How to coddle a volunteer

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This week I finished my volunteer stint as co-planner for the Ontario School Library Association, which for a rough estimate, is about 100 hours per year.  As one of the best volunteer experiences of my life, I’d like to take you through why it’s such a fine way to give your time back to your profession.  The Ontario Library Association celebrated its 25th anniversary of this conference this year and so it has honed the craft of finding and retaining volunteers to a fine art.  Here’s what they do really well to make sure their volunteers are happy.

Partners

There’s a legacy structure to the planning committee so that 1/2 are returning to plan a 2nd year, and the other 1/2 are new to the role.  My senior co-planner Jess Longthorne in 2018, and my junior co-planner Diana Maliszewski in 2019 are both elementary teacher-librarians.  Having this diversity in our team helped us to better cover the full spectrum of needs.  Collaboration is hard work and I would always prefer to parallel play but this enforced structure helped me grow in my ability to communicate and share ideas.

Advocacy to supervisors

Without any question whatsover, OLA provided a letter and 5 paid supply days to my principal to cover my 5 absences for this planning.

Fancy red vests

Each of the 23 Superconference co-planners was loaned a red vest to wear from sunset on Tuesday to sundown on Friday and we wore them with pride.  I felt like part of an elite club, or a magnificent unit mobilizing to make OLASC perfection.

Biology needs taken care of or at the ready

I had a glorious hotel room onsite at the Superconference.  Whenever I was hungry, there was good healthy food.  My car was safe and dry.  Whether it was at the 2 days of planning we did at the OLA office, or at HQ at the conference itself, I was well-fed, comfortable and my sense of security was a priority.

Wiggle room

I felt enormous responsibility in choosing sessions and our spotlight speakers for the Superconference.  We wanted quality and edge.  We wanted diversity and inclusivity.  We wanted to have a fabulously rich experience for each attendee.  Michelle Arbuckle and her team had a number of strategies for helping us ideate and design just such a schedule.  At the same time, we were given freedom to develop the conference theme within our own context and to choose speakers that matched our own vision.

Clear instructions

Even before we began, we were given a schedule to follow for the whole year.  We were told which meetings would be face-to-face and what our goals would be.  This really helped me to stay on track and once I added them to a Google Calendar, it helped us remember to check in with one another.

Clear help

In the moment at Superconference, even enormous amounts of pre-planning can’t prepare you for everything.  We used Slack to build channels where we could ask for help and receive it at a moment’s notice.  Because we had this reliable help structure, we took greater creative risks.  For example, Diana and I worked this year to bring in Stephen Hurley from VoicEd.ca to podcast some of our sessions.  Stephen just needed a quick lesson from the tech people to get started.  In another moment, Peter Skillen from Code to Learn offered free books for all OSLA participants but we had to get those books from one floor to another.  No problem, people helped us anticipate how to make that flow from floor to floor.

Long leashes

Our only instruction really is to: show up, make sure everything goes smoothly and sometimes, make sure everyone is having fun.  So I really enjoyed taking the conference theme seriously and dragging my costume out for the welcome party, or making sure I had a 90s song ready for karaoke.

Someone to tug at the end of the leash and reign me back in

There are these awkward/funny moments when Michelle (both years in a row), wants us to all show up and look shiny for a group photo, or drink champagne en masse, or lead the fun at one of the socials.  Having these scheduled times to show up as a red vest collective really helped us to signal to conference attendees that this is where you can be welcome and be social.  For a group of introverts (or at best ambiverts), this is a really important part of the superconference.

A reasonable bedtime

All of our social events ended at 10 pm.  Lord knows that I am not great at self-regulation and can be too easily persuaded to push myself to the edge, so having limits set for me is wonderful.  I felt no pressure at all to stay out too late by the official ending of a social event.

Breakfast

…is my favourite meal of the day and 2 of the 3 mornings of Superconference I had a planned breakfast meeting.  More groups should do meetings this way.  Here’s your energy, here’s what you need to know, now go forth and make awesome things happen for everyone else all day.

A little music goes a long way

There were moments where my feet were telling me that they just couldn’t go on, and then someone would play some funky tunes and I found my next wind.

