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What I Learned About Common Core: Takeaways from AASL

Post by Beth Gerall
Posted January 03, 2014 in Kids & Book News

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I always imagine that I’ll come back from a conference and immediately take action on what I learned. But sometimes it just takes me a while to process everything. This was the case for AASL, which I attended in November. I’m just now taking stock.

One big takeaway for me is that we, as librarians, need to make sure we are part of the Common Core conversation -- in schools and beyond. Whether that means inviting yourself to meetings, or taking the lead on a professional development team, it’s important to make sure you’re at the table when Common Core is being discussed. Why? First, because teacher-librarians must be instructional leaders. Second, because we need to be sure that everything we’re doing in the library meets the needs of students and teachers. The only way to do that is to be closely involved.

At AASL, I had the privilege of presenting with children’s book author extraordinaire Toni Buzzeo. If you missed it, the two of us co-presented a session titled Reading – the Core of Learning: CCSS in the Elementary School Library.

It was a fantastic session; we had well over 200 people in attendance! All of the folks that attended were engaged with us, and clearly excited to spend some time talking about nonfiction books, and incorporating them into the classroom. I always learn a few things from Toni when she and I work together, and this time was no different. I loved it when she talked about strategies for matching up books that already in our school library collections with the Common Core standards; from the responses of people in the room, it was clear that she had zeroed in on what people wanted to know. 

One of the things we handed out at our session was a packet of Common Core materials from NoveList. If you missed the session, we’ve made the handout packet available.

I hope to see you next year at AASL Las Vegas!