The truth is, I have a really hard time saying no. So when I got an email asking for teachers to create a thirty to sixty second video in support of the Common Core State Standards, I thought, “I can do that. It will be fun! I do like the CCSS and I can learn more about the iMovie app while doing a real project.”
So I said yes, and reality hit. Thirty to sixty seconds started to feel like a very complicated time frame. The need for brevity does concentrate the mind but I knew I needed help. When in doubt, ask a kid.
“What makes an interesting video?” I asked Seventh Grade Teacher’s Assistant.
“Props,” he said.
I decided that props plus kids would be much better than just me talking and that I needed to write a script so that the kids would have something to say. That meant I needed to figure out what I liked most about the CCSS, how I could get kids to act, and how to incorporate those necessary props.
The first time I ever heard of the CCSS was at a Readers and Writers Workshop training and when the presenter read off some of the reading, writing, speaking, and listening standards, I remembered being flooded with happiness. Many of the standards asked students do do just what school librarians believe is important. Finally! Someone besides me cared so much about skills I thought were important that they put them into national standards.
I reread the literacy standards, and it was as though they were raising their hands and shouting, “Pick me! Pick me!” I settled on my top five favorites, and wrote a sentence or two in kid language to summarize each one.
The props would be the number of each standard I chose printed on construction paper. I invited current and first semester Teacher’s Assistants to be the actors, who would hold up the papers to provide appropriate online annonimity and would read their lines from the back. Even the shyest TA felt comfortable behind their CCSS shield and they all nailed their lines. My job would be to say the first and last lines. Here’s what we said:
The common core state standards are an amazing gift to school librarians because they ask our students to do just what librarians have always wanted them to do.
Reading Literature 7.10
I can read well and understand what I’m reading.
Citing sources! Telling where we got our information.
Who wrote it? Why should I believe it? Evaluate your sources.
I can support my claims with evidence from a source.
Speaking and Listening 7.5
I can show what I know using digital media – poems on iMovie or infographics on Keynote.
That’s what this school librarian likes best about the common core state standards!
As a result I learned the basics of iMovie and had the opportunity to reflect on the essence of why I think the CCSS are important and worthwhile. My TAs were proud of their work and you can see the video here: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sv_T2a-QzAw&feature=youtu.be.
It’s good to say yes.
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