Order up: A monthly menu for collaboration

Zeller, Jillian

Collaboration (CO)

Hincks, K. (2018, May 1). Order up: A monthly menu for collaboration. Retrieved from https://knowledgequest.aasl.org/order-up-a-monthly-menu-for-collaboration/

Summary: One unique strategy to coteaching is from a teacher librarian who took a proactive approach by providing teachers with a menu of collaborative options that she offered. She looked closely at her own standards and how they could align with those of the first and second grade teachers in her school. She was careful to offer options with a brief description but didn’t give too many details because she wanted to leave room for the teacher and herself to truly collaborate by creating and coteaching the lesson and/or unit plan together. 

Evaluation: This article is an easy read and is helpful for people who aren’t too familiar with the dynamic between teachers and school librarians. This article does a good job of explaining the challenges and offering a unique solution. 

The Philosophy of Educational Makerspaces

Cecilia McDonagh

Kurti, R. S., Kurti, D. L., Fleming, L. (2014) The Philosophy of Educational Makerspaces: Part 1 of making an educational makerspace. Teacher Librarian 41(5), 8-11.


This article is part 1 of a series of articles on makerspaces. It clearly explains the constructivist philosophy behind makerspaces and describes that makerspaces are student driven and motivational learning environments that inspire deeper learning. It goes over the details of an educational makerspace environment, the feel of a makerspace, the guiding principles of a makerspace and it talks about the “spacemakers.”


This would be a useful article for anyone thinking about creating a makerspace. It is also a good article to use when explaining to others the philosophy and benefits that students would obtain from working and learning in this type of environment.

Three Rules to Spark Learning

Cecilia McDonagh

TED. (2013, May 8). 3 rules to spark learning (Video File). Retrieved from



Ramsey Musallam, a high school chemistry teacher, gives a short light-hearted talk about cultivating curiosity in one’s students. He talks about creating learning experiences that challenge students to ask important questions, which become the seeds of real learning. He describes three rules that spark imagination and learning.

  1. Curiousity comes first
  2. Embrace the mess- this comes with much trial and error
  3. Practice Reflection- this leads to revision


Ramsey Musallam is a very inspiring speaker. I thought his ideas were simple and easily implemented in different learning environments. It made me reflect on engagement and the ways I can bring out my students’ innate curiosities.

Are School Librarians part of your PBL Team?

Buentello, Ruby


Boss,S. (2013). Are school librarians part of your PBL dream team? In Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/school-librarians-part-pbl-team-dream-suzie-boss

The author provides many reasons as to why teachers should be collaborating with the school librarian or library media specialist. The article walks you through a project-based learning process with examples of what the collaboration between both professionals looks like. Included are links of tools, apps, and experts to explore and help create engaging projects for students.

The examples, suggestions, and reasoning that were mentioned in this article, I have also come a crossed in other sources. The importance of collaborating with school librarians and incorporating their unique skills and training into inquiry-based learning or design thinking is continuing to gain attention and interest in the field. With the spread of information and the encouragement of this collaboration, it should help the general public and school staff to recognize the value of school librarians in their communities and understand that the role and skills of 21st-century school librarians have changed from the traditional role.


Birmingham Convington: Building A Student-Centered School

Buentello, Ruby


Korbey, H. (2017). Birmingham convington: building a student-centered school. In Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/article/birmingham-covington-building-student-centered-school

This article focuses on Birmingham Covington School in Michigan and how their school and curriculum is student-centered. Throughout the article, there are examples of how successful and creative Birmingham Covington students are based on the environment that the school and its teachers have created. The teachers try not to teach but guide their students as to how to problem solve, be resourceful, work as a team and much more so that they are better prepared to succeed in the real world. The students are engaging more with units because it is topics that they have selected and choose to become the experts in their classrooms.

This school incorporates the elements that we are focusing on this course: design thinking, inquiry-based learning, student-centered curriculum, and collaboration.  The videos included in this article are all worth watching and shows how the school brings all the concepts together to help students learning the process. I think this is a wonderful example of a successful student-centered school and how incorporating all these elements can benefit a student’s education.

Changing Times: School Librarian Staffing Status

Buentello, Ruby


Kachel, D.E., & Lance, K.C. (2018). Changing times: school librarian staffing status. Teacher Librarian, 45(4), 14-19. Retrieved from http://teacherlibrarian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Kachel-Lance-article.pdf

This article takes a look at where school librarians stand as a profession within the last few years. There are many school districts and administrators that don’t see the value in school libraries and view teacher-librarians in the same old stereotypical role. Starting in 2009 librarian positions in schools across the nation have been declining, but there is an increase in instructional coordinators. Many district leaders do not see the value in schools having a library much less a school librarian, so they are removing them from schools, and think they can better support students by hiring instructional positions to collaborate with teachers, assist with technology, show students how to research and more. All of which school librarians are trained to do but are restricted by the school administrators because they view the role of the librarian traditionally.

I was surprised to read how school administrators would instead go through the process of hiring instructional support to collaborate with the teachers in the classroom or assist in technological instruction instead of having the teacher-librarians who are trained to this. This goes to show that school districts and administrators are aware of the importance of technology skills, collaboration, and inquiry-based learning but refuse to see that a school librarian can take on those tasks with their unique set of skills. Overall, I think this article is helpful in understanding how much the school librarian position has changed and how future school librarians may need to look for different job titles that will allow them to do what they are trained to do.

Personal Learning Networks Are Virtual Lockers for Schoolkids

Jess Peterson


Davis, V. (n.d.). Personal Learning Networks Are Virtual Lockers for Schoolkids. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/pln-web-pages

While I was working on my Personal Learning Environment Assignment, I got a little curious about how I might use this in the classroom. I found this article on Edutopia from a teacher who uses them not only in her classroom, but at the start of every unit she runs with her students. She takes it a step further by making it be a Personal Learning Network, not just environment, where other students are collaborating, and they are subscribing to feeds that will notify them when new information is available.

The article describes her process, including what a PLN is, why she likes them, and how she has her students set them up. She also addresses a few downsides, but ultimately the pros outweigh the cons.

Here’s a link to the article.