Cool Tools for School, Thing 31: Thing 31: EBP–Getting Started

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I was so excited to see that Track 4 would be tackling EBP and annual reports this year! These are two areas that I know I could be tackling better but just don’t know where/how to start. I do send my principal monthly library reports (yay!) but they are the same template I got from a librarian I subbed for fresh out of college and they emphasize circulation stats, most popular book etc (boo!). I’ve also made gains in showing people what I do in the library. On the suggestion of a colleague, I send the teachers a quick end of month report that showcases what we did in library, what CCSS we hit, and any physical/digital work the students produced (yippie!). But, since I don’t give grades in my district, I never thought to make copies/scan any of the students work for my own data/evidence of what I do (double boo!). Clearly, I need some help and direction when it comes to EBP.

I think one of the hardest parts about getting started with EBP, for me, is just sitting down and thinking about the who, what, where, when, and how of EBP (the why is the easy part-because it’s important and makes your worth in the school indisputable). So, after tackling some of the activities and jotting down some notes, it was time to tackle the “think about” questions.

  • What’s your school mission, primary focus, goals?

Like many schools, we’re really focused on raising our students test scores and getting more of students to perform at grade level in math, reading, and writing. We also revamped our PBIS program and started implementing the Leader in Me program this year.

  • What is important to your principal, school board, other teachers?

I think the above goals are the most important to my principal and fellow teachers. I think these things are also important to the school board but I also know that the district is stressing technology, getting our kids ready for the real world.

  • How does your program help meet THEIR goals?

This is the big question isn’t it? It’s also the most difficult one for me to succinctly answer, even with all this time dedicated to thinking about how to answer it! By making reading and storytelling fun and enjoyable I can encourage reading, and reading more helps make better readers. I can work more writing activities into our class time to help make them stronger writers and editors. We can even work some math and number skills in to our activities. We can improve their research skills and increase their awareness of the need to be safe and skeptical online-which helps prepare them for the increasingly digital future. I’ve been trying to work the critical academic vocabulary into our lessons when possible. Seeing, hearing, and working with the critical academic vocabulary in as many subject areas as possible will help them become more comfortable with vocabulary they need to address the CCSS.

  • What measurable data can you collect that will show the library’s influence on student success?

I could revamp the library centers and library center worksheets I’ve used in the past so that I have some kind of pre-assessement and use the worksheets as a post assessment of what they’ve learned/I’ve taught. I’ve done more writing projects in the library this year and I’ve been keeping all of the planning, rough draft, edit pages etc. When we do any compare/contrast activities I could take pictures of the charts we fill out together at the beginning and end of the unit. I could track the tech skills that I teach students with pre and post assessment activities.

  • What stories, anecdotes and personal stories might you collect from students and staff? These help support the quantitative data.

This is definitely something I could do a better job keeping track of! Students say things about what they’ve learned or enjoyed about library all the time and I don’t ever make a note or write it down! I need to get in the habit of making a note in my phone/iPad or planner. I’ve been thinking about getting a special notebook and at the end of each day taking a few minutes to jot down the crazy/funny/silly things they kids say and do every day. Maybe this could do both jobs…

Some final ideas I got from the readings:

  1. start using exit tickets in the library
  2. use Kahoot! more during the school year (my students love this-I think we’d ace the state tests if they were presented in Kahoot! format)
  3. add Nearpod into my smartBoard presentations/lessons
  4. use Google Forms to survey more than just my 6th graders (and more often than at the end of the school year)
  5. start using the SeeSaw app as soon as possible (IT is working on getting this installed on my iPads)
  6. focus on knowledge created/gained, focus on the students

Whew! That’s quite the start-feels good to get some of this out of my brain. Can’t wait to get some ideas on how to actually start collecting the data (and some ideas on what data to collect).

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