March 27, 2017

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When Racing to the Top Slows Us Down | On Common Core


In many states where the CCSS have been adopted and RttT funds accepted, educators are feeling beleagured.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Show, Don’t Tell: A Common Core Tenet Applies to Our Roles


Savvy librarians seize and incorporate the tenets of Common Core State Standards learning in their practices—doing so offers them an opportunity to demonstrate their role in student achievement.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Inquiry and Integration Across the Curriculum: Measurement

Math banner

Have you used a tape measure or a ruler lately? Figured out what coins to give a cashier? If you have, then you know how important measurement is in your daily life. This lesson plan provides a look at how children’s literature can support young children as they learn about standard measurement.

The Wrong Villain: Critics Should Focus on Race to the Top | On Common Core

Race to the Top Logo

The Common Core State Standards are under attack from many arenas but, argues Paige Jaeger, critics should instead be honing in on Race to the Top. It has driven the ills of excessive testing, teacher measurement, and data-archiving monsters that track “achievement” by numbers.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Work and Wages: Inquiry Across the Curriculum | On Common Core

minimum wage

Stories about labor and the economy continue to dominate headline news. In what ways does a “rising tide lift all boats”? What is the real minimum wage required to bring working families out of poverty? These and other important questions can be explored in the context of today’s curriculum standards.

Inquiry and Integration Across the Curriculum | Natural Selection and Adaptation


In a lesson designed for middle school students, the authors investigate questions about the evolution of life on Earth through the lens of contemporary standards.

Inquiry and Integration Across the Curriculum: Global Citizenry


When the new social studies and the Common Core standards are used together to plan curriculum, the result is a truly powerful, integrated approach to learning. Here’s a lesson that shows the way.

A School and Public Librarian Find Common Ground on the Common Core


In SLJ’s recent “Common Core and the Public Librarian” one-hour live webcast, Olga Nesi, regional coordinator for the New York City Department of Education, Division of Library Services, and Nina Lindsay, the children’s services coordinator for Oakland (CA) Public Library, discussed the national initiative and, in particular, what it means for public librarians.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Inquiry and Integration Across the Curriculum | On Common Core


The new Next Generation Science Standards, released last April, are performance standards, created to demonstrate not merely what students will know, but what students will know how to do. They have been written with direct connections to the Common Core. Here is a sample lesson working within both sets of standards.

Inquiry and Integration Across the Curriculum | On Common Core

Common Core image

Authentic learning can only take place in the context of rich curriculum; it’s about encountering big ideas, raising and answering questions, and making sense of evidence. Join Mary Ann Cappiello and Myra Zarnowski as they launch their 2013-14 “On Common Core” column focusing on strategies for integrating content, standards, and children’s and young adult literature into an inquiry-based curriculum.

CC’s Seventh Shift | On Common Core

Librarian and student using the computer

The very language of the Common Core State Standards calls for librarians’ key skills: research; equipping students to access, evaluate, and synthesize information; and strengthening literacy. Paige Jaeger, a coordinator of school library services in Saratoga Springs, NY argues that librarians can build a strong case for a seventh shift in the CCSS: research.

Vulcanizing Vocabulary: Librarians Lead Path to Achievement | On Common Core

Learning dictionary definition

The Common Core State Standards place strong emphasis on vocabulary, and librarians are in a prime position to actively support this shift. This month’s “On Common Core” column shares how, including selecting read-alouds with robust language, helping students find engaging (and challenging) nonfiction books that match their interests, carefully choosing titles for reading lists, and initiating independent reading incentives.

College Readiness: Librarians Can Help the Transition | On Common Core


Education buzzwords—whole language, multiple intelligences—come and go, but 45 states chose to adopt the Common Core Learning Standards. The questions educators now face are what types of instruction help students develop these skills? And how do librarians insert themselves into these critical discussions?

On Common Core | Nonfiction as Mentor Text


Many people hold on to the belief that nonfiction writing is “just the facts,” often synonymous with formulaic, dull writing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Writers for young people model both substance and style, and can serve as mentors to their readers.

Balancing Readability and Reading Fluency | On Common Core

Paige Jaeger

Knowing the research behind text complexity is critical to understanding the Common Core’s call for more complexity, and how reading for pleasure fits in.

Saved by I-SAIL: Making the most of a tool that articulates the value of school libraries | On Common Core

I-sail logo

In 2007. “ the superintendent came to me when he was cutting the budget and asked me why he should keep me and the library,” said Karen Smith-Cox. “He was not joking.”  Her story is not unfamiliar, but the outcome provides insight for all libraries.

“As I researched support to keep the librarian and the program, I stumbled upon a first draft of I-SAIL,” added Smith-Cox, a K–8 Teacher/Librarian at the Arthur/Lovington (IL) School District. “I read it and knew […]

On Common Core | Talking about Nonfiction


“Talking takes time” note the authors, but allowing students time for conversations about the texts they are reading is essential.

One Librarian’s Success Story | On Common Core

Christine Poser School Media Specialist

With one smart step at a time, Christine Poser, a middle-school librarian at Myra S. Barnes I.S. 24 on Staten Island, NY, is helping her school move on the new standards.

Consider the Source: Two Is the Thorniest Number


In his latest Consider the Source column, Marc Aronson uses the recent presidential election as a jumping off point to discuss the different ways that American history is viewed.

The Public Library Connection: The new standards require that public and school librarians pull together | On Common Core


Now, more than ever before, collaboration between public and school librarians is critical. As we strive to be at the center of the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in our schools, strong relationships with our local public librarians can make all the difference in the world and provide us, our students, and our school colleagues with tremendous advantages.

While public and school libraries differ, our common patron base of children gives both groups fertile ground […]