Every Kid Needs A Champion

Hi INFO 250, I came across Rita Pierson’s TED talk titled “Every Kid Needs a Champion, which has been seen over 11 million times during my research for topic 1: Ed Theory. I have seen it countless times as a teacher since the TED talk came on the scene in 2013. Usually it is shown at the beginning of the school year when the administration wants to motivate us teachers, or again halfway through the year, when we have hit a wall and need a little inspiration. But this time it felt different. Going through distance learning for the last 12 weeks of school was beyond difficult on so many levels. Ms. Pierson talks about connection and relationships and this time it hit the heart a little differently. She so poignantly says, “kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” The power of building relationships with not only our students but also the teachers we are serving. She says it’s important for us to remember to, “seek first to understand as opposed to being understood.” And she is so right. So much of what I learned in my first year as a teacher librarian was in listening and observing. This TED talk is simply a great listen to ground us in the work. 


Pierson, R. (2013, May). Every Kid Needs A Champion. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/rita_pierson_every_kid_needs_a_champion#t-2178

Are Dewey’s Days Numbered?

Litzinger, Vicki

Kaplan, Tali Balas; Dolloff, Andrea K.; Giffard, Sue; Still-Schiff, Jennifer (2012). Are Dewey’s days numbered? School Library Journal, 58(10), 24-28, Retrieved from


This article explains the process from idea to conception of doing away with Dewey and creating a new system–categories, subcategories, order, call numbers, and labels–that met the needs of the users at Ethical Cultural Fieldston School in New York City. Two of their earliest questions were “Why are we using decimals in a children’s library, when they don’t learn that until fourth-grade math? And why are our picture books arranged by author, when most children are more interested in the content than in who wrote the book?” (p26) They turned to the work of Linda Cooper, a professor at New York’s Queens College Graduate School of Library and Information Science who studied the ways that children categorize topics and themes, and integrated students thoughts into the planning of the new system. They also developed three guiding principles to keep them on track. The new system had to be child-centered, browsable, and flexible. After two years of hard work, they have found that students, teachers, parents, and the rest of the community love the new system, and that they are “better able to collaborate and support the school-wide curriculum.” (28)

It was very validating for me to read this article and discovering that colleagues have had the same questions as I have. For instance, one of my primary challenges has been teaching decimals to students who haven’t learned them yet in their math curriculum! The authors explained the process, challenges, and opportunities thoroughly which would be very useful for others wanting to go through a similar process. They also mentioned the work of Linda Cooper, they also listed the URL for the website they created so others can share their ideas and work. Finally, there’s plenty of anecdotal information to use if needed when discussing these changes with teachers, students, and administrators.

Integrating Reading & Programs for ESL

Roys, Kelly
American Library Association. (2008). How to Serve the World @ your library. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/offices/sites/ala.org.offices/files/content/olos/toolkits/servetheworld/LI_toolkit.pdf

Summary: This article from ALA describes the importance of providing collections and resources for ESL (English Second Language) learners to promote life long love of reading and learning. There are programs demonstrated as an informational resource to promote other programs in your local libraries and other resources to read to discover more about differentiation. 
Review: As an educator for the elementary age group, instruction serving this population should be relevant and applicable for information to be retained and acceptance/understanding to ensue. Students need a safe place for learning and by providing articles and information to highlight this need is important. Librarians have a duty to increase this as they are a hub for resources, programs, and types of books/materials for the students to access and teachers to utilize in their classrooms. 

Free Technology for Teachers: 100 Practical Ed Tech Tips Videos

Beverly Rupe

Byrne, R. (2015, April 21). Free technology for teachers: 100 practical Ed Tech tips videos [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2015/04/100-practical-ed-tech-tips-videos.html?m=1

Free Technology for Teachers: 100 Practical Ed Tech Tips Videos

Richard Byrne’s blog (http://www.freetech4teachers.com/) is a great resource for teachers and librarians. I seem to always find something personally useful, or useful to someone else at work. This is a link to just one very practical example, but every visit to this blog is always worthwhile. A must-add to any PLN.

By Terry Funk

Ciampa, K., & Gallagher, T. L. (2013). Getting in Touch: Use of Mobile Devices in the Elementary Classroom. Computers In The Schools30(4), 309-328. doi:10.1080/07380569.2013.846716
Summary: This study shows perceived benefits including increased self-directed, autonomous learning with the use of IPod Touch devices in elementary schools. Other perceived benefits included: greater student motivation, increased productivity and engagement (students were able to work at their own pace), immediate feedback gave individuals challenge (competing against oneself) to improve and stick to tasks, and promoted inclusion (students struggling as well as gifted). Students became experts, and were tech savvy (even in primary grades when teachers thought they would need more direct instruction on using the devices, students were  knowledgeable of how and what to do). Buddies with 5th graders and Kindergarteners also helped students learn from one another. Students were able to use the apps to find their own means of supporting the curriculum. Assessment tools helped teachers track student progress, and work individually with students who needed more instruction. A majority (82%) had access to mobile devices at home and the IPod Touch tool was considered a bridge between learning at school and at home and a tool of their generation. Negative perceptions included 1) access at school does not necessarily compensate for the lack of it at home, and parents felt pressure to acquire similar devices for home 2) parents were concerned about safety and access to the Internet without filters and 3) parents want a balanced approach to learning that includes tech tools as well as manual methods for acquiring basic literacy and numeracy skills 

Evaluation: This research is important because there are too few actual studies of mobile devices in the classroom. It points out both perceived positives and negatives of mobile device use by parents, teachers and the principal at one elementary school. More studies with larger populations and feedback from students over the long term are necessary. The use of mobile devices in classrooms needs to involve not only drill and practice activities but also spark creative enterprises whereby students become producers of content. This study shows that teachers often lack the technology training to integrate its use efficiently and innovatively, and need more collaborative professional learning opportunities.