Have an exit plan

The plan is for all superconference planners that you’ll do it twice.  Knowing that there is a finite ending has really helped me prepare emotionally for this post-planners trough.  I’m sort of sad that I won’t be able to hang out all the time with the new friends I’ve met on the planning committee, but I’m also looking forward to remembering what I did before.  Heck I might even blog more often.  I can feel myself thinking to warn incoming OSLA Superconference planner Kate Johnson-McGregor about Diana’s total lack of focus (I mean who drops to their knees to create a poster in the middle of a sandbox?) but the fun in volunteering in a collaborative format, is to find out these things for yourself.  Volunteering for the Ontario Library Association has been a rich journey in my own professional development as a school library leader and as an agent of change.

I’ll just close with this dangerous sentiment:

I’m available now for new volunteering opportunities.  But I should warn you, I’ve had the best so my standards are pretty high.

 

Trickster Drift by Eden Robinson

Trickster DriftTrickster Drift by Eden Robinson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Eden Robinson you have created such delicious characters. If Jared or Georgina or any of them knocked at my door and said, “There’s an emergency! The coy wolves are eating the dolphin people and they need your help!” I’d shape-shift into my amphibious alter-ego, take their hands and jump into another dimension. I want to believe and Robinson’s books have helped him get closer than ever.

Jared’s enemies are worthy of his gradual transformation in that they are both based in a harsh reality and so unspeakably evil that they must be fantastical. As Jared realizes his true self and increasingly gravitates towards magic, the revenge that the reader seeks becomes enticingly like a feast laid out on a table.

I devoured this sequel after picking it up like a true fangirl at one of Robinson’s more corporeal visits in Oakville last month. You know when you’re reading a great book and it calls to you when you have to leave it to go back to reality? This is that book.

If you’ve read and enjoyed (of if you’ve finished these two books and are waiting impatiently for the third like me):
Half World and Darkest Light by Hiromi Goto
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

I hope Ms. Robinson gets to hang out with these authors, and if not, maybe we could arrange a party in her honour and I could simply serve canapes while eavesdropping on their banter. I am going to get everything else she’s ever written, right now.

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Celebrating school libraries today!

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I am the Head of the Library and Learning Commons at my secondary school, and that means I work 4/6 in the library, 1/6 in a EWC 4C/4U classroom, and 1/6 in a fully online ENG4C class.  I have held this role since 2010 with variations on which classes I teach.  So my year as the school librarian is divided between

a) making sure that the library has a culture reflecting the learning commons philosophy b) advocating for the use of technology in the classroom and helping students and staff do this and

c) making sure that students and staff are using everything that is available to them for inquiry-based research.

As Head of the Library and Learning Commons, I additionally go to every staff and department head meeting and I am the Literacy Lead for our school planning all interventions for our standardized literacy test in grade 10.  As you can imagine, this work keeps me hopping!

2 of our foundational documents are:

Together for Learning http://www.togetherforlearning.ca/t4l-vision-document/

Canadian School Libraries Leading Learning http://llsop.canadianschoollibraries.ca/

If you’re new to the learning commons shift, then you’ll find both really interesting.  If you’re already shifting your school culture to include learning commons then jump to Leading Learning, because I talk to my principal all the time using this sort of rubric to say “This is where we are and this is where we need to get to”.

The Manitoba School Library Association is PHENOMENAL) and is really pushing boundaries in your province.  Tomorrow is National School Library Day in Manitoba Canada and Manitoba’s provincial parliament will be reading a bilingual address about the importance of school libraries for student success.  Oh that we could make this happen nationwide.

A smaller ask then….

Would you please have a conversation or write a letter to someone with power and/or influence to make sure that the work and necessity of school libraries is valued and recognized?  Across Canada we need to have equitable staffing and per-pupil budgeting models in all publicly funded schools.  We need to have diverse print and digital resources available for all staff and students.  We need to recognize that the literacy work of school library staff is foundational for student success.  We need to have school libraries open during and beyond school hours to allow for the messiness of robust inquiry-based projects.

I am so thankful for my devoted library teaching partner and my wonderful library technician.  I am so thankful for a principal and a school board that recognizes the value of this work.  Celebrate with me! To school libraries across Canada!

Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez

ScarboroughScarborough by Catherine Hernandez

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my favourite book that I’ve read this year HANDS DOWN. It first came to my attention because I enjoy reading from the Ontario Library Association’s Evergreen book list each year.  I enjoyed the audiobook version through Audible as Hernandez narrates her own book. I listen to audiobooks a lot on my commute to and from work, but this summer, I used the audiobook to motivate me as I was weeding my garden. I found myself, on more than one occasion, weeping openly in my yard.

