Massachusetts School Library Association
HomeAbout UsMembersTake Action!NewsletterBookmark ContestProf.LearningAwardsResources
Librarians and the Common Core: Making the Implicit Explicit PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Frontier Regional High School Library
113 North Main Street
South Deerfield, MA 01373
Facilitator: Kristin Fontichiaro, University of Michigan
Make a weekend of it! There is lots to do in this part of western Massachusetts. We have made a Pinterest board with some local attractions and information. We hope it will entice some of you to come west and enjoy the fall - our most beautiful time of year! 

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are bearing down as we prepare for testing in 2014-2015. What is the role of librarians in helping students achieve these ever-higher benchmarks?

In this daylong workshop, we'll put our leadership caps on and spend the day kneading, poking, and peering inside the standards to find points of connection between CCSS's goals and our professional values. We'll begin with an overview of the CCSS to clarify and eliminate misconceptions about CCSS and its intent, then focus our day on the English Language Arts standards, reviewing major themes, genres, and styles related to informational text, writing, and research.

Then we'll look at the standards themselves, reading between the lines to discover what it really takes to achieve a standard like Writing 3.7, "Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic." While the wording of the standards may be succinct, the implicit skills hidden within need to be unpacked before we can help our classroom colleagues plan and teach robustly. What kinds of procedural or higher-order thinking skills (from note-taking to synthesis) are explicit in the CCSS documentation but may be absent within the standards themselves? How do we turn Informational Text 9-10.8, " Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning" into meaningful instructional steps?

After lots of discussion (and a bit of laughter about CCSS's inconsistencies), we'll tackle our back-at-school action plan. You'll review exit standards and check them against the work you are already doing -- or could expand your role in doing. Most librarians, in doing this, discover that their work already aligns quite closely. Whether as a primary instructor, team teacher, reinforcing teacher, or provider of materials, you are already working actively toward a CCSS implementation -- you just may not know it yet! From shifting lessons to anticipating the professional development your teachers will need, you matter in this implementation effort.

We'll end the day by preparing an action plan that you can take back to building or district administrators, showing your essential contributions to your school or district's CCSS efforts.

Kristin Fontichiaro is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, where she coordinates the school library media program. In addition, she co-teaches Teaching with Technology in the UM School of Education. Formerly, she was an elementary school librarian and professional development facilitator for the Birmingham (MI) Public Schools and a secondary English teacher in Tennessee.

Her most recent edited volumes are Navigating the Information Tsunami: Engaging Research Projects that Meet the Common Core State Standards, K-5 (Cherry Lake, June 2012) and Growing Schools: Librarians as Professional Developers (with Debbie Abilock and Violet H. Harada, Libraries Unlimited, June 2012).

In 2011, she edited two eBooks: School Libraries: What's Now, What's Next, What's Yet to Come (co-edited with Buffy Hamilton) and Information Literacy in the Wild.

Earlier professional books include 21st-Century Learning in School Libraries; Active Learning Through Drama, Podcasting, and Puppetry; and Podcasting at School. With Sandy Buczynski, she is co-author of Story Starters and Science Notebooking: Developing Student Thinking Through Literacy and Inquiry. She also writes informational texts for middle grade readers and has written for Principal Leadership, ASCD Express, Teacher Librarian, Synergy, and other publications.

Named an Emerging Leader by the American Library Association, Distinguished Alumna by the Wayne State University Library and Information Science Program, and a 2012 Library Journal Mover and Shaker, she blogs at and writes the “Nudging Toward Inquiry” column for School Library Monthly.

Last Updated ( Friday, 14 September 2012 )

© 2015 Massachusetts School Library Association
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.