Collaboration and the Value of Assessments

Name: Nicdao, Jocelyn

Topic: CO

Citation: Moreillon, J. (2019). Co-planning and co-implementing assessment and evaluation strategies for inquiry learning. Knowledge Quest, 47(3), 40-47. Retrieved from

Summary: Moreillon discusses the importance of school librarians to work in “comprehensive collaboration” with classroom teachers and/or learning specialists in order to be valuable in the academic partnership. In such collaborative efforts, both school librarians and classroom teachers and/or learning specialists actively work together in the planning, implementation, assessment, and evaluation of a unit. More specifically, Moreillon emphasizes the value and use of assessments especially from both the school librarian and classroom teacher and/or learning specialist. Assessments coming from the collaboration of two or more adults allow for reliability and for different perspectives in practice and in the learning process. Assessments guide in the co-planning of learning throughout the unit, focused on the “what?” and the “how?” students learn in the process and the quality of that learning. Further, assessments allow for the co-implementation of further academic supports such as small groups or one-on-one for students who may struggle or the co-implementation of lessons to reteach with examples or to  re-frame for the whole class. Moreover, assessments inform the evaluation of the unit itself, with both the school librarian and classroom teacher and/or learning specialists seeing its successes and needs for improvement and thereby, planning for the next unit.

Evaluation: I find that Moreillon is basically encouraging school librarians to be a valuable part of the collaboration process, using assessments as tools to collaborate successfully with the classroom teacher and/or learning specialist in the planning, implementation, assessment, and evaluation of a co-taught unit. With that, she includes in this article examples of forms that can be used in the collaboration process. As she points out the many benefits and examples of co-assessments from both librarian and classroom teacher and/or learning specialist, I realize how much rich input school librarians can provide in co-teaching a unit and thus, become a prolific part of the academic partnership.

Climbing to Excellence: Defining Characteristics of Successful Learning Commons

Khera, Michelle

Educational Theory and Practice (ET)

Loertscher, David V, & Koechlin, Carol. (2014). Climbing to Excellence: Defining Characteristics of Successful Learning Commons.(FEATURE). Knowledge Quest, 14.

This is an interesting article on what a learning commons is and the ever changing definition and idea of what a school library is and should be. I liked the emphasis on the different behaviors that might be seen in a learning commons, such as playing, creating, tinkering, building, making, experimenting, sharing, performing, producing, doing, constructing, connecting, accessing, and self-monitoring. I argue that reading still needs to be emphasized, because I worry that we will get too far away from the reading aspect of libraries, but overall, this is a super useful article relating to educational theory and I plan on taking it to my director in hopes of encouraging a learning commons on our school campus.

A Review of the 2018 AASL Standards

Sasaki, Lori


Loertscher, D.V. (2018). A Review (National School Library Standards — AASL). Teacher Librarian, 45(3), p. 36-48. Retrieved from

This is a lengthy and detailed review and analysis of the new AASL 2018 standards. The review points out a few strengths, namely that the standards address inquiry in more detail, and many, many areas of concern. Some areas of concern that stand out include the role of the library in affecting learning in the greater school vision, the lack of a central role for technology, and the absence of free and independent reading. For all of the concerns, there is also a section with recommendations for “thinking ahead.”

This article should be required reading for anyone working in school libraries, whether they have tried to make sense of the new AASL standards or not. Underlying the entire review is the sense of urgency for the profession to demonstrate the indispensability of the role of teacher librarians and school libraries in a time when their existence is being questioned. The recommendations push teacher librarians to think deeply and critically about their role in learning, to imagine what learning can look like, and to create learning commons for 21st century learners.

Parent book clubs

Goering, Patricia


Deuschle, K. (2017). Using parent book clubs to build a school-wide reading community. Knowledge Quest, 46(2), 16-20. Retrieved from

Deuschle describes how she implemented a parent book club to create a community of readers. She gives a detailed, easy-to-replicated, description of how she organized the book club in order to keep it simple for both her and her students’ busy parents. The club’s activities consisted of mostly email-initiated contact with two events per year.

I found this to be an interesting idea, that seems relatively simple to implement, yet has the possibility to make a big difference. The positive effect Deuschel describes also makes sense considering that the biggest indicator of a student being an avid reading is if their parents are readers.

‘Teaching at the desk’

Goering, Patricia


Elmborg, J. K. (2002). Teaching at the desk: Toward a reference pedagogy. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 2(3): 455-464. doi:10.1353/pla.2002.0050

Elmborg describes how one-on-one interactions with students at the reference desk can model the writing conference and use socratic-style questioning to lead students to finding their own answers to reference questions, learning valuable information literacy skills in the process, instead of simply giving them the answer or a list of best sources.

