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January 2011, Volume 3, Issue 1

Continuing Education Alert

Check Your Calendars!!

ALA Midwinter Meeting
January 7-11

Public Library Survey
February 1-March 31

2011 National African American Read-in
February 1-28

Read Across America Day
March 2

Teen Tech Week
March 6-12

School Library Month

School Library Survey
April 1-May 18

National Library Week
April 10-16

South Dakota Library Week
April 10-16

National D.E.A.R. Day
April 12

National Preservation Week
April 24-30

Featured e-Resources of the Month
Plunge into ProQuest's New Platform

School Libraries


READING Up continues focus on rigor with Standards in Practice™

By Marta Stirling, DOE Language Arts Curriculum Specialist

This fall DOE began implementing a professional development initiative called READING Up that examines the rigor of classroom instruction to improve reading proficiency. The initiative was designed to provide a series of targeted professional development opportunities based on 2009 and 2010 Dakota STEP data. READING Up is taking aim at the two standards at each grade level with which students struggle the most. READING Up uses the Standards in Practice™ (SIP) theory that students can do no better than the assignments they are given.

During September and October teams of Field Experts hosted workshops to demonstrate SIP™’s six-step review process that evaluates the effectiveness of a lesson or assignment. After attending the workshop, participants returned to their schools equipped to implement the SIP™ model as teams and set aside time to meet to review, revise and align lessons and assignments at the appropriate level of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy.

Right now these teams are participating in webinars that provide technical assistance as a follow-up. Hosted by the Field Experts, the webinars provide tips and introduce resources for increasing the rigor of questions asked of students during instruction and in assignments. The next phase of webinars offered to READING Up participants is set for late February into March, and the cycle of professional development offered through READING Up will continue into the 2011-12 school year for all South Dakota teachers.

Although READING Up uses the SIP™ protocol specifically with reading standards, SIP™ practices learned through READING Up can be applied to other content areas, and teachers are encouraged to integrate literacy into other content areas.

If you are interested in learning more about READING Up and the SIP™ protocol, check out READING Up at the DOE Web site.


Fixed or flexible? Library X time provides an option

The question of operating a school library on a fixed or flexible schedule has been discussed in the professional literature for years. There are pros and cons to both types of scheduling, especially at the elementary level, or in a K-12 situation. Many schools have developed variations on both types of schedules that work for their students and staff. Library X time found in some of the elementary school libraries in the Sioux Falls Public Schools is one example. Classes are scheduled for weekly library instruction and check out time which is also teacher planning time. In addition, an extra block of time is scheduled immediately following library class, or as close to it as possible, for the librarian and classroom teacher to work together with the class on research and other projects. Library X time is not always used or even scheduled for every grade level. In some cases it happens in the computer lab, in the library, or even with laptops in the classroom.

For background information on the topic take a look at:

  • Creighton, P... "Flexible scheduling: making the transition." School Library Media Activities Monthly 1 Jan. 2008: Research Library, ProQuest. Web. 3 Dec. 2010.
  • Johnson, Doug. "It's good to be inflexible." School Library Journal 1 Nov. 2001: Research Library, ProQuest. Web. 3 Dec. 2010.
  • Koechlin, C., S. Zwaan, and D. Loertscher. "The time is now: transform your school library into a learning commons." Teacher Librarian 36.1 (2008): 8-14. Research Library, ProQuest. Web. 3 Dec. 2010.


E-book and e-reader questions?

With the explosion of choices among e-books and e-readers there are many unanswered questions for the school library. In addition to the numerous articles and blogs on this topic there are two educational groups with ongoing discussions that may prove helpful. Check out EdWeb and the Kindle, Nook (and more!) Educators Group.

Students using iPads

This Milbank student is reading the New York Times on an iPad purchased as part of a pilot program by ag instructor Jerry Janisch. Other students report they are using them for AP English classes and are really enjoying reading current fiction on them too.




DOE, e-books, Milbank, school libraries, Sioux Falls, standards, teacher, technology, webinars

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