Arrowhead Library System (ALS) has a long-standing commitment to maintaining a collection of current publication titles of interest to librarians, library staff and library trustees.  The collection is housed at the ALS Headquarters in Mountain Iron, but all titles can be requested via the online catalog (if you have a borrower’s card from an ALS library) or via the statewide MnLINK catalog (if you have a borrower’s card from Duluth Public Library).  If you have questions about borrowing titles from the ALS Professional Collection, feel free to call ALS staff!  Here are the latest additions to the ALS collection: 

The Distance Learning Playbook Grades K-12: Teaching for Engagement and Impact in Any Setting
Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie
Corwin, 2021
371.334 FIS 2021

The pandemic teaching of mid-2020 was not really distance learning, but rather crisis teaching.  But starting now, teachers have the opportunity to prepare for distance learning with purpose and intent―using what works best to accelerate students’ learning all the while maintaining an indelible focus on equity.  Harnessing the insights and experience of renowned educators Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie, The Distance Learning Playbook applies the wisdom and evidence of VISIBLE LEARNING® research to understand what works best with distance learning. Spanning topics from teacher-student relationships, teacher credibility and clarity, instructional design, assessments, and grading, this comprehensive playbook details the research- and evidence-based strategies teachers can mobilize to deliver high- impact learning in an online, virtual, and distributed environment.

This powerful guide includes:

  • Learning Intentions and Success Criteria for each module to track your own learning and model evidence-based teacher practices for meaningful learning
  • A diversity of instructional approaches, including direct instruction, peer learning, and independent work that foster student self-regulation and move learning to deep and transfer levels
  • Discussion of equity challenges associated with distance learning, along with examples of how teachers can work to ensure that equity gains that have been realized are not lost
  • Special guidance for teachers of young children who are learning from a distance
  • Videos of the authors and teachers discussing a wide variety of distance learning topics
  • Space to write and reflect on current practices and plan future instruction

The Distance Learning Playbook is the essential hands-on guide to preparing and delivering distance learning experiences that are truly effective and impactful.

The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents: How to Support Your Child’s Academic, Social, and Emotional Development in Any Setting
Rosalind Wiseman, Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie
Corwin, 2021
371.344 WIS 2021

Parent involvement has always been a vital part of any child’s education, but the pandemic and resulting remote instruction require that parents and educators partner at a deeper level.  Following the tremendous success of The Distance Learning Playbook, K-12, education authorities Doug Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie have teamed up with New York Times bestselling author and parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman to bring you the consummate guide to support your child′s academic, social, and emotional development in any learning environment – while not overwhelming you in the process.

This essential guide will arm you with the tools and insight to

  • Create an environment conducive to learning, establish routines, and most importantly, take care of yourself and your child
  • Maximize the time you spend supporting learning by focusing on what is proven to work best in education
  • Help your child develop the cognitive attitudes and habits that foster creativity, critical thinking, and increased responsibility for their learning
  • Support the development of your child’s social and emotional learning skills, including the ability to navigate social interactions, build friendships, and regulate emotions at a time when they have never been more important to have, and more challenging to maintain

The Distance Learning Playbook for Parentsoutlines supportive strategies for navigating virtual environments to ensure effective and impactful learning that aligns the needs and expectations of teachers, parents, and students alike.

Impactful Community-Based Literacy Projects
Lesley S. J. Farmer
ALA Editions, 2021
372.6 FAR 2021

Inspired by the Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program and its applicants, which have showcased and disseminated innovative literacy initiatives across the country and around the world since 2013, this book provides evidence-based practice guidelines for librarians and educators. To optimize results, the projects in this book blend early literacy benefits, fundamental reading skills, and other foundational concepts with culture- or community-specific sensitivity and leveraging. They’re adaptable based on age, audience, size, resources, and budget; and most importantly, they address social inequities and foster cross-culture interactions. Inside, readers will find

  • detailed profiles of dozens of successful literacy projects, which include such activities as oral storytelling, the Parent-Child Home Program, a repository of multilingual children’s stories, accessible web readers, personal tutors, and many more;
  • an overview of universal steps to literacy, explaining how people learn, generic reading skill development, human developmental issues, and habits of literacy;
  • research-based factors for impactful literacy projects;
  • discussion of the importance and role of literacy partners such as families, schools and universities, libraries, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit entities;
  • advice on project planning, including needs assessment, goals and objectives, literacy review, target audience, project personnel, resources, setting and timing, communication, support, implementation, communication, and continuous assessment and improvement; and
  • guidance on building capacity, empowering the community, and sustaining a culture of literacy.

