Book Love

Gould, Molly




Kittle, P. (2013). Book love: Developing depth, stamina, and passion in adolescent readers.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann

Link to the Book Love website, including information about the book and podcast:



Book Love is Penny Kittle’s guide for secondary ELA teachers who wish to implement choice reading in their English classes. While Kittle does not make a case for doing away with the more traditional shared reading that occurs in most secondary English classes, she provides guidelines, instructions, inspiration and the rationale for including choice reading in the curriculum.



This is an inspiring and empowering guide to a practice that is near and dear to my heart. If you want to create or support a culture of reading in your classroom or school, this guide not only inspires, but it provides practical advice for the implementation of a successful student-selected reading program.

KQED Mindshift: How To Ease Students Into Independent Inquiry Projects

Gould, Molly


Mackenzie, T. & Bathurst-Hunt, R. (March 1, 2018). How to ease students into independent inquiry projects. Mindshift.  KQED. Retrieved from:


This article and its accompanying chart describe the spectrum along which inquiry-based education can occur, from structured, to controlled, to guided and, finally, to free inquiry. In structured inquiry the educator leads the one inquiry from start to finish. In controlled inquiry, the teacher provides the questions asked, the resources and assigns the project, deliverable or assessment. In guided inquiry, the educator assigns the subject and asks the essential question, but the students have more freedom and autonomy to choose resources and design projects. Free inquiry completes the spectrum, where student initiate the inquiry, choose their own topics, select resources and design their own projects or performance tasks.



As a term and a concept, inquiry is often thrown around with little explanation of what it is or how it works. As a relatively new public school educator, inquiry-based learning has often seemed to me to be a lofty constructivist ideal without much place in real-world classrooms. At least part of the reason for this is that there’s very little training in how to implement inquiry-based learning experiences. This article provides a very useful framework for where to begin, depending on teacher interest and ability, as well as student readiness.

Alan November’s Observation Suggestions for Administrators

Gould, Molly




November, A. (N.D.) Observation suggestions for administrators. November Learning.

Retrieved from:



Alan November, a thinker on the vanguard of technology in education, created this document for administrators implementing technology in schools and classrooms. A fairly straightforward checklist for evaluating the efficacy of technology in schools and classrooms, this document from the November Learning website is also useful for educators as they navigate the selection of technology for learning.



A wonderful synthesis of constructivist thought, this document reminds us that tech tools shouldn’t just become, in November’s words, the “$1000 pencil,” expensive without boosting learning; technology should also enhance learning, student voice, collaboration within the classroom and out into the larger world, and this list provides a very useful framework for assessing if we are using tech to its fullest potential.



The librarian’s role in reading instruction

Navarro-Britt, Nelly


Andersen, Beth, & Blakemore, Megan Frazer. (2013). The librarian’s role in reading instruction. Library Media Connection, 32(2), 10.


How K-12 school librarians can assist teachers with reading instruction.


New standards (Common Core & NGSS) include reading instruction. School librarians can assist teachers via Reading & Writing Workshops, building reading routines, collaboration/co-teaching, and more.


Tags: Collaboration

Where does Alternative Education fit?

Matsuo, Kim

ID-Alternative Education

Edwards, B. (2017). Alternative education students earn graduation credits with guided inquiry design. Teacher Librarian, 44(4), 30.

Article explains how GID (Guided Inquiry Design) can be used in alternative schools.

This is really cool, because the standards and curriculums seem to be focused on the comprehensive schools, while there are a growing number of alternative schools for students who do not fit the traditional cookie-cutter of education. This article is a refreshing call to see how Inquiry Design crosses boundaries of education.

Common Core and diverse learners

Matsuo, Kim


Sprott, K. (2014). Culturally Competent Common Core Practices: A Delphi Study. Journal of Research Initiatives, 1(2), 8. Retrieved from

Common Core Standards do not address the growing diverse student population, and teachers are left wondering how to design curriculum for such a diverse student body. It criticizes that public school curriculums and teaching staff remain very European-American.

