Supporting my Colleagues

At my school, teachers are expected to have expertise in technology as each student regularly uses either their own laptops (required in Grades 4-7) or ipads (used by students in K-3).  Therefore, the Teacher-Librarian is not viewed as the only expert in the building.  Sharing strategies, resources, and technology is built into our culture.

Once a month, our administrators and teaching staff, including ELL and LST teachers, meet for Collaboration Time 2:00 – 3:00 pm before our regular staff meeting (3:00 – 4:30 pm).  During this time, we share new practices, websites, apps, or other technology resources.  Next year, I will use this time to share district-wide database collections and school-based collections and how to locate them on our internal staff website.  My goal is to use Destiny Collections to create “pathfinders” for teachers and students to access from the main Destiny Homepage.  These collections will be public to all West Vancouver users and will focus on resources used in Inquiry Units focused on the Big Ideas in BC’s New Curriculum.

Destiny Collections

Image retrieved from West Vancouver School Libraries Destiny Collections

In order to ensure these resources are suitable and relevant, I will consult with grade group teachers during their Team Collaboration Time.  I will request access to their shared Inquiry Units on Google Docs, so that I can support them in finding resources that meet the needs of their students.

Another way I can support my colleagues is to showcase professional and student resources in the staff room.  When we purchased a large quantity of Indigenous Education books in April, we put them in the staff room before they went into regular circulation in the Library.  Teachers browsed through the books and found titles that gave them ideas for lessons and their Inquiry Units.

Finally, I will continue to use district email and Twitter to connect with my colleagues on new books and professional resources that they may be interested in.  As the school’s Professional Development Rep. and new Teacher-Librarian, I will share teaching strategies, resources, and technologies with my colleagues to support their teaching of students in our school.

Twitter share

Image retrieved from @andreaasmith45 Messages

Follett Corporation. (2018). Collections by Destiny. Retrieved from

Province of British Columbia. (2018). BC’s New Curriculum.  Retrieved from


A Reading Culture

The promotion of reading continues to be as important as ever in schools today.  Fortunately, access to excellent print and online resources has been expanded through the use of technology.  Digital resources such as apps, websites, and databases are engaging for students and can be utilized with iPads, laptops, and desktops.  Despite this increase in technology, getting real books into the hands of children should be the single most important mission of any library.

blueskunkblogImage from @jillsiefken

At my school, teachers use a variety of resources for reading instruction and promotion.  At the Primary (K-3) level, teachers use the Oxford Reading Tree series of levelled readers.  The RAZ Kids and Epic Books apps are also used with the school ipads.  To improve reading comprehension, teachers are using Adrienne Gear’s Reading Power with their students.  The school library collection is currently being expanded to include more picture books related to the Powers: Connect, Question, Visualize, Infer, and Transform.  PM Benchmarks is used to assess reading levels of all students.  Finally, in order to engage more students with reading, the primary teachers organized a “Book Competition” set up as a NCAA March Madness style Tournament Bracket where sets of books competed.  The students voted on the best book in each pair and books “advanced” to each round. This event was hugely successful in that the students heard or read all of the books and had opinions on the best books.

At the Intermediate (4-7) level, teachers use many novels and picture books to engage students in topics related to our Units of Inquiry.  Novels are used in Literature Circles, as read-alouds, and in full novel studies. To improve and assess nonfiction reading comprehension, teachers use online resources such as Currents4Kids and Newsela.  Both websites have engaging and informative articles on a wealth of topics.  In the near future, more books will need to be purchased to align more closely with the Big Ideas in our revised BC curriculum.

Even though the teachers at my school use many superb print and online resources in their classrooms, my hope, as the future Teacher-Librarian, is to increase the circulation of books in our library.  To do this, I hope to organize the space to feature fronts of books in displays, to upgrade signage, to update the collection, and to categorize both fiction and nonfiction books by genre. By improving the library space and collection and continuing to promote a reading culture in our school, books will have an even greater chance of getting in the hands of our students.

Siefken, J. [Jill Siefken]. (2018, May 22). [Good time of year to share this reminder from @BlueSkunkBlog #plaea #edchat]. Retrieved from

Reading Review B


Creative Commons Image from Pixabay

For the last three years, the Caulfeild staff have been working with Lee Watanabe Crockett, president of the Global Digital Citizen Foundation, to use the Solution Fluency inquiry model in our school.  Through regular meetings, professional development activities, and small group sessions, Lee has supported our staff to build our capacity as inquiry teachers.  After reading his recent book, Growing Global Digital Citizens: Better Practices That Build Better Learners (2018), I have focused my attention on this important and increasingly relevant area of study.  As a future Teacher-Librarian, I hope to support my colleagues by teaching students information literacy and digital citizenship.  The following resources have helped me to better understand these topics of interest:

  1. Crockett, L. W. (February 25, 2016). Global Digital Citizenship—in 15 Minutes! [Blog post]. Retrieved from

This post is a great overview of global digital citizenship and has many excellent links to daily lessons on Personal Responsibility, Global Citizenship, Digital Citizenship, Altruistic Service, and Environmental Stewardship.  The Foundation has created a Code of Honour which could easily be used or adapted for students of all ages.

  1. Searson, M., Hancock, M., Soheil, N. et al. (December 2015). Digital citizenship within global contexts. Education and Information Technologies. 20(4), 729–741. Retrieved from

This article describes the iKeepSafe model – BEaPRO – that features the core competencies and skills required for digital citizenship.  Also, the article suggests the importance of ensuring all stakeholders are involved in the education and promotion of digital literacy.

  1. Crockett, L. W. (March/April 2018). Librarians lead the growth: of information literacy and global digital citizens. Knowledge Quest, 46(4), 28–33. Retrieved from

This article is an urgent call for librarians to teach global digital citizenship to students.  Crockett presents the Information Fluency Model, also known as the 5As: Ask, Acquire, Analyze, Apply, and Assess.  He also lists Five Steps to Effective Questions and offers a definition of global digital citizenship.

  1. Maughan, S. (Aug 18, 2017). School Librarians Are Teaching Digital CitizenshipRetrieved from

This article features three educators and their experiences with digital citizenship.  Topics explored include fake news, cyberbullying, and the increasing use of social media.  Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship are included with links to additional resources.

  1. Province of British Columbia. (2018). Digital Literacy Framework. Retrieved from

The Framework describes the six characteristics that 21st century learners require:
1) Research and Information Literacy, 2) Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making, 3) Creativity and Innovation, 4) Digital Citizenship, 5) Communication and Collaboration, and 6) Technology Operations and Concepts.  Examples of each characteristic are explained in detail for each grade range.


Crockett, L. W., & Churches, A. (2018). Growing Global Digital Citizens: Better Practices That Build Better Learners. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.