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Balancing the Curriculum in the Elementary Media Center
03/08/2018

By Lorri Kingan, LMS, Hudson City School District

Balancing the curricular demands in the elementary media center can be a challenge.  This is especially true as we aspire to embrace the latest in technology advances, as well as the amazing learning opportunities that the STEM curriculum has introduced.  Last year, I strived to generate a cohesive teaching plan that would allow for all of the literacies to be taught routinely, and on a set schedule.  

Looking at the library curriculum, I separated the lessons into 4 general categories: Reading and Language Skills, Library Skills, Informational Literacy and STEM-centered lessons.  I then created lessons that allowed for each of these disciplines to be taught one time per month, on a 4-week rotation.  For example, lessons might include a focus on the following:

Reading/Language Skills:  Read alouds, book talks, book trailers, peer dialogues about books, new book introductions, Buckeye Award reading/voting, series features, authors introduced, picture book stations

Library Skills:  Focus on the physical layout of media center and shelving, Dewey Decimal Classification System, call numbers, authors’ names,  genres, online catalog (Chromebooks used)

Informational Literacy Skills:  Introduction to usernames/passwords and their importance, digital citizenship, Google Drive, Google Classroom, educational databases, INFOhio, BookFlix, TumbleBooks, Hour of Code (Chromebooks used)

STEM Skills:  multiple stations created throughout the media center offering exposure to a variety of STEM-related tools such as K’Nex, Legos, Tinker Toys, Brain Flakes, puzzles, cup stacking, etc.  Activities range from “free build” days to “challenge” days where construction is done with purpose.

Creating a schedule that allows for all aspects of the curriculum to be taught on a continuum has truly helped in every aspect of planning, coordinating and teaching.  The students have also responded well to this routine, and have shared that they love the fact that, “you never know what you are going to learn when you come to the media center,” referencing their love of the variety of lessons that are offered.