It’s a small but mighty hyperfocus on a neighbourhood in Scarborough, Ontario. It centres around the a Family Literacy centre which feels so real that I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Catherine Hernandez has done this work before, which is to say, scraping together a program and creating a culture of welcome using virtually nothing at all. The families that come and go each come to the centre for a different reason, and each child has unique challenges. 3 children’s lives, in particular, are emphasized: Bing, Sylvie and Laura. Through their lives, Hernandez calls the reader to attention and reveals the crucial necessity of outreach programming.

The book is so poignant, so concise, as if no words are wasted. The overlapping timelines, character development and continuous threads allow the reader to see cause and effect repeat with often catastrophic results. Hernandez masterfully builds hope and then thwarts it with a harsh blow of reality, making each development really earn its place in building to the conclusion.

It turns out that Hernandez splits her time between writing and the theatre which maybe why I can tell that we’re kindred spirits. This book could easily be staged or turned into a film. The images in my mind while listening were like a movie. I’ll be following Hernandez’s work and waiting impatiently for the arrival of whatever she’s written. I can’t say enough about the power of this book. Just go get it.

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School Library Makerspaces: Grades 6 – 12 by Leslie Preddy

School Library Makerspaces: Grades 6-12School Library Makerspaces: Grades 6-12 by Leslie B Preddy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As a secondary librarian, without planning time, without my own students focused on design/construction/creativity, I’m launching a full-time makerspace this fall that is filled with mostly donated items from the now-extinct home economics and fashion programs at my school. We have a severe shortage of electricity because we were built when libraries contained only books and the occasional microfiche reader. Nonetheless, after successfully executing at least 1 makerspace per semester for the first two years, I’m confident that a full-time makerspace will bring two qualities to my library learning commons (LLC) culture that I struggle to maintain on a daily basis: creativity and community. What I mean by that is that libraries were made for consuming information and to truly understand the nature of manufacturing/designing/inventing we need to shift to becoming as much creators as we are consumers….in life, in general, for all people, but certainly for the students in my LLC. The other thing that students (if not all people) are sorrily missing is community. They need to have places to hang out and learn from each other while enjoying the company. Flashback to the quilting bee, the hunt club, or as I experienced it, the 4-H homemaking club.

So with these ideas already in mind, I approached this book, particularly excited because it’s aimed at grades 6 – 12 whereas so many other resources on makerspaces are targeted at elementary folks. I purchased the book after having listened to author Leslie Preddy speak at a library research conference called Treasure Mountain in Connecticut a few years back. Maybe I read it already, maybe I’ve picked up most of what Preddy has to say through other means, but I found that for a book devoted to secondary makerspaces, that it was lacking in innovation. I suppose what I wanted most was to feel a reassuring hug with a few sure-fire strategies for success and didn’t. In fact most of the book is devoted to Pinterest-style pages of what to do with very little. I already thought of that.

The meat of this book is in the first 8 pages where Preddy suggests creating library-style pathfinders with instruction videos on how to get started. This is an idea I’ll definitely take away. She suggests that signage and mentoring are the best ways to get students started. She also says that it might take some time for students to move to independent experimentation and to just keep the students coming back and soon it will take off. She briefly mentions some sort of badging or achievement system where students can move from novice to mentor, but doesn’t really expand on it.

I’ll be continuing my quest for secondary makerspace guidance as Preddy’s book, for me and my needs, fell short of the mark.

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Our library learning commons annual report

There is nothing like ending the school year on a high. My friend and colleague Lisa Unger diligently spends time each year to collate the work that we’ve done that may seem invisible but all together looks outstanding!

How does Lisa make this annual report?  She began by returning to one of our guiding documents:  Leading Learning   As you will notice, the document is laid out like a giant rubric so that you can rank your own work on how well you’re doing.  When our new principal began last year, I went through each of the look-fors and told him where I thought we were at and what work needed to still be accomplished.  The first slide of the slideshow shows a tag cloud that Lisa created based on the primary ideas that drive our LLC goals.

