Taylor Academy Wins 2011 TEAMS Award

Taylor Academy was one of three schools in the country to win the 2011 TEAMS Award for influencing student achievement.

The TEAMS Award (Teachers and Media Specialists Influencing Student Achievement) was created to recognize the critical collaboration between teachers and media specialists in promoting learning and increasing student achievement.

The schools were evaluated on four major criteria: demonstrated collaboration between media specialists and teachers during the school year, effective techniques that positively impact student learning, support received from school leadership, and ability for others to replicate best practices.

English teacher Lisa Valence and library media specialist Elizabeth Kahn worked together with the social studies teacher on a six-week research project to help improve student research skills. Sixth and seventh grade students reviewed available resources in their library and then conducted a webquest to learn about the credibility of websites on the internet. From there, students worked closely with their teacher and librarian to develop a thesis question to steer their research. During Teen Tech Week at the library, daily research riddles designed to get students using the school databases were sent electronically to all students. The students worked on the riddles in class for the opportunity to win prizes.

Ms. Valence and Ms. Kahn also collaborated to help students analyze past Using Information Resources (UIR) interval tests conducted by the district to gauge student research skills. Ms. Kahn displayed questions on an interactive white board and students used metacognitive strategies to analyze the problems and select answers. A discussion of the answers followed and, as a result, UIR test scores improved after these sessions.

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. In addition, the winners will be featured in an article in Library Media Connection. The awards will be presented at a special reception held in conjunction with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) annual conference in Minneapolis in late October.