A Prime Co-Teaching Opportunity

Whitlock, Kami


Jones, T. N. (2016, March 5). A Prime Co-Teaching Opportunity. Retrieved from https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=a-prime-co-teaching-opportunity

This article is written by Tara Jones, an elementary librarian who decided to take on a new role of research technology specialist at a 6-12 school. She describes her journey from a traditional librarian to co-teacher. She explains how she had to rethink how librarians collaborate with teachers. Her process included finding partner teachers, researching curriculum and analyzing technological tools. She also explains the seven models of co-teaching and what worked best for her and her partner teachers.

I enjoyed reading this article because it was a real life example of someone who had gone through the process of updating her librarian role. She gives great advice about the struggles of co-teaching and how to work through them. I also thought this article was helpful because it breaks down the seven models of co-teaching briefly. I highly recommend reading it if you are looking for information on what it takes to become a co-teacher and maintain a good co-teaching relationship.

A Vision of What Collaboration Looks Like

Smith, Chloe


D’Orio, W. (2019). Powerful partnerships. School Library Journal 65(1), 24–27. Retrieved from: http://bi.galegroup.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/essentials/article/GALE%7CA571039786/f75ab9be847fcd344b7bfd9295f1f88b?u=csusj

Summary: This article from School Library Journal discusses collaboration strategies for teacher librarians/media specialists and classroom teachers. It acknowledges the challenges involved, particularly around scheduling and time commitments, but also emphasizes the value of collaboration. Librarians can build strong relationships with their colleagues and raise the library’s profile within the school and–even more importantly–students can benefit from the insights and creativity of multiple staff members working together. The article points out that library staff need to actively pursue these partnerships, reaching out to classroom teachers, making sure that projects are aligned with learning goals, and following through so that projects see completion.

Beyond these tips, the article spends most of its length discussing successful examples of long-term, collaborative learning projects in different school settings. Teacher librarians and classroom teachers worked together to create units for 7th graders to explore the the complex interrelations of systems in the human body or to support kindergartners working together to create a machine that can paint. These and other examples show that collaborations in the library setting enabled student inquiry and design thinking. These learning projects pushed students to explore, take ownership of their work, and use tech solutions to create new things.

Evaluation: I really appreciated the specific examples in this article. The strategies and tips for librarians and teachers weren’t anything I hadn’t seen addressed in more detail in other sources, but the descriptions of successful projects were really inspiring. It showed the breadth of possible successful projects that collaboration can make possible.

Implementing & Evaluating Instructional Partnerships

Kim Stuart

Berg, K., Kramer, J., & Werle, M. (2019). Implementing & Evaluating Instructional Partnerships. Knowledge Quest, 47(3), 32–38. Retrieved from https://knowledgequest.aasl.org/


“Can you find these books for me?” evolved into, “I have this idea. What can we do to explore—and possibly—explode it?”

In response to the revision of North Dakota’s school library standards, the new AASL standards, and the popularity of project-based learning, Bismarck Public Schools developed training for school librarians with partner classroom teachers on collaboration. The foundation for the workshop came from Judi Moreillon’s research on coteaching, which lead to the creation of a rubric that measured the level of collaboration in which teachers and school librarians engage.

A teacher-librarian and teacher duo then shared their experiences in collaboration after the workshop, and reported that it was greatly enhanced. They shared examples of their activities, including the creation of maker-type spaces that supported project-based learning and Genius Hours.

I highly recommend this article for the rubric alone, which is a fantastic tool to measure where teacher-librarians might be in their collaborative journey.



Piloting the Learning Commons

DeLuca, Allison


Murray, E. (2015). Piloting the Learning Commons. Teacher Librarian, 43(1), 18–24. Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=110469425&site=ehost-live&scope=site


This article discusses using learning commons in the process of co teaching and collaboration between classroom teachers and teacher librarians. The article is told by a classroom teacher who works with the media specialist in her school in order to introduce her students to the learning commons and use it as a productive space for learning. The teacher realized the excitement that the children had when introduced to the learning commons and saw the potential for her students. The article emphasizes the importance of putting aside time for collaboration and the success that comes from collaborating with a media specialist in the school. The author gives details on her personal collaboration process with the librarian in order to give an idea on how to successfully collaborate in order to benefit students.


I feel as though this article is helpful for encouraging schools to transform library spaces into learning commons as well as encouraging classroom teachers to work towards collaboration with school librarians or media specialists. Collaboration is a key to success when it comes to the achievement of students. Also, the highlighting of the learning commons space was also a significant part of this article. Learning commons allow for students to be more creative and have more freedom when it comes to inquiry and learning. Current library spaces in schools have the potential to be transformed into learning commons in order to not only encourage student use, but to encourage collaboration between staff.

Co Teaching Models: Strategies and Planning

Walker, Machelle


Teachings in Education (2016, August 26). Co Teaching Models: Strategies and Planning.  Retrieved September 07, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDTrcG4NuZ8


This short video reviews the five models of co teaching. It describes each model in detail along with the roles each teacher undertakes.  It also describes in what situation each model it can be used for the most benefit to both teachers and students.  Narrator points out what kind of student grouping is normal to each model of co teaching: including station, parallel, one teacher one support, alternative teaching, and straight on team teaching.


