What should I read next? A pen pal project Fall 2010 Standards: Grade: 4th / 9th – 12th AASL Standard 3 Teacher: Laura Tacke Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society. Collaborating Librarians: AASL Standard 4 Kim Bell (Elementary) Pursue personal and aesthetic growth. Amy Taylor (Secondary) Topic: Reading Selection & Letter AASL Skills: Writing 3.1.2 Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners. Library Visits: 3.1.3 Use writing and speaking skills to communicate new understandings effectively. Stand Alone 4.1.4 Seek information for personal learning in a variety of formats and genres. Lesson in a Unit 4.1.7 Use social networks and information tools to gather and share information. Multiple Lessons in a Unit Estimated Lesson/Unit Time: LSR7 Outcomes: 8 weeks Understand the concept of audience and begin to determine audience before creating product. 3.1.2 Participate in literature related activities correlated to organized reading programs. 4.1.2, 4.1.3, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, 4.1.8 Overview: Cadet teachers and fourth grade students will exchange a minimum of three letters discussing their reading interests. Instructional Plan: Lesson #1 – Cadet Teachers Resources: Subscription Databases ______________________________________________________________________ Websites _________________________________________________________________________________ Print Resources sample “friendly letter” from Mrs. Tacke Technology _________________________________________________________________________________ Other______________________________________________________________________________________ Instructional Activities: Instructor led presentation – covering: Purpose of the project Description of the average 4th grader Explanation of the librarians role in elementary schools Sample letter Handout with requirements of first letter Lesson #2 – Cadet Teachers Resources: Subscription Databases ______________________________________________________________________ Websites _________________________________________________________________________________ Print Resources _____________________________________________________________________________ Technology _________________________________________________________________________________ Other:_Library Catalog Instructional Activities: Instructor led presentation – covering: Lexiles Using the catalog Finding the lexile, length, copyright date of a given book in the catalog Using Titlepeek for finding synopsis, reviews, chapter preview nd Handout with requirements of 2 letter – Make a book suggestion based on information from their letters. th Give students their letters from the 4 graders Guided Practice Students practice using catalog to find good book recommendations th Lesson – 4 Grade Students Resources: Subscription Databases ______________________________________________________________________ Websites _________________________________________________________________________________ Print Resources _____________________________________________________________________________ Technology Internet Access & Prezi.com Other______________________________________________________________________________________ Instructional Activities: Instructor led presentation – covering: Purpose of project – write a letter to the cadet teacher including information about themselves and what they like to read in hopes of getting a good book suggestion Information to include in their letter
Examples of a too long letter & a too short letter Link to presentation: http://prezi.com/gbxzycwmy2s9/pen‐pal‐exchange/ Guided Practice Students write rough draft of letter Teacher & myself will review the rough drafts and give comments/suggestions Final draft will be done on their own Assessment: • 4th Grade students will be assessed by their classroom teacher & do self reflection in their writers workshop journal • Cadet Teachers will complete a self‐survey and be assessed by Amy Taylor with a rubric. Calendar: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday October 1 4 5 6 7 8 Meet with Mrs. Tacke Lesson #1 with Cadet Teachers (CT) 11 12 13 14 15 Mrs. Dumler gives me the list I match students and give the CT get their 4th grade pen pals of all CT / Kim & I write a handout and student names names and begin writing letters handout for FEA students to Mrs. Dumler 18 19 20 21 W/in next two weeks give 22 CT letters due to Mrs. Dumler 4th grade lesson on what to & myself / I deliver letters to include in letter and 4th Mrs. Tacke graders write the letters 25 26 27 28 29 November 1 2 3 4Lesson #2 w/ CT ‐ Deliver 5 Pick up 4th grade letters 4th grade letters to FEA students and give lesson on how to make book 8 9 10 11 12 15 16 17 18 19 CT Letter #2 Due & delivered to Mrs. Tacke 22 23 24 25 26 29 30 December 1 2 3 Pick up 4th grade letters & Deliver to CT 6 7 8 9 10 13 14 15 16 17 Final CT Letter Due & delivered to Mrs. Tacke
Application of principles of library and information studies: In this lesson students applied the principles of collaboration, seeking information for personal growth, and using writing skills to communicate effectively. The fourth grade students collaborated with cadet teachers via written letters in an attempt to find literature which would benefit their personal growth. The cadet teachers applied the same principles by collaborating with the fourth grade students via written letters in attempt to analyze the information provided by their pen pal and make appropriate reading recommendations. They also used their critical thinking and research skills to match their pen pal’s interests and abilities with materials available in their school’s library. As the librarian I applied the principles of access, equity, service, intellectual freedom, and social responsibility by: • educating fourth grade students in what information to share regarding their interests and reading habits to elicit favorable book suggestions • facilitating discussion (via written letters) of literature amongst cadet teachers and fourth graders • explaining and demonstrating to cadet teachers the importance of the school library and librarian • teaching cadet teachers the purpose of lexiling and how to use the card catalog • guiding cadet teachers in the analysis of student letters so they could think critically about the students interests and make appropriate book recommendations • instructing cadet teachers in the