Sunday, August 12, 2012

Getting Organized For A New Year Of Collaborating, Teaching, Learning, Connecting, and Creating In The Library

I am spending this weekend getting ready for school to start next Wednesday on August 15th.  This is my 6th year as the district teacher librarian and one that will hold lots of great changes.  

One of the biggest changes will be the related arts schedules for our elementary students.  We will be on a four day rotation, so each of us will see the students more frequently and for a longer period of time.  I will have each class for 65 minutes every four days. During this time, I will cover library and technology skills such as information and technology literacy, digital citizenship, and of course....a love for reading (you can find the Van Meter Library and Technology Curriculum here).
I have always kept my lesson plans and learning targets in my Google Calendar, but this year I had to come up with another format since we are on the four day rotation.  I created a Google Doc that will hold my lesson plans and daily schedule for the year.  In the Google Doc, I will be able to add my lesson plans, learning targets, and other resources that I will need for each class.  I also have a space to add any curriculum standards that I may want to take note of for a specific day.  This helps me develop my learning targets which I must post each day as well. 

By creating lesson plans in a Google Doc or Calendar, they are easy to share with students, other educators within your building, parents, and learning community.  I also love how I can then keep them year to year.
Collaborating with teachers is an important part of my job as the teacher librarian.  We all get busy and it is hard to always find time to connect when we want, so I do a few things to make this easier.

I  created a Google Doc called What's Going On In Your Classroom in 2012-13? and it is a place for teachers to add important pieces of their curriculum so I can support and enhance these things.  Teachers add authors they might be focusing on for the month, special events, major themes from their curriculum, historical figures, tools they might be using or getting ready to use, and much more. On this document, there is also a place for the related arts teachers.  We have been talking about how important it is for related arts teachers to collaborate between each other and to also support the classroom teachers.

Before school starts,  I will make sure each classroom has a new library schedule and that it is posted online.  I will share with all the teachers, students, and parents too.  I will visit the teachers and touch base about the collaborative Google Docs that we will be using to make sure I can answer questions about using them.  I will also send them the link for my lesson plans and ask them to share them as well.

I always love this time of year.  A fresh start. The young people are excited and anxious for a new year.  And we are all ready to do something just a little different, a little greater than last year.


  1. You are so amazing. Thank you for everything you do (and then share!)
    Have a great start to the new year!
    Valerie Byrd Fort

  2. Hi Valerie,

    Thank you, friend. :) That just made my day.

    Have a wonderful and FUN school year, too.


  3. Wow! I just found your blog and it is truly amazing! Thank you for all of the wonderful resources and ideas! am starting my first library job in a K-4 library in a couple of weeks, and am so excited. I have been working all summer, but one thing I am a little anxious about is planning. I have middle school experience, so I'm looking for good monthly themes based on books to build my planning around. Do you have your google doc lesson plans somewhere on here? I love that idea and would love to see how you set up your year for the elementary grades. Thank you SO Much. You blog has truly inspired me in so many ways.
    Corisa walker

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