Complete with links to additional resources and support materials, this resource details the steps needed to create effective and sustainable projects in your own community.

Supporting Diversity and Inclusion with Story: Authentic Folktales and Discussion Guides
Edited by Lyn Ford and Sherry Norfolk
Libraries Unlimited, 2020
372.67 FOR 2020

Today’s increasingly interconnected and globalized world demands that students be taught to appreciate human diversity and recognize universally held values and beliefs. Authentic, culturally based folktales can lay the foundation for this cultural understanding.  Professional storytellers like editors Sherry Norfolk and Lyn Ford are deeply committed to bringing people together through story. In this book, they have identified a group of culturally diverse storytellers whose carefully researched tales authentically reflect the cultures from which they come. The book includes well-crafted, culturally authentic folktales contributed by storytellers of varying cultures and ethnicities. Commentaries from the contributors follow each tale, reflecting on the story and its significance to the culture it represents. Sets of questions for teachers and librarians also accompany each story to facilitate discussion.

Teachers, librarians, and information specialists find that stories engage students’ attention and empathy. The commentaries provide insights into the significance of cultural norms, customs, and beliefs represented in the story, and the discussion questions and guides help them drill down with students to achieve deeper understanding. Resource lists of additional relevant materials at the end of each section promote continued learning.

  • Demonstrates how folktales are engaging, non-didactic, and entertaining–they captivate students’ attention while allowing them to explore other cultures and value systems
  • Provides commentaries that offer insights into the significance of the cultural norms and beliefs represented in each story
  • Includes thoughtful and effective discussion questions and guides that save librarians and teachers time
  • Offers resource lists of relevant materials for further study

The Distance Learning Playbook for College & University Instruction: Teaching for Engagement & Impact in Any Setting
Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, John Almarode, and John Hattie
Corwin, 2021
378.175 FIS 2021

First, let’s commend ourselves: how in the midst of a pandemic we faculty stepped up at record speed to teach in such a foreign learning environment. Try we did, adapt we did, and learn we did. But to be clear, and we already recognize this, this past spring was less about distance learning and more about crisis teaching.  This time around we have the opportunity to be much more purposeful and intentional, and that’s where The Distance Learning Playbook for College and University Instruction will prove absolutely indispensable.

Much more than a collection of cool tools and apps, The Distance Learning Playbook for College and University Instruction mobilizes decades of Visible Learning® research to reveal those evidence-based strategies that work best in an online environment. Supplemented by video footage and opportunities to self-assess and reflect, the book addresses every dynamic that must be in place for students to learn, even at a distance:

  • Faculty-student relationships from a distance
  • Teacher credibility from a distance
  • Teacher clarity from a distance
  • Engaging tasks from a distance
  • Planning learning experiences from a distance
  • Feedback, assessment, and grading from a distance
  • Keeping the focus on learning, from a distance or otherwise

What does our post-COVID future hold? “We suspect,” Fisher, Frey, Almarode, and Hattie write, “it will include increased amounts of distance learning. In the meantime, let’s seize on what we have learned to improve post-secondary education in any format, whether face-to-face or from a distance.”

Novels in Verse for Teens: A Guidebook with Activities for Teachers and Librarians
Lisa Krok
Libraries Unlimited, 2020
808.83 KRO 2020

This valuable guide advises teachers and librarians how to use novels in verse in functional, hands-on ways with teens, including reluctant readers.  Novels in verse are popular and have recently won some important awards. They are of great value to teachers and librarians as a way of reaching all teens, including marginalized teens and those who may be struggling or reluctant readers. This guide shows readers how to pair books with teens based on their needs, interests, and specific situations. After teens are paired with books, this guide suggests activities to further engage them with the poetry. Activities are tied to Common Core and AASL standards for ease of lesson planning for teachers.

Verse novels address a widely diverse demographic and a variety of topics, including various cultures, religions, racism, LGBTQ+ themes, mental illness, poverty, homelessness, sexual assault, self-harm/suicide, domestic violence, family dynamics, disabilities, refugees, English language learners, and more.

Novels in verse provide a more modern, practical alternative to some older classics that may not appeal to many teens or that may intimidate them by their sheer number of words per page. This book provides a one-stop resource for choosing and using novels in verse with teen readers.

  • Helps librarians reach struggling and/or reluctant readers across a broad demographic
  • Provides a way for librarian to engage and empower teens with literature
  • Offers an alternative to using traditional classics that may not hold appeal for many teens
  • Connects to Common Core and AASL standards for ease of lesson planning