Teaching of the Curriculum Based on the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner

    To have a hand in helping students find their voice and passion  is the most important thing to me as a teacher librarian.  At Van Meter our students are accomplishing this by THINKING, LEADING, and SERVING.  This will assist them in becoming 21st century learners and thinkers.

    The teacher librarian is one of the most important individuals within a school system.  They are held at the heart of the school and should be seen as a valuable resource for all people to come to within and outside of the school.  "As the essential link who connects students, teachers, and others with the informational resources they need, the library media specialist plays an unique and pivotal role in the learning community" (ALA, 1998, p.4). The teacher librarian fulfills the role of "teacher' in a vast number of ways.  Teacher librarians need to be advocates and experts in technology.  We must serve as coaches and assist students, teachers, parents, and community members with integrating technology into the curriculum within and outside of the classroom.  Every teacher librarian needs to become a literacy leader through a variety of ways such as leading students to appropriate books and electronic resources, modeling reading, searching for and accessing appropriate materials, talking about books, offering a variety of books and knowing the reader's ability (Cart, 2007).  I am a firm believer that we must be a information and technology literacy leader at all times to students for them to become lifelong readers and learners.  This ties in with what is stated in IP2, "Librarian's roles as a teacher is to create a dynamic program that challenges students to crate personal meaning from information and to participate in a collaborative culture of learning" (ALA, 1998, p. 4).  

    We must surround people with quality, rich resources and tools and hook them to become lifelong learners that we as teachers are thriving for within a school.  As a teacher librarian, we must constantly be using our teaching skills and be aware of natural opportunities to educate our learning community.  We must encourage creativity and noise of all kinds.  We need to make our library and school a place where learning is student-based engaging them in the learning process at all times.  Librarians also must teach the nine informational literacy standards as stated in IP2.  The librarian engages with all the students and teachers, teaching them how to locate, evaluate, and exchange the information held within the various types of resources and technology available.  This is one of the most important ingredients in forming lifelong learners within our school.  A librarian in the teacher role is continually learning and updating the knowledge the posees, therefore they are an invaluable resource for everyone to come to for current research on learning, technology, teaching, and literacy.  This also makes them an expert on the curriculum within the school.  Therefore, as the teacher, the librarian turns the library into an active learning center within our school, which by engaging our students, they are molding them into independent, lifelong learners.  

    I have a degree in Elementary and Art Education from the University of Northern Iowa.  I also have a K-12 Reading Endorsement from Viterbo University.  I incorporate my love for art and learning into everything I do with our students at Van Meter.  I love making connections with others outside of our building and find lots of opportunities to use these resources in my classroom.  I have a passion for technology and also intertwine this into everything I do, which is an amazing way to connect to our 21st century learners.  As you will see in the exhibits below, technology, creativity, reading, voices, and noise are common themes in our library, throughout the school, and beyond!  


  • One of the most powerful lessons of technology, literacy, and especially LIFE took place this year at King Elementary in Des Moines when I took our National Honor Society there to create Books of Hope for children in Uganda.  I wrote about this experience in the Van Meter Library VOICE blog and it is called A Story of Hope! The YouTube video to the right entitled King Dreamers and Van Meter NHS Create Books of Hope tells the story too! And to make this experience even better our story was highlighted in the Dream With Me: One Year In America's Public Schools blog and website.  It was entitled A Story of Hope
  • I teach our students through inquiry  such as the Black Civil Rights Movement Inquiry Unit attached below.  
  • When developing lessons and units for our students at Van Meter, I use the Rigor and Relevance model which is attached below.  
  • I integrate technology and Web 2.0 into my lessons with the elementary and secondary students at Van Meter. Below is an example of integrating the technology of Web 2.0 into a lesson I did with the 4th graders.  In 4th Graders Go Wild Over Web 2.0, the students used the Web 2.0 tool called Build Your Wild Self after participating in an unit about Caldecott and other ALA Awards given each January.  I shared my favorite Caldecott Award winning book Where the Wild Things Are before we used this tool to create ourselves wild too!  I also wrote about this experience in my Van Meter Elementary VOICE blog at Van Meter Elementary Goes Wild Over Web 2.0! 
  • I love incorporating creating and various art activities into lessons within the library.  This year in 1st grade after reading The Library Mouse they created tiny books of their own to share with friends and family.  The Youtube video entitled 1st Grade Authors on the right shows off their amazing creations and fun experience in literacy.  

4th Graders Go Wild Over Web 2.0!

King Dreamers and Van NHS Create Books of Hope!

Van Meter 7th Graders Taught By Creator of Web 2.0 Tool YouTellYou from New Zealand!

1st Grade Authors

Shannon Miller,
Feb 14, 2010, 4:47 PM
Shannon Miller,
Feb 14, 2010, 4:51 PM
Shannon Miller,
Feb 14, 2010, 4:50 PM
Shannon Miller,
Feb 14, 2010, 4:48 PM
Shannon Miller,
Feb 14, 2010, 4:49 PM