Knox County Schools Librarians Create Exemplar Lessons

by Amber Moser

When the AASL National School Library Standards (NSLS) were released in 2017, the Knox County Schools Library Media Services (KCSLMS) department began a three-year roll-out process.  In year three, 2020-2021, a scoped and sequenced curriculum rooted in the NSLS was written by the KCSLMS facilitator, Amber Moser,  and presented to librarians.  This curriculum is particularly valuable to elementary librarians who teach daily related arts classes as it provides age-appropriate interpretations of the standards and lesson ideas.

When COVID hit, it became apparent that librarians and students would need to have instructional materials organized in such a way that would serve in-person attendance and virtual attendance due to COVID closures.  Knox County Schools had been using Canvas learning management system for several years, and KCSLMS mobilized to combine the new curriculum and the possibilities within Canvas to create shared exemplar lessons.

A team of eight elementary librarians volunteered to create lessons based on the curriculum.  They create lessons in a cyclical workflow which involves providing feedback to each other and polishing the lessons accordingly. The finished lessons are shared a couple of weeks in advance with the rest of the librarians through Canvas, and librarians are free to modify the lessons in any way that best suits their learners.

Elementary librarians across KCSLMS have expressed that the exemplar lessons have taken a tremendous load off of their planning practices while simultaneously providing high-caliber learning opportunities for students.  As we grow and learn from this process, we are excited to see what the future holds for collaboration among our librarians.

Kindergarten lesson frame with embedded materials
K-5 Stack of Lessons in one Librarian’s Canvas course

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