As a teacher librarian, I found this source to be a practical tool to take advantage of reference questions as teachable moments.

Community Collaboration for Inquiry Success

Moreno, Mary


Fuller, C. F, Byerly, G. G., Kearley, D. D., & Ramin, L. L. (2014). Community collaboration for inquiry success. Knowledge Quest, 43(2), 56-59.  


As we have discussed during class, it is often the case that one plus one equals three, at least when it comes to collaboration. In this article, the authors describe what was a one community, one book program turning into renewed focus on student performance and developing a stronger workforce with broad information skills. Inquiry skills would be taught K-12, but the partnership also included college and university librarians who would build on and continue the curriculum. What resulted was the Denton Inquiry 4 Lifelong Learning organization. The DI4LL chose Guided Inquiry Design as their model. A new curriculum for K-20 was developed, and teacher librarians learned new methods of providing instruction “throughout the inquiry process rather than just instruction on accessing information and resources.”


What stood out to me in this article is the range of the collaboration. I’ve never heard of K-20 planning before, and I think it is an amazing idea. The authors were honest about some of the growing pains associated with this process: staff found finding time challenging, and shifting perspectives wasn’t always smooth. The group had a can-do attitude, however. Grants were written for additional staff and PD opportunities. The new relationships built through this process promoted success, and the group developed an integrated ID curriculum that librarians are excited about.

School Librarian Leadership

Felix Davila III
ROOTS LEWIS, ,KATHRYN. (2016). The school librarian and leadership what can be learned? (cover story). Teacher Librarian, 43(4), 18-21. Retrieved from
Roots Lewis discusses key methods of positioning oneself in the best way to achieve success within the school environment through harnessing leadership traits and practices. She focuses on three major steps that can shift librarians into a positive direction. She highlights consistent research as a major key, noting that understanding trends, changes, resources and advancements informs and prepares practice. She acknowledges that relationships with the principal are crucial. Knowing that librarian goals are in line with the principals mindset can do wonders for progress. She is also a proponent for “highlighting” one’s program, not being afraid to sort of brag or at least showcase what the library does. This all combines to show the library can be important and a difference maker.

I appreciated Roots Lewis’ take mainly because I have seen it first hand. At my job, the principal is incredibly supportive of our efforts and enjoys that the library staff is passionate about work. In addition, our work is constantly displayed or highlighted in faculty emails and newsletters, to not only show what work is done, but to show that the principal fully backs what is done as well. This article was very important to me, as it reminds us to consider how much librarians can positively impact their own situations.

A great resource for school (and all) librarians

We Need Diverse Books is an organization that is dedicated to supporting diverse authors and promoting diverse books. The group started with a hashtag and has grown by leaps and bounds to become a force in the publishing and children’s books world. The website includes TONS of resources and links to websites by and about diverse authors, their books, and the world of diversity in schools and school libraries.

Check out the blog, and follow them on Instagram, too.

New Media Literacy Education (NMLE): A Developmental Approach

Amy Unger

Media Literacy Ed.

Graber, D. (2012) New Media Literacy Education (NMLE): A developmental approach. The National Association for Media Literacy Education’s Journal of Media Literacy Education, 4(1), 82-92.


In response to computer-technology usage by digital natives, the author of this article, Diana Graber, has developed and implemented a media-literacy curriculum called Cyberwise.  Her basis for its development was in response to a growing awareness of the immensity of internet and social media usage by digital natives, and scholars such as Prensky (2010), pointing towards a justified need for meeting young people “in whatever way they [educators, mentors] meet them” (this, increasingly meaning through technology) with opportunities that “best configure students’ brains so that they can constantly learn, create, program, adopt, adapt, and relate positively to whatever and whomever they meet …”, along with James, et al., (2008) stating that, “… the responsibility lies with the adults (educators, policymakers, parents, etc.) to provide young people with optimal supports for good play and citizenship.”

Furthermore, Graber’s Cyberwise curriculum responds to the long-revered developmental theories of Piaget and Kohlberg, summed up as sharing the belief that

” … children spend the first 12 years of life developing the cognitive structures that enable them to grasp the abstract, metaphoric, and symbolic types of information that lead to ethical thinking.  This understanding of cognitive and moral development requires us to at least consider how and when the youngest members of our society should be turned loose in a digital environment” (Graber, 2012).

