New online tool links AASL learning standards with Common Core

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/19/2011

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CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announces the launch of the "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Lesson Plan Database," a public, online database providing school librarians a fast and user-friendly way to create and share quality lesson plans with their peers.

Building on the template provided in “Standards for the 21st-Century Learner In Action,” the  Lesson Plan Database is an interactive resource and tool to support school librarians and other educators in teaching the essential learning skills defined in the AASL learning standards. The database serves as a catalyst for collaboration, as school librarians and teachers work together to create projects that weave content and skills into engaging learning activities.

Registered users may submit lesson plans to the database, as well as search the database by learning standards and indicators, content topic, grade-level, resources used, type of lesson or schedule, keyword and much more. Registered users can also bookmark lesson plans in a portfolio for future use, rate and comment on lesson plans in the community, print plans to PDF, and share lesson plans across social networking platforms.  In addition, the database automatically aligns the skills, dispositions in action, responsibilities, and self-assessment strategies represented in the lesson plan to their corresponding English Language Arts Common Core Standard as set forth by the AASL crosswalk. When available, the database will be updated to include the same capability with the Common Core Math Standards.

“The launch of the AASL Lesson Plan database signifies a red-letter day for our association,” said standards and guidelines implementation Chair Susan Ballard.  “The database represents the collective wisdom, experience and expertise of the many members and staff that helped to develop this outstanding resource. And, as a dynamic publication, the ongoing expansion and improvement of the database ensures that it will continuously serve the instructional design needs of school librarians as they help students to be learners for life.”

Submissions to the Lesson Plan Database are vetted by AASL reviewers to ensure lesson plans published are of the highest quality.  The lesson plan rubric (PDF) and checklist (PDF) used by moderators are available to site users prior to submitting a lesson plan.  With this system, AASL hopes that the database serves not only as a useful tool full of exciting best practices, but as professional development to those new to developing lesson plans.  Not only can peers rate and comment on published plans, but site moderators can provide feedback on plans prior to being published. For more information, or to create an account and begin using the database, visit http://aasl.jesandco.org/.

The "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Lesson Plan Database" is freely available to all users and is a part of AASL's national campaign, Leaning4Life. The Learning4Life (L4L), www.ala.org/aasl/learning4life, national implementation plan supports states, school systems and individual schools preparing to implement the "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner" and "Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs." Development and maintenance of the database is supported through AASL membership dues.

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.