This was quick but helpful video that reviews the multiple models of co-teaching.  It expands far past typical teacher and assistant co-teaching which is seen in most classrooms.  I found it help in it analysis of each model ad how it can be utilized to benefit students along with in which situation each model is best used.

School Library Challenge

McNeil, Lauren


Harper, M., & Schwelik, J. (2013). School library challenge. Knowledge Quest, 42(1), 24-28. Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=90230623&site=ehost-live&scope=site

This peer-reviewed article discusses the importance of Library Advisory Committees (LACs), particularly to collaboration and library advocacy. Meghan Harper and Jennifer Schwelik (2013) state that “LACs are established to gather input in the design and development of the school library program” (p. 25). These groups allow the librarian to make “informed decisions” that will have a positive impact on the school community (Harper & Schwelik, 2013, p. 25). The authors essentially outline steps to implement an LAC and aspects such as member recruitment and LAC tasks.

In that vein, the article helpfully offers practical advice for creating an LAC. For example, rather than forming one large LAC, in which some voices may be lost, the authors recommend smaller groups of just one type of stakeholder, which can discuss topics that are unique to them (Harper & Schwelik, 2013, p. 26). They also offer advice regarding types of LAC representatives representing all stakeholder groups and their respective numbers. Meghan Harper and Jennifer Schwelik (2013) assert that beyond school members, “Including community partners such as the YMCA, public library, or other social-service agencies who serve the youth population in the school can help the school library identify possible connections for sharing services or resources and maximize the flow of information and communication among the school librarian and LAC members” (p. 25). For teacher librarians who are interesting in creating an LAC, this article is chalk-full of applicable advice.

Monthly menu: Collaboration tool

Gomes, Kathline

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/

This is a blog post about how to use a “monthly menu” of activities to proactively suggest ideas for collaboration/coteaching with classroom teachers. It includes sample documents.

I like the idea of coming to classroom teachers with ideas already formed – I think they would be more open to collaborating or coteaching if the librarian has already generated some ideas. The author really takes into consideration teachers’ perspectives, curriculum needs, and time constraints, which I am sure goes a long way towards building those collaborative connections. This seems like a good way to advocate for all of the possibilities a librarian can provide for supporting and improving instruction!

Librarians and learning: the impact of collaboration.

Gomes, Kathline

Collaboration (CO)

McNee, D. & Radmer, E. (2017). Librarians and learning: The impact of collaboration. English Leadership Quarterly, 40(1), 6-9. Retrieved from: http://cccc.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Journals/ELQ/0401-aug2017/ELQ0401Librarians.pdf

This article, written by a school librarian, addresses the online search abilities of students. The author compares assessment results of students who received cotaught lessons with students who received lessons only by the librarian. The authors found that better assessment results and deeper learning were achieved with coteaching.

I thought it was very interesting that while many of the students had Internet access, many lacked efficient online search skills. This lack contrasted with what teachers might assume, and with students’ own self-perceptions. The author notes that more than half of the students thought they were skilled at internet searching, with no formal instruction. However, this perception did not match with students’ actual abilities. This article is a good reminder of not only the power of coteaching, but also the importance of explicitly teaching these research skills.

Limitless Libraries: The Benefits of Connecting School + Public Libraries

DeFrancesco, Joe


Barney, A. (2018). Limitless Libraries: The Benefits of Connecting School + Public Libraries. Follett Community News Webinar. Retrieved from https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/console/EventConsoleApollo.jsp?&eventid=1624283&sessionid=1&username=&partnerref=&format=fhaudio&mobile=false&flashsupportedmobiledevice=false&helpcenter=false&key=07B6EE0CA58D4988437B7551ADE7F635&text_language_id=en&playerwidth=1000&playerheight=650&overwritelobby=y&eventuserid=205654513&contenttype=A&mediametricsessionid=168002601&mediametricid=2323804&usercd=205654513&mode=launch

This one-hour video is jammed pack with ideas how School and Public libraries can collaborate with a school system.  Limitless Libraries removes the fear associated with developing a relationship while enhancing trust between Public Libraries and School Systems.  There are to many best practice behaviors to list.  If you are interested in developing a common goal or goals between a school system and their librarians with the public library and their staff then this video is for you from limitless libraries.

Effective Co-teaching

Bader, Devorah


Pratt, S. (2014). Achieving symbiosis: Working through challenges found in co-teaching to achieve effective co-teaching relationships. Teaching and Teacher Education, 41, 1-12. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0742051X14000249

Summary/Abstract: This grounded theory study explored how secondary school co-teachers in an urban Eastern Iowa school district resolved challenges to co-teaching relationships. Five partnerships participated in focus group interviews, interpersonal behavior questionnaires, classroom observations, and individual interviews. The resulting theory, Achieving Symbiosis, explains how co-teaching partnerships became effective in their collaboration through using personal differences and strengths to become interdependent. This theory provides helpful strategies grounded in the field for co-teachers as they seek to begin or improve collaborative teaching relationships, for administrators as they support co-teachers, and for teacher educators as they prepare students for collaborative partnerships.

This was a good article discussing the challenges with co-teaching and how to work with different strengths and weaknesses.  I particularly liked how it connected with the stages of group development that we learned about in INFO 204 and gave direction on how to relationship between the co-teachers is as important as the content they are trying to teach.