Gale and Library Media Connection magazine announce the three winners of the third annual TEAMS Award — Teachers and Media Specialists Influencing Student Achievement
Award Celebrates Critical Collaboration Between Libraries, Teachers
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., Oct. 25, 2007 – Gale, part of Cengage Learning, and Library Media Connection magazine announce the three winners of the third annual TEAMS Award — Teachers and Media Specialists Influencing Student Achievement.
The winners are Big Shanty Elementary School in Kennesaw, Georgia; Dover Air Base Middle School in Dover, Delaware; and Booker T. Washington Senior High School in Miami, Florida.
Big Shanty Elementary School
Hundreds of students caught the writing wave and celebrated the work of student authors at Big Shanty Elementary School when fifth grade teacher Betsey Kennedy and media specialist Barbara Powell-Schager created Authors’ Night.
Kennedy and Powell-Schager collaborated throughout the year to create a school-wide community of writers. Accomplishing this goal began with the introduction of a monthly poetry contest. Poetry readings on the school newscast encouraged students to write thematic poems, and the winning poem was published in the school newsletter. As energy for writing grew in the school, Big Shanty began promoting its annual writing fair. The large number of entries that poured in proved that a spark for writing had been ignited, and it was time to celebrate this newfound passion.
Dover Air Base Middle School
Through a project entitled Mathematical Nightmares, English/Language Arts teacher Nelle Cox and library media specialist JoAnn Reynolds instilled the notion that mathematical concepts can be extended through literature for real life application, and students can communicate mathematical theories using the writing process.
Students read The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, which chronicles the nightmares of a boy who has trouble understanding math concepts. Each night, the Number Devil clarifies problems using real life examples. Students then chose their own math concept and composed a “nightmare” using the book as a model. The written responses were then made into a Web page.
Booker T. Washington Senior High School
Student at Booker T. Washington Senior High School participated in “Teen Expressions: Poetry from the Heart,” a two hour poetry slam attended by the students’ peers, family, friends and community members. As a culmination of a nine week research and writing project, two intensive reading classes planned and implemented a poetry slam to showcase their original poetry. They also faced a panel of judges as they vied for prizes for best poem, best performance and best poetry collection.
The students involved in the project were those whose classroom focus primarily had been on preparing for the state standardized testing that takes place towards the end of the school year. Consequently, after the testing is over, attendance and grades historically drop. The goal of the project was not only to improve research/writing skills, but to provide students with an enriching learning experience that would motivate them to attend class and maintain or improve grades during the last nine weeks of school.
The TEAMS Award was created to recognize the critical collaboration between teachers and media specialists in promoting learning and increasing student achievement. Nominations were evaluated based on:
- Demonstrated collaboration between media specialists and teachers during the 2006/07 school year
- Effective techniques that positively impact