Lisa then harvested any tweet from our Library Learning Commons Twitter account @ODSSLLC, combined that with our annual goals, and tried to showcase what we do.  Once you’ve collated your evidence of your impact on student success, all you need it to have its desired effect is some uninterrupted time with your principal.  Our principal gave us 45 minutes and lots of positive feedback for us.  As Lisa showed off the slideshow and talked about the goals of each event and its success, I took notes on what our principal’s ideas were.  I may have interjected once or twice in my enthusiasm for how well this was all going.  Of course as we were talking, we also realized how much invisible work there is that we didn’t take pictures of including our smorgasbord-style staff meeting where we had 12 concurrent sessions on improving staff and student well-being and relationships.

Thanks to the success of our annual library report in conversation with our new principal, we have put a bow on the end of the year and more importantly, we’ve reflected together on what we’ll take forward into the next school year.

Starting a path of inquiry

Intrinsically, I have emphasized information and literacy in my work for the brief time that I have been a secondary school teacher-librarian.  I have witnessed staff frustrations when students can’t seem to go more deeply into topics and I too have been frustrated when students seem to get stuck.  I hoped that in taking this course on inquiry-based instruction that I would learn techniques that would help me to guide us all through to successful completion of inquiry projects.  What I did not expect is that I would learn and embrace a new philosophy of teaching through evidence-based instruction, action research and inquiry.  To this point, I have struggled to be both an agent of change for education reform and to be a stable collaborator in my school.  Yet I feel now that there is a clear path I can follow for success in my personal and professional development.

Scaffolding inquiry

I was first introduced to the inquiry-based model by reading work of Barbara Stripling (2007) when she emphasized the necessity of explicitly teaching metacognition and active questioning to deepen understanding.  At that time I wondered aloud: Can metacognition be applied to reading fluency? Can literacy be taught through inquiry?  Is inquiry-based learning (IBL) a constructivist approach to digital fluency?  I see now that IBL provides repeated opportunities for practice of metacognition, literacy and digital fluency. As librarians, Stripling says we can provide a supporting role to teachers and students as their “cycle of reflection is bolstered by an attitude of empathy and collaboration and a cognitive stance that is both critical and open-minded” (p. 53).  In August 2011, I attended a lecture by Mike Schmoker after we had read his latest book as a school leadership team.  In his lecture he said that we needed to return to basics in education and do away with using tools like the narrative structure. I knew then that he was fundamentally wrong, but I couldn’t describe how.  Stripling says that the construct phase of inquiry is very difficult as teachers “struggle to teach students how to construct their own understandings” (p. 48).   Using the narrative framework is a way of helping provide a basic structure that can help students see history as a series of stories about choices that people make as they face challenges (Stripling, p. 49).  Looking at inquiry as the vehicle for narrative exploration lends itself to more reading and writing, through self-reflection and analysis.   

For the first time I clearly see the continuum in inquiry. Since I began teaching in the library, I have relied on the model of instruction outlined by the Toronto District School Board (2010) to develop a continuum of research skills in my school.  It outlines phases of research and steps to take in the diagnostic, formative and reflective phases to deepen and develop research skills. After reading Harvey and Daniels (2009) book, I realize that there is so much more to the inquiry process than research skills and information literacy:

In true inquiry, kids have to take responsibility for things that real learners do. They have to identify worthy problems and questions. They have to use the proper disciplinary tools (microscopes, timelines) and procedures (surveys, formulas), just like real practitioners. They have to work with others, build knowledge, and ultimately, submit their findings to a peer or public audience (p. 57).

Since our electronic pathfinder assignment was an inquiry, I enjoyed experiencing the phases firsthand, reminding myself of the pitfalls.  At first I wanted to begin exploring diversity in libraries but I found that it was too broad of a topic.  After narrowing my topic to autism and libraries was both personal and professional, I found myself wandering to related topics within databases or other sources of information.  I particularly enjoy the retrieving phase of hunting down resources.  I was also reminded how much bias plays a role in publishing and found that many sources were from advocacy groups that didn’t have research backgrounds.  

Through firsthand experience I came to more deeply understand that inquiry is based on prior knowledge and is, therefore, individual.  This means that we must allow for personal choice in inquiry-based learning. If I chose to focus just on the advocating for the element of personal choice at my school, I would really be taking on a challenge.  Subjects that can be chosen as electives in my secondary school generally see more success as students, from the outset, can exercise their right to choose.  Inquiry empowers the learner through choice at every phase.  Similarly, teachers will be empowered to provide this ongoing stimulation in their courses.  Sometimes teachers forget how challenging each phase is and beginning with experiencing an inquiry of their own may be a strategy I employ to opening productive discussion with colleagues.