Moreover, it is this capacity for ethical thinking that drives the Cyberwise curriculum.  Graber calls for our teaching of students to be wise users of the tools at their disposal, as a prerequisite to teaching media literacy.  Citing Ohler (2010), she notes the suggestion of a “whole school approach to behavior that sets the entirety of being digitally active within an overall ethical and behavioral context — character education for the Digital Age.”  Monke (2004) refers to this challenge with this:

“It seems that we are faced with a remarkable irony: that in an age of increasing artificiality, children first need to sink their hands deeply into what is real; that in an age of light-speed communication, it is crucial that children take the time to develop their own inner voice; that in an age of incredibly powerful machines we must first teach our children how to use the incredible powers that lie deep within themselves.”

In searching for evidence of schooling that is currently meeting any portions of this demand, Graber found one approach to be notably successful at developing moral reasoning, i.e., the Waldorf® school approach.  In a cited dissertation (Hether, 2001), about high school seniors from diverse educational settings, the Waldorf® school approach was found–through a quantitative survey tool about moral reasoning, known as the DIT (Defining Issues Test)–to result in graduates scoring significantly higher in moral reasoning than students from religiously affiliated or public high schools.  Waldorf educated students scored in a range more commonly associated with college graduates (Graber, 2012, p. 87).

Perhaps even more importantly, the second phase of that same dissertation identified five aspects of Waldorf® education that might contribute to higher moral reasoning:

  1. an emphasis on educating the whole person
  2. sensitivity to developmental appropriateness
  3. the practice of storytelling
  4. the integral place of the arts in the curriculum
  5. preservation of a sense of wonder towards the natural world

Sometime later, Jenkins, et al. (2006), (as in the Jenkins, et al.: Henry Jenkins of USC, and his team) identified “the media literacies”, which have significant overlap with the aspects of Waldorf® education:

  1.  networking, negotiation, collective intelligence and distributed cognition, such as occurs while students are working together to build a small structure (one of the many hands-on, collaborative projects in the Waldorf® curriculum)
  2. visualization, judgement, and appropriation, such as the proficiencies cultivated through the Waldorf® empahasis on art
  3. performance and simulation skills, such as developed by the dramatic storytelling practiced in Waldorf®, and 
  4. play, considered a hallmark of Waldorf® education (Graber, 2012, p. 88).

While the article goes further to explain the middle school years as the right time for ethical media literacy instruction, through Harvard University’s GoodPlay Project that identifies what ethical issues young people encounter in the digital world, it also makes mention of a three-year case study, through classroom action study, using Cyberwise (this being a Waldorf-inspired charter school in Orange County, CA) (Graber, 2012).

In conclusion, this article helps us stop and think about what we are doing while immersed in the beginnings of the digital age, with its “world full of both possibility and peril – rules of engagement being hashed out as we go” (Graber, 2012, p. 89).


I find this article to be indispensable, unique, and on the list of “why is this not required reading”?  Thank you for (hopefully) bearing with its length.

Citations referred to in the Graber Article (found to be in citation other than APA):

Hether, C.A. 2001. “The Moral Reasoning of High School Seniors from  Diverse Educational  Settings.” Ph.D. dissertation, Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center. Retrieved from Dissertations & Theses: Full Text (Publication No. AAT 3044032).

James, C., K. Davis, A. Flores, J.M. Francis, L. Pettinghill, M. Rundel, and H. Gardner. 2008. “Young People, Ethics, and the New Digital Media: A Synthesis from the Good Play Project.” GoodWork® Project Report Series, Number 54. Project Zero, Harvard School of Education.

Jenkins, H., R. Purushotma, K. Clinton, M. Weigel and A.J. Robinson, 2006. Confronting the  Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century.

Monke, L. 2004. “The Human Touch.” Education Next 4(4).

Ohler, J.B. 2009. “Orchestrating the Media Collage.” Educational Leadership 66(6): 8-13. Collage.aspx

New Technologies and 21st Century Skills

Boyer, Allison
New technologies and21st century skills. (2016). Retreived from
Summary: This website is part of an ongoing project by the Laboratory for Innovative Technology in Education.  This site provides an explanation of what it means to be literate in the 21st Century, what skills are considered 21st Century, as well as an ongoing lists of resources to help teachers understand 21st Century skills and ways to incorporate these skills in the classroom for student development.

Review: I found this website to be quite helpful in understanding 21st Century skills.  Not only does it provide an in-depth explanation of these skills, especially in relation to the education field, but the list of resources is extensive and ever-growing. It’s this aspect that I found most interesting.  This website is part of a project organized and maintained by LITE, and the list of resources will only continue to grow.  Resource include links to outside website, videos, Google Docs, etc.  This website is definitely one to remember.