This study addresses a little-discussed topic that is very important for a nation comprised of an ever-growing diverse learner population. This never occurred to me, and yet it makes perfect sense, and now I see how much a classroom of ethnically and culturally diverse students are affected by a curriculum designed with very little diversity in mind. This article is also a call to all educators to become more culturally aware in order to better serve their diverse population of students.

Deep Education

Matsuo, Kim

ET-Deeper Learning

TEDx Talks]. (2015, May 21). Deep Education: Re-visioning teaching and learning for today [Video file]. Retrieved from

Paul Freedman discusses whether mainstream schools are educating students to their fullest potential. So much focus is on assessing students that passion for learning is null. Criticizes Common Core Standards.

An excellent resource for those who are better audible and visual learners. For a novice, I think Freedman discusses education in an easy-to-understand way without watering down the message of the importance of educating students holistically instead of focusing on assessments.

The Six Must-Have Elements Of High Quality Project-Based Learning

McLaughlin, Gretchen


Schwartz, K. (2018, February 23). The Six Must-Have Elements Of High Quality Project-Based Learning | MindShift | KQED News. Retrieved March 06, 2018, from


Katrina Schwartz acknowledges that teachers’ interests in Project-based Learning (PBL) has “exploded” in recent years.  However, Bob Lenze from the Buck Institute for Education argues that educators often misunderstand PBL, particularly what makes a project meaningful. In response, the Buck Institute collected a team of teachers, education leaders, policy groups, Buck representatives, and international stakeholders to design “A Framework for High Quality Project Based Learning” to be released March 2018.  To structure a PBL for students, the endeavor must include intellectual challenge and accomplishment; authenticity; a public product; collaboration; project management; and reflection.  It is important to note that the framework describes what student learning looks like rather than a focus on what teachers are doing. Also noteworthy is the Buck Institute stresses that a PBL be connected to the Standards and be intellectually challenging.  I believe these PBLs are most meaningful for teaching and learning with respect to the culture of testing in public schools. A teacher can “kill two birds with one stone” if she designs and supports learning with fidelity to the Framework.


ESSA: An opportunity for school library funding.

McLaughlin, Gretchen


Johns, S., & Kachel, D. (2017).  ESSA: An opportunity for school library funding.  Teacher Librarian, (44)4, 8.  


Authors Johns and Kachel stress the importance of school librarians and their advocates working locally in the assurance that library programs/resources receive federal funding from the Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA) 2015.  Because libraries are now legally acknowledged as “specialized instructional support personnel,” it is imperative that students have equitable access to school libraries. In response, the American Association of School Librarians has published a position statement of what constitutes an effective library program, with an emphasis on the role of the library as an instructional program.  This program includes the teaching of every student and collaborating with every teacher, as well as curating digital resources in the content areas. Teacher librarians must also secure funding that may help them provide supplemental instruction in digital literacy, content-specific blended learning experiences, and personalized learning endeavors. The teacher-librarian, as a specialized instructional support person, has the power to enrich the learning experiences of all students, thus it is important to organize and secure grants at the district level.  Library programs can be eligible for the following federal grants: Title 1, Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation (LEARN); Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL); and Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants. To assist in advocacy, the AASL provides several resources including talking points and elevator speeches. I agree with the authors who stress the importance of understanding the language of ESSA in order to organize a local strategic funding committee. Most importantly, teacher-librarians must be vocal advocates about the library being at the center of teaching and learning in schools in order to secure a portion of the ESSA funding.


Inquiry-Based Learning – Curriculum Connections in the Library

Clem, Katy


Stripling, B. K. (2003). Inquiry-Based Learning. Curriculum Connections in the Library. Edited by Stripling, B. K. & Hughes-Hassell, S. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Barbara Stripling (of Stripling’s Model of Inquiry fame) authored the first chapter in this book written to connect librarians and educators as collaborators in education. She is a foundational thinker in inquiry-based education, and her words on the approach are a fantastic starting point for anyone approaching the subject.

This chapter is the BEST thing I read in my research for INFO 250: content-rich, based in a history of education theory, deeply inspiring, and full of practical applications that feel manageable. Tracking it down is a bit tricky; I found a used copy of the book on Amazon for $4, and every chapter is gold. SO WORTH IT.