Friday, November 15, 2013

November 15, 2013 Shirley Sovereign

PK-1 Principal/Director of Teaching & Learning
Shirley Sovereign
Twitter:  ssovprincipal
Skype:  shirley.sovereign

I am at home recovering from surgery on my ankle and foot. Thank you to everyone for the get well wishes. I have 4 weeks and 3 days until I can walk on my foot again. The countdown is on! I am connected with school through email, Twitter and Skype. H-W teachers do a great job of  sharing out the learning going on in classrooms through their blogs, Twitter and email.

H-W Teacher/Librarian
I am taking the opportunity of time at home to study specific programs linked to effectiveness in schools. For this week's update, I am highlighting the work of our PK-12 teacher/librarian, Denise Shekleton. Mrs. Shekleton has only been in this position since August, but she has made decisive changes toward the transformation of this role in our school district.
Read alouds model enjoyment of reading for young students.
Curriculum and Technology
With the roll-out of 1:1 devices for all students in H-W, library classes have focused on ways to become responsible digital citizens using lessons from Common Sense Media. Grades K-2 have recently worked on three important rules for being online: ask a parent, teacher, or trusted adult for permission, only talk to people you know, and stick to "just right" websites. They have also learned what to do if someone starts cyber bullying: STOP using the computer until it is safe, TELL an adult you trust, go ONLINE only when a trusted adult says it's ok, and PLAY online only with kids who are nice.

Grades 3-5 have taken the Digital Citizenship Pledge, agreeing to communicate responsibly and kindly with one another, protect their own and others' private information, stand up to cyberbullying, respect each other's ideas and opinions, and give proper credit when using others' work. These students also know how to delete spam or junk mail and to create strong passwords using letters, numbers and symbols.
Lessons on cyber bullying

Library Collection Updates
Mrs. Shekleton has the responsibility of updating and maintaining four libraries: High School, Cresco K-8, Elma and Lime Springs/Chester. She has three associates to assist: Mrs. Delrae Wolter, HS; Mrs. Edna Vandervort, K-8; and Mrs. Marjorie Dohlman, Cresco PK, Elma and Lime Springs/Chester. Mrs. Shekleton's goal is to start with updating the sports sections at each center. This is a very high interest subject area and was the first area on which to expend funds from the library budget. The next area will be to look at the Social Studies sections to supplement the curriculum. Another area will be to order STEM-related books, non fiction and picture books. Mrs. Wolter has ordered books for the HS requested by students and recommended by HS literacy teacher, Mrs. Deb Day. She also looked at the top reads on Amazon to get ideas for updating the HS collection. Mrs. Shekleton is working with HS teachers and Mr. Felderman to organize a HS book fair.

Students learn to create picture dictionaries using Pic Collage

Twitter:  #IAedchat 
The importance of the Teacher/Librarian (TL) role in schools was evident this week as the top story on #IAedchat:  "Teacher Librarians and Libraries in the Digital Age."  Guest moderators for the chat were TL's from 3 districts in Iowa.  These are their responses to the question, "What roles do you want a 21st Century TL to assume in your school?
  • Information and technology resource, mentor, coach and support for teachers and students. (LeAnn Wagner, Bettendorf)
  • Center of the school, information literacy, digital citizenship and technology integrationist. (Shannon Miller, Van Meter)
  • Experienced teacher, birds-eye view of the curriculum, connection with all students, and understanding of the building assets and resources. (Chelsea Sims, Iowa City)     
Another point, was the need for administrative support for TL's as they transform the role library and technology plays in the overall effectiveness of the school.  One of the indicators in schools that have worked out of being identified as SINA, is the presence of a strong and well-integrated library and technology program.  Mrs. Shekleton, library associates, the tech department and our classroom teachers have taken definitive steps by working together to create such a program at H-W.   


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