academy teachers, we created a video scavenger hunt using Flipgrid and the novel, Glow by Megan Bryant. Students were on a race to complete as many stations as possible about the novel. The “Poison Paint” chapter of this PBS simulation is a great place to start to understand the history of the Radium Girls. Students practiced citation, created a Bohr model, learned about Marie Curie, painted glow in the dark warning signs, and discovered a hidden blacklight message to solve the clues. These activities address English, history, art, and science standards. You can read about the entire lesson here. This was a fun, interdisciplinary lesson for our students.
Fact or Fiction: Digital Breakout
In order to help our students prepare for the reality of false news stories online I collaborated with a few teachers and our instructional technologist to create a digital Breakout game called Fact or Fiction. Students had to explore the page to find clues and solve four digital locks. One of the clues utilized a news bias chart that illustrates partisan bias and reporting accuracy. PBS News is squarely in the fact-reporting, minimal bias category, which allows me to show them that they can trust the news from PBS and other mainstream media. There are also wonderful resources on the PBS Newshour Education site. We recently utilized these to explain US-Iran relations and the presidential impeachment trial.
You can see all of my Library 101 lessons with more details here.
Great Reads: March Book Madness
Being a book lover and librarian, I followed the results of the PBS Great American Read closely. This was a wonderful tool for sharing books with my faculty and students and sparking conversations about reading. You can take this same concept and apply it to your class on a smaller scale. Every March we have a March Book Madness bracket lesson. I booktalk or share the book trailer for 16 books and we vote several times until we narrow it down to a winning book. Be sure to have lots of copies of the books available and watch them fly off the shelf.
I hope these lesson ideas will inspire you to try something new and reach out to your school librarian to collaborate. We love the opportunity to work with you and help integrate technology and create engaging lessons for our students. We can be your technology secret weapon!
Tamara Cox is the librarian at Wren High School in Anderson School District One. She is passionate about advocating for public education and school libraries and sparking a love of reading in her students. She is the current South Carolina Librarian of the Year, an Honor Roll finalist for the South Carolina Teacher of the Year, and recipient of the I Love My Librarian Award. Her guiding quote is "There isn't a student you wouldn't love if you could read their story." You can follow her on Twitter @coxtl and follow her library on Twitter and Instagram
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