Gale, part of Cengage Learning and a leading publisher of research and reference resources for libraries, schools and businesses, and Library Media Connection Magazine today announced the three winners of the TEAMS Award Teachers and Media Specialists Influencing Student Achievement. The 2013 winners are Draper Elementary School in Eden, North Carolina; Constable Neil Bruce Middle School in West Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada; and Branford High School in Branford, Connecticut.
The TEAMS Award was created to recognize the critical collaboration between teachers and media specialists in promoting learning and increasing student achievement. Nominations were evaluated based on:
• Demonstrated collaboration between media specialists and teachers during the school year;
• Effective techniques that positively impact student learning and achievement;
• Support received from school leadership;
• Ability for others to replicate this best practice.
“This year offered another impressive display of collaborative projects, demonstrated by the substantial increase in applications, as media specialists and educators looked for new ways to incorporate library resources into classroom learning and teach critical thinking skills,” said Marlene Woo-Lun, publisher of Library Media Connection. “We are excited to honor the efforts of all of the winners and participants this year.”
“Twenty-first century skills such as information literacy and critical thinking are crucial to the success of today’s students both in the classroom and beyond,” said Nader Qaimari, senior vice president, sales and marketing for Gale, part of Cengage Learning. “The collaborative projects we’re honoring with this year’s TEAMS Award, clearly demonstrate and instill these important skills in students around North America.”
Each winning school receives $2,500 in cash, Gale products, a one-year subscription to Library Media Connection and the Educator’s Professional Bookshelf from Linworth Publishing/Libraries Unlimited. Details on the winning entries are provided below.
Draper Elementary School
Media Specialist Bronte Tatum teamed up with fourth grade teacher Kirsten Reid to develop a research project on endangered animals that provided opportunities to collaborate with the art, physical education and music departments. Ms. Tatum began the project by reading students a book on endangered species and introducing a project outline, and then assisted as they researched and located facts about the animals. The music teacher worked with students to write a song about the animals, while the art teacher worked with students to create animal masks. The physical education teacher used pictures of animals in their natural habitat to recreate animal movements and postures. Ms. Reid incorporated elements of the project in reading, writing and vocabulary activities in the classroom. Ms. Tatum documented the activities and worked with the students to create a digital book,“We Are Endangered. Can You Help Us?”
Constable Neil Bruce Middle School
Teacher Librarian Dayna Hart and seventh grade social studies teacher Jenn Craig worked together on a project that asked students to create their own civilizations as they simultaneously learned about ancient civilizations in history. A series of benchmark components such as geography, laws/government/military, social needs and social structures helped students establish their civilizations. Ms. Hart and Ms. Craig incorporated critical thinking by imposing a catastrophe (such as a locust infestation) that each civilization had to deal with. Students had to contain and counter their catastrophe in order to save their civilization. True engagement and enthusiasm resulted in unique creations that all students were proud of.
Branford High School
Library Media Specialist Jessica Mularski and history teacher Jennifer Kordek collaborated on a project that asked students to create an interactive eTextbook on the First World War (WWI). Students were required to write a reference article on an assigned WWI topic, doing research and identifying only credible resources as well as create or legally curate an interactive image, timeline, map or a piece of multimedia. These activities reinforced research and evaluation skills and incorporated lessons on copyright laws and technology use. The students peer-edited each chapter and developed chapter quizzes and overviews. Students then taught their textbook section to the class. The final examination was a book publication party during which students shared their work and reflected on the project. The textbook will be put on the iBooks market for other students and educators to enjoy and learn from.
In addition, to the winners noted above, Gale and Library Media Connection would also like to recognize the following schools who received honorable mentions for their submissions to the TEAMS Award competition:
• Sunnyland Elementary School in Bellingham, WA
• Myron J. Francis Elementary School in East Providence, RI
• Centennial Junior High School in Casper, WY
• Driscoll Middle School in San Antonio, TX
• Elkton High School in Elkton, MD
• Liverpool High School Annex in Liverpool, NY
For more information regarding the TEAMS Award, visit galeschools.com/TEAMS.