"If you want to find your happy place, just go to the library." ~ Lizzie K. Foley, Author

Posts tagged ‘high school’

The research proves our impact!

This is not my work, just something that was shared with me to pass along:

VERY important article by Keith Curry Lance and Linda Hofshine, School Library Journal, Sept 1, 2011:

“Something to Shout About: New research shows that more librarians means higher reading scores”

http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/slj/home/891612-312/something_to_shout_about_new.html.csp

Laying off librarians has a negative effect on fourth grade reading scores (2004 to 2009): “fewer librarians translated to lower performance—or a slower rise in scores—on standardized tests.” Most important, Lance and Hofshine present evidence showing that the negative effect was due specifically to laying off librarians, not overall staff changes.

“We found that 19 of the 26 states that gained librarians saw an average 2.2 percent rise in their National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) fourth-grade reading scores. Meanwhile, 9 of the 24 states that lost librarians had a 1 percent rise … the increase in scores of states that gained librarians was two times that of states that lost librarians. Scores remained unchanged for 6 states that gained librarians and 12 that lost librarians. Three states that lost librarians had an average decline of -1 percent, and one state that gained librarians experienced a -0.5 percent decline in scores.”

” … the magnitude and significance of the relationship between librarian staffing and test performance was reduced only very slightly when taking into account overall staff changes in schools … Whether a school had a librarian remained an important factor in reading test performance, regardless of what was happening with overall staffing numbers.”

Correlation between percent change in school librarians and percent change in reading scores for all students: r = .567.  Correlation when controlled for percent change in total school staff: r = .562 (partial correlation).

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Teaching through video game design

Can you imagine the look on their faces when you tell your students that you’re going to teach them how to design a video game?  Could you possibly hit any closer to home for most of these kids?  What do they love more than video games?  Well, other than their cell phones maybe…  And is this something that’s only possible for the most tech-savvy of us in the trenches?  No!  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  Look at this site I found while reading Scholastic Instructor (Summer, 2011, p.16).

Gamestar Mechanic  is geared towards the 4th – 9th grades, students begin playing individually, completing quests to learn the principles of video game design.  As a reward for earning enough experience, they are awarded a design workshop in which they design their own game.  They can then publish these games to share, as well as playing games designed by other kids, and they can review one another’s games.  Students will learn art and design, problem-solving, writing/storytelling, as well as working on their STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) skills.

Older kids will enjoy a similar website called Activate!   Again, the students are creatively solving problems (though here they are real-world environmental-related problems).  They design games, and can enjoy those created by others.   They are also asked to provide feedback.  The more they offer, they greater their own rewards.

Both of these programs are meant to take place in 4 lessons, and both involve computers and worksheets to teach the students.  For more information, view Scholastic’s article (complete with videos and the research behind these sites).  Level UP!