Implementing inquiry

One of the discussions in this course that I found stimulating was about developing a whole school vision through inquiry-based learning.  My group discussed how inquiry peaks the curiosity of students and we wondered if implementing an inquiry-based program could help to lower the dropout rate in secondary school.  I pushed the boundary further and suggested that no courses should be mandatory after grade 10 in order to truly empower our students through choice.  This led to a discussion of how inquiry is a kind of literacy and should be an embedded part of every course.  Megan Jakse argued:

Literacy and inquiry skills definitely need to be embedded across the curriculum.  If the English department is teaching these skills, other departments should be building on them.  That would require a lot of collaboration among staff members but could be really worthwhile!  English should (in theory) be the least irrelevant course for students as the skills in the curriculum could be met by students in very different ways.  In the discussion, English teachers could easily model “personalized,” inquiry-based learning as students engage in self-directed (and possibly cross-curricular) projects, build literacy skills, and plan for their futures (M. Jakse, personal communication, July 6, 2012).

I see more clearly now how research skills, digital literacy and information literacy can all be better emphasized through the inquiry-based learning model that is collaborated upon by staff.

As with this discussion, Harvey and Daniels (2009) agree that implementing and modelling collaboration during inquiry is an essential component to deepen the process.  In their small-group inquiry model (2009, pp. 61-62), collaboration of teachers with students and students with students, is immersed in each inquiry phase. This collaboration model helps the students to monitor their own timelines and understanding putting the onus of learning, where it belongs, onto the students themselves.  I wonder now how I can continue to collaborate openly in front of the students in order to model the benefits and challenges of collaboration.

I also never understood before how project-based learning (PBL) differs from inquiry-based learning (IBL) until Kuhlthau clarified.  She says “[PBL] falls short in two respects.  First, it overemphasizes product and underemphasizes the learning process.  Second, students are frequently left to their own devices, and when parents step in, many end up doing the actual research.”  (2007, p. 3).  One of the issues with inquiry is how to implement it when there are so many other curriculum strategies being enforced right now.  My school has been working on the curriculum development theory of backwards design as outlined by Wiggins and McTighe (2005).  We have had the same goal for three years to backwards design every department, every course, every unit, and every lesson.  We began by developing the big ideas of each course, which look something like the overall expectations developed by the Ontario Ministry of Education for each secondary school course.  I`m wondering if we can tweak these big ideas by phrasing them into questions to stimulate inquiry.  For example, my media arts course has the big idea of Anonymity and Identity in its final unit.  If I change it to: How do identity and anonymity interact in media arts? I hope the students would feel that this is more of an invitation to explore the concepts rather than memorize them.  I plan to continue my exploring this transition into inquiry-based learning by examining each course for the possibilities in inquiry and map my school’s curriculum in this way.

Future path as teacher-librarian

I feel that this course has really focused my role as teacher-librarian in a secondary school.  I’ve often wondered how to structure my time and how much emphasis I should put on each need in the school .  Everywhere I look there is a need for organization, for resources, for direction in technology use, for projects, for literacy and in my last two years I’ve felt very stretched.  After taking this course, I feel that if I focus every moment of my day in helping staff and students to improve their inquiry experiences, that all of the other needs will fall in line.  As I plan to renovate my library, I must keep this vision of inquiry in mind.  I will deny the use of library resources for simple things like word-processing unless it is part of inquiry.  I will prioritize library resources for inquiry.  I will harness my time for endeavours in inquiry and action research.

