Jones, Kimberly


Krashen, S. (2020). GSSR. YouTube.

Summary: Stephen Krashen discusses the importance and the powerfulness of Guided Self-Selected Reading (GSSR). This is not the old SSR, where kids and teachers just read. This has the added layer of reading selections being guided. They can be guided on several layers. Optimal Input: Rich, abundant, comprehensible, extremely interesting, low effective filter. Pleasure Reading!

Evaluation: Krashen hits it on the head. Readers read a lot of easy but interesting texts. Guided by teachers, who know students and their interests. This is NOT AR! Students are not hemmed in by assessment levels. They have freedom to choose text based on interest, not based on an arbitrary score. There is no assessment at the end. Requires a lot of reading material, at many levels to be available. Reading must be encourage by teachers. It wouldn’t hurt for teachers to model the behavior for students. This program takes time, a year and sometimes more, before results are seen.


Testing & Creativity

Name: Bianca Cortes

Topic: Curriculum Assessment (CA)

Citation: Mc Carthy, C., & Blake, S. (2017). Is this going to be on the test? No child left creative. SRATE Journal 26(2), 25-31. 

Retrieved From:

Summary:  This article explores the connection between high stakes assessments and creativity.  The research conducted paid close attention to the correlation between these tests and creativity competencies. The study was focused on SAT/ACT tests that students take in high school. Despite a common understanding that students in this country experience an excess of high stakes assessments throughout their K-12 journeys, no real change has occurred, creating a negative effect on the curriculum.  The focus on numbers and scores often forces educators to “teach to the test,” and focus on drills rather than on unique learning experiences that invite and nurture student creativity.  Students who experience a school environment where the emphasis is solely on assessments, suffer the consequences when their creative intelligence is not allowed to develop and thrive. The article presents a few alternatives for more authentic assessments, such as teacher-made tests and portfolios.

Evaluation:  This article echoes concerns that many educators often experience in their classrooms.  When a school or school system is too focused on high stakes assessments, students feel the burden. Often, they become desensitized and start asking, “will this be on the test?” instead of genuinely trying to grapple and learn new material. The article explains the research conducted and makes connections about how the focus on high stakes assessments often deprives classrooms of time dedicated to creative thinking that is not guided by answering questions correctly.  The amount of time preparing and administering high stakes assessments take away precious instructional time that could be spent with students developing their critical and creative skills. The authors present some alternatives to high stakes testings that are teacher created and driven, which can provide more authentic ways to assess students.

Collaboration for Social Justice

Name: Laura Freeman

Topic: Collaboration (CO)

Citation: Akingbola, E. D. (2017). Collaboration between Teachers and Librarians: Improving What Is Taught and Learned About Africa. Teacher Librarian, 45(2), 18–21.

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Summary: In this article Akingbola advocates for school librarians to collaborate with classroom teachers to bring students a more accurate description of African people and places.  The article discusses how many texts about Africa describe it as a place without history before the arrival of Europeans. Africa is often also portrayed as a homogenous culture without recognizing the diversity of its peoples.  Additionally, numerous texts depict the impact of Europeans on the continent as positive without discussing any of the negative impacts of colonialism. Librarians need to actively seek out teachers to make sure they are working with the most accurate resources on a topic.  This can include attending teacher team meetings or providing virtual spaces for communication.    
Evaluation: This article considers an aspect of collaboration that promotes cultural awareness and social justice.  Collaboration can be used as a tool to educate students, staff, and the wider school community regarding issues of equity and diversity.  Co-teaching and co-planning creates an environment for discussion and reflection about the content and materials used. We often ask our students to conduct inquiry projects in a similar manner, so why not also adapt this technique ourselves.  Not everyone can be an expert in everything, and we might not recognize our own biases or the biases in the materials selected. Looking at an event or place through multiple perspectives can help us provide the most accurate and engaging lessons and materials.

Pedagogy of the Makerspace

  1. Quinn, Bonnie
  2. ID
  3. Fleming, L. (2018, May 1,). Pedagogy, Not Passing Trend. School Library Journal, 64, 33.
  • This article discusses the importance of makerspaces being an educational philosophy, not a fad and stresses that they are for open ended exploration for everyone.  To keep makerspaces relevant, they need to be sustainable and require reflection.  The differences between STEM labs and makerspaces are noted. The connection between makerspaces and literature is featured.

Laura Fleming does a great job explaining what makerspaces really can be and convincingly asserts that they are more than a passing trend.  She adequately explains how to keep makerspaces relevant by encouraging readers to constantly refine and grow their programming.  I agree with her assertion that a true makerspace is more than students making 30 of the same project, and that it is possible and even advantageous to bring literature into the makerspace.  Laura Fleming is a great advocate for the makerspace.

Brain Based Teaching Strategies

Name: Seymour, Jenny

Topic: ET-Educational Theory

Citation: Willis, Judy. (2007). Brain-based teaching strategies for improving students’ memory, learning, and test-taking success.(Review of Research). Childhood Education, 83(5), 310.

Retrieved from:

Summary: The past two decades have provided extraordinary progress in our understanding of the nature of learning. Never before have neuroscience and classroom instruction been so closely linked. Now, educators can find evidence-based neuroimaging and brain-mapping studies to determine the most effective ways to teach, as advances in technology enable people to view the working brain as it learns. In this article, the author discusses several brain-based teaching strategies to improve students’ memory, learning, and test-taking success.

Evaluation: This article highlights the benefits of learning the same material in a variety of ways. By incorporating visual and auditory learning of same topic, different regions of brain will be activated and retention of material will improve. The more regions of the brain that store data about a subject, the more interconnection there is. This article reminds us as educators that each time a student participates in any endeavor, a certain number of neurons are activated and learning improves. Engaging classrooms, using a variety of techniques will give students the best possible learning outcome. The author of this article was a neurologist and is now a teacher, and has a long list of accolades associated with her name and a mountain of research that is reputable.

Using Technology to Foster Literacy Skills

Name: Escobar, Cynthia

Topic: ET-Educational Technology

Citation: Flanagan Knapp, N. (2019). Using Technology to Foster “Real Reading” in the School Library and Beyond. Knowledge Quest, 48(1), 54–60.

Retrieved from:

Summary: The article examines how technology and traditional literacy do not have to work against one another and claims that technology can actually help increase literacy. The article focuses on five ways that digital technologies can support and enhance more traditional literacy development. Beyond the explanation and analysis of the five ways that technology increases literacy, the author provides various digital resources and brief explanations that support each category. 

Evaluation: This article is useful for those interested in learning about how technology and digital resources can increase literacy. It is especially helpful for those needing additional research to provide those who doubt the benefits and impact technology can have in building literacy skills. The various resources provided are helpful tools that are practical for school librarians and teachers. 

Johnson, Lisa


Bibliographic Citation:  Eduproticals. Retrieved February 2020, from

Summary: This website is filled with useful information for anyone teaching K-12 students. The Eduproticals are actually a set of two books that can be purchased through the site however there is much more that is offered here. There are learning templates you can download. One of which is a collaborative learning strategy using Google Classroom. There is a great video describing a “cyber sandwich” on the blog and article page. This blog is full of useful information for technologically driven teaching.

Evaluation/Opinion:  I think this a great tool school librarians can use in order to learn more about current teaching strategies using technology. The blog page was extremely informative with everything from YouTube videos to article reviews.