Dear Stoddert Families,
This update is to provide you with information regarding the Information Literacy model that we are implementing this year. The goal of this model is not to combine a traditional pullout library program and a traditional pullout computer program into one period. Rather, the goal for our Information Literacy model is to help our students become proficient in accessing and using information, and to do so in a way that connects to the instruction that is occurring in their regular classrooms.
We know that learning things in isolation is not the most effective method. In light of that, classroom teachers no longer drop their students off at the library or computer lab during information literacy time. Instead, classroom teachers are active instructional partners in information literacy, co-planning and collaborating with our library and technology staff. When students learn keyboarding skills, they’ll be doing so in conjunction with a classroom report or project they’re working on. Likewise, when students learn research skills in the library, they’ll be able to immediately apply those skills to a classroom research project, such as the new DCPS Cornerstone Project initiative.
Collaboration and differentiation are two of our key values, and both of them are clearly aligned to our Information Literacy model. As mentioned previously, classroom teachers will be co-planning and co-teaching with our library and technology staff members during Information Literacy time. They are able to do this, and still have far more individual and grade-level planning time than is contractually required.
The model also supports differentiation. For example, students who need to improve their basic technology skills may be working in the computer lab, alongside students who are working on a PowerPoint presentation. At the same time, other students may be doing research in the library, checking out books, or working on their Cornerstone Projects.
It’s important to note that classroom teachers have great flexibility about how to use the Information Literacy model in the most beneficial way for their students. Depending upon their needs at any specific time, teachers may choose to stick to a one-time-per-week Information Literacy model, or they may schedule a second session per week for their class, or they may choose to buddy up with another classroom and jointly attend twice per week. The main requirement is that Information Literacy is always planned and delivered collaboratively, and is always connected to learning that is occurring in the regular classroom.
One final thought: I fully expect our library book circulation to increase under this model. Students will still have ample opportunity to check out books for pleasure reading. And, due to the connectedness between classroom instruction and Information Literacy, I predict they’ll check out additional books to support the collaborative instruction. We’ll be closely monitoring circulation numbers to verify this prediction.
As is true of all initiatives, it’s very possible that we’ll modify and continually improve our Information Literacy model as the year progresses. In the meantime, thank you for your support of our efforts to make your child’s education relevant and engaging.