Before the physical library changes, I can begin with adjusting the culture of the library.  The school library paradigm shift (Harada and Yoshina, 2010) and the corollaries outlined by Gordon (2010) developed the idea for creating a wikispace of evidence-based templates for each phase of inquiry.  After these readings, I realize that the student independence in the library must be the focus of our library materials as well.  I plan to change all the handouts in the library to represent the learner first, rather than the transmission of learning.  I see these as the graphic organizers for each inquiry phase that we collated for our wikispace.  Although I can’t truly measure the effectiveness of our wikispace, I can testify to the rewarding experience of collaborating with colleagues to create it.  Each element was created, challenged, revised and tweaked to maintain a clarity in our message and quality in our work.  The end result is very satisfying.  I wish that we could come together in a year to report back to each other on its success.  As we completed the wikispace, I tweeted out a link to it to garner some immediate feedback and was welcomed by Lisa Neale, an Ontario elementary principal, and Sheila Morrissette, a British Columbia secondary principal, who both informed me that they are investigating inquiry-based learning for their schools (Neale, Morrissette and King, 2012).  Now that we have created the wikispace, I wonder if I can further enhance it with reflection as we implement each phase of evidence-based inquiry.  As Neale and Morrissette indicated, evidence-based practice to support inquiry-based learning is a timely issue and I’m sure any reflection of process in its implementation would be welcome to the education community.

The professional is the personal

Thanks to Harada and Yoshina (2010), I understand how the paradigm within the library itself needs to shift.  Their chart which outlines moving from a focus on resources to a focus on student learning (p. 16) will direct my role.  In it the emphasis becomes less about teaching skills of location and retrieval and more on the evaluation and interpretation of information; less about product and more about process; less about grades and more about learning.  I know that I must build qualitative evidence that the library has an essential role to play in student and staff development.

Evidence-based practice was the crux of my learning in this course.  Carol Gordon (2010) was very influential in the development of my understanding as she describes the need for paradigm shifting and corollaries for the implementation of evidence-based inquiry instruction.  Gordon says: “Paradigm points to reform, setting the purpose for the research and indicating solutions to practical problems” (p. 76).  The current education system is inhibiting greater success in secondary learning and teaching.  My aim is to reform the system from within.  As Gordon suggests, I see now that I can strengthen my advocacy for reform by researching each problem, developing suggestions and creating action research to test solutions.

This knowledge is powerful and it gives me hope that reform is possible.  Gordon continues saying “The evidence-based paradigm constitutes a shift in the culture of teaching and learning in schools that has the potential to reform education.  If research in school library instruction has a mission, this is it” (p. 75).  For the last few years I have struggled with how to focus a balance between work and home.   The career change from classroom teacher to full-time teacher-librarian has consumed me.   What I’ve realized is that I can’t separate these two places because for the first time in my career, my job reflects who I am.  As a result of this inquiry course, I see even greater horizons beyond my school and I think advocating for inquiry may take the rest of my career.  The task of creating an education system that is student-centred, inquiry-based and proven effective by self and social-oriented action research (Gordon, 2010) may seem monumental, but it is a goal worth fighting for.

References

Alberta Learning. (2003). Focus on inquiry: A teacher’s guide to implementing inquiry-­based learning [Pamphlet]. Retrieved from http://education.alberta.ca/‌media/‌313361/‌focusoninquiry.pdf

Gordon, C. A. (2010). The culture of inquiry in school libraries. School Libraries Worldwide, 16(1).

Harada, V. H. (2010). Librarians as learning leaders: Cultivating cultures of inquiry. In S. Coatney (Ed.), The many faces of school library leadership (pp. 13-28). Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

Harada, V. H., & Yoshina, J. M. (2010). Assessment for learning. In Assessing for learning: Librarians and teachers as partners (2nd ed., pp. 9-18). Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

Harvey, S., & Daniels, H. (2009). Comprehension and collaboration: Inquiry circles in action. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

King, A., Lunny, J., & Hobbs, T. (n.d.). Evidence-based planning tools. Retrieved July, 2012, from Inquiryandevidence website: http://inquiryandevidence.wikispaces.com

Neale, L., Morissette, S., & King, A. (2012, July 20). Using evidence to support inquiry [Tweet].

Schmoker, M. (Presenter). (2011, August). Results now: How we can achieve unprecedented results in teaching and learning. Speech presented at Upper Grand Learning Fair, Orangeville, Ontario, Canada.

Stripling, B. K. (2007). Teaching for Understanding. In S. Hughes-Hassell & V. H. Harada (Authors), School reform and the school library media specialist (pp. 37-55). Westport, CN: Libraries Unlimited.

TDSB Library and Learning Resources Department. (2010). Research success @ your library [Pamphlet]. Retrieved from http://www.tdsb.on.ca/‌libraries/‌files/‌research_guides.htm

Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.