social responsibilities of mentoring elementary students Engages all learning styles and developmental levels: The lessons in this project were differentiated to meet the needs of the most prevalent learning styles. The direct instruction included both visual and auditory cues and each lesson included hands‐on practice which was helpful for kinesthetic learners. This project allowed students of all developmental levels to participate. The students were asked to share information about their own interest and book they had read and enjoyed, therefore all students could participate without hindrance. There were no requirements regarding length, therefore all students were free to share information related to their individual information need without fear of reducing their grade. Examples of engaging practical action: • Presented information regarding purpose of project and requirements of letters verbally for auditory learners • Presented information regarding purpose of project and requirements of letters visually for visual learners • Visually demonstrated how to use card catalog • Guided students as they practiced using card catalog for Kinesthetic learners • In one‐on‐one instruction I led cadet‐teachers through critically analyzing the pen pal’s letters and determining their individual information needs. • In one‐on‐one instruction I led the 4th grade students in selecting the appropriate information to share in their letters • Via written comments I helped both the 4th grade students and cadet teachers fine tune their letters. Application and integration of interdisciplinary content through collaboration with class teacher(s) (Collaboration collection chart): Collaboration was done face‐to‐face and via email. (Also see attached planning guide – adapted from Joyce Valenza.) Responsibilities of Teacher: Provide a sample “friendly letter” to share with cadet teachers Give fourth grade class instructions on letter writing Read and correct Rough Drafts Responsibilities of Librarians: Share the purpose of the project with both the fourth graders and cadet teachers Create the lessons for the cadet teachers th Create (in collaboration) the 4 grade lesson Provide assistance in the writing of rough drafts Act as the “letter carrier” transporting letters from LSWHS to SPE and vice versa Organize final event/celebration Integration of interdisciplinary content: 4th grade communication curriculum (letter writing skills, concept of audience, and literature related activities) and cadet teaching objectives st (understanding of lexile and knowledge of children’s literature) were integrated with AASL’s skills for the 21 Century Learner (Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners, Use writing and speaking skills to communicate new understandings effectively, Seek information for personal learning in a variety of formats and genres and Use social networks and information tools to gather and share information.) Standards‐based evidence of learning objectives: The completed letters acted as evidence that the standards were met. The standards were used when determining the scores given on the rubric. Evaluation of student learning and library media programming: It is difficult to assess whether the students skill improved over this process because I am not their daily teacher and have no prior experience with their work. However, based on my personal observations, the rubrics for the cadet teachers and conversations with Mrs. Tacke and Ms. Bell, I can say: • the cadet teacher’s first letters were very well written and indicated a considerable amount of work and care • the fourth grade students followed the directions and wrote very thoughtful letters • the fourth grade students included appropriate information for eliciting book suggestions • the cadet teachers made appropriate book recommendations based off their pen pals interests, reading level, and availability • although, some did include books they read when they were children, they also made sure those books were available at the SPE library and
included additional more contemporary titles • he students on both ends have indicated that they learned much from the process and that they would like to meet each other in a culminating activity which is being planned • The classroom teacher shared that she was also happy with students work and felt they were becoming experts at letter writing I used the rubric below to evaluate the cadet teachers. The cadet teachers used the same rubric to evaluate themselves. (adapted from Joyce Valenza) Things to change for the future: • Having examples from this project will help immensely; I plan on sharing them with the cadet teachers at the onset. I will include them as part of lesson #1. • I think lesson #2 for the cadet teachers went well but I wish I would have given them a sample letter to practice with. Next time, I’m going to include a sample letter and have them pick 3 book recommendations based on the information in the letter. Then as a group we can go over their recommendations and discuss whether they were on target or not. • The elementary lesson was good – but I do think we should have adjusted the delivery timing. I go back and forth between handing them out a couple of days before the lesson or directly after the lesson. Next time, I think I’ll hand them out after the lesson. This way the students will have prior knowledge of the purpose of the project and will already be thinking of things they should include in their own. Also, this will give them time to enjoy the letters and re‐read as they wish. • The biggest adjustment I would make is in the timing. I would add more time between the collection and distribution of the letters and factor in outside events that may impact the schedule.
Pen Pal Project Evaluation Form Cadet TeachersStudent ____________________________ Class _____________ Date ____________ Grade _____Evaluator: Self Peer Teacher Total Points: _____________ Poor Excellent 1. Research problem (Make an Appropriate Book Recommendation) 1 2 3 4 5 Comments: 2. Research effort/Information access (Use of SPE Card Catalog) 1 2 3 4 5 Comments: 3. Research accuracy/Supporting evidence 1 2 3 4 5 (Chose an appropriate book and gave an explanation for the choice) Comments: 4. Letter Organization (opening, body, closing – ended with a question) 1 2 3 4 5 Comments: 5. Mechanics—grammar, spelling, punctuation 1 2 3 4 5 Comments:10. Specific criteria for project 1 2 3 4 5 Comments: