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Pathways to the Common Core

Ahhh…a summer of relaxation…in my dreams I suppose. These past couple months, I spent a couple hours once a week, discussing the Common Core State Standards with my colleagues. ICK, YUCK, NO WAY, you might say. But, thankfully I’m a librarian, and we love to learn. We make geek chic, no? Our elementary teachers were all invited to participate in a book discussion for Pathways to the Common Core by Lucy Calkins, Mary Ehrenworth, and Christopher Lehman. At each meeting, we signed up to teach a chapter to the group. I learned a three important things. 


First, we can sell the library anywhere! I signed up to teach the chapter on informational writing to highlight the resources the library offers such as our INFOhio databases, nonfiction print sources, periodicals, computer lab, and me! Selling the library isn’t just about showing your worth as a staff member, but truly enriching and adding to the knowledge of students and teachers. Libraries really do offer a world beyond the school walls. A few of my colleagues walked away saying, ” I was so wrapped up in this resource that I missed the rest of the discussion.”  Second, (many of you know this) Lucy Calkins has a wealth of free online resources. Her website for the Reading and Writing Project is full of tools we can all use, but her video clips on Vimeo are fantastic for professional development, similar to OELMA’s new YouTube channel. Third, we can’t stay static and survive in education (guess I knew that one already). Society evolves, and the legislators would never let us, even if we found something that “worked” for every student. What I admired the most was the veteran teachers digesting the new content, explaining what they already do that works well, and then reworking something to make it even better, even deeper, even more effective. 


Thank goodness for those summer learning opportunities that inspire! Now, off to Destination: Spa, the INFOhio Bootcamp next week.