Making Those Common Core Connections
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan
Lynn: Many Bookends readers have noticed that we’ve started adding Common Core Standards and teaching suggestions to our Nonfiction Monday posts. We’re had a lot of comments and questions so I knew Cindy was right on target when she suggested using this Monday to talk about our efforts and suggest other helpful resources.
The Common Core Standards are, of course, THE topic in the education and school library world these days. Everyone is scrambling to learn about them and to incorporate them into the classroom. Librarians are working to support the effort and enhance their collections to meet common core needs. This is no easy task for anyone but it is especially challenging for school libraries most of which have been without budgets, clerical staff or sadly, even without librarians. Cindy and I are optimistic though and it is our great hope that the Common Core Standards will wake up administrators to the understanding of just how important the role of librarians and good library collections are for both our students and for meeting the standards. So we at Booklist and Bookends are stepping up to help on the front lines.
Cindy and I will be keeping up our Nonfiction Monday posts with CC Standards and teaching suggestions and also trying to fit in more nonfiction during our other weekly posts. We created a Nonfiction Bibliography of recent Nonfiction titles that we will continue to update and will soon be making available through Bookends. Cindy and I are brainstorming other ways to help librarians and teachers with the new requirements so stay tuned! And last, we’ve had many inquiries about where we were finding the numbers we’ve been using for the various standards. We are using this helpful site located by our fearless leader and Booklist Editorial Director, Gillian Engberg. We are delighted to share! Visit this helpful site for labeling: http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy
Cindy: While Common Core Standards were still a gleam in the eye of the National Governors Association, Booklinks magazine was delivering suggestions for integrating literary fiction and nonfiction into the classroom in ways that would be meaningful and would address higher critical thinking skills. They are still doing this fine work, but have added Common Core coverage to the journal. If you haven’t looked at Booklinks lately, get your hands on a copy. If you are a librarian it will help you serve your teachers and if you are a teacher without a school librarian it will be invaluable.
In addition, Booklistonline has created a Common Core State Standards Resource Page that will be a go-to page for Common Core help. Links to Booklinks articles, Unpacking the Standards features, archived Common Core webinars, and links to our Bookends posts with Common Core Connections will help you navigate through this new mandate.
I have a teacher friend who used to announce derisively that she could always tell a new educational trend if she had to label a new manilla folder for it. I’ve labeled a whole notebook for this one, but if it is implemented well it might just make a difference with our students…and as Lynn says, it might save a few library jobs along the way. It’s well worth a 3-ring binder and some effort to see if that is true.
If you find a great resource to help you understand and implement Common Core, please leave us a comment. We’d love to know. And we’ll be sharing that bibliography here once we get it updated for our MAME state school library conference presentation next month.