For this guest post we welcome Judi Moreillon, author of several books including the recent ALA Editions title Coteaching Reading Comprehension Strategies in Elementary School Libraries: Maximizing Your Impact.
All across the country the new school year is getting underway. As school librarians consider their unique contributions to learning and teaching in their schools this year, they can make time to review and recommit to their role in reading.
The American Association of School Librarian’s published a position statement on the School Librarian’s Role in Reading that notes: “Guiding learners to become engaged and effective users of ideas and information and to appreciate literature requires that they develop as strategic readers who can comprehend, analyze, and evaluate text in both print and digital formats” (AASL 2007) More recently, AASL published an infographic based on the findings of a National Center for Literacy Education research study that opens with the charge for school librarians to strengthen their commitment to building collaborative cultures in their school learning communities.
So how can school librarians maximize their impact on student learning outcomes this school year?
In school districts and states where the Common Core State Standards are being rolled out with a strong emphasis on English Language Arts (ELA) or where other literacy initiatives are being promoted (see TEKS ELA-Reading Figure #19), improving students’ reading comprehension proficiency is a top priority.
Research in the field of school librarianship has consistently shown that when school librarians collaborate with classroom teachers the results are evidenced in reading scores on standardized tests. Library Research Service has recently posted an infographic that illuminates the strong correlation between students’ reading scores and the work of school librarians.
In my professional books for school librarians and classroom teachers, I provide background information on seven reading comprehension strategies that can be applied across content areas, with multiple text formats, and with different genres. These strategies are aligned with the AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner (see my alignment charts here and here). Each of my books, one written for educators serving at the elementary level and the other for those at the secondary level, provides twenty-one sample lesson plans that specify how educators can coteach in order to motivate, model, guide students’ practice, and coassess the students’ progress in applying these strategies. The ALA Editions Web Extras for these books include downloadable graphic organizers, sample student work, rubrics, and other assessment tools—in short, everything school librarians and classroom teachers need to implement these lessons on Monday morning (see below).
If you are a school librarian who is committed to helping students become effective users of ideas and information and producers of knowledge, then aligning reading comprehension strategies with information literacy is a win-win-win situation.
A win for students who can learn to independently analyze texts in all formats and content areas; a win for classroom teachers who have a partner with whom to teach these essential strategies; and a win for school librarians who can use their role in teaching reading comprehension to demonstrate their value as leaders on their school’s literacy teams…
Check out these essential resources:
Coteaching Reading Comprehension Strategies in Elementary School Libraries: Maximizing Your Impact (ALA Editions, 2013) and the Web Extras
Coteaching Reading Comprehension Strategies in Secondary School Libraries: Maximizing Your Impact (ALA Editions, 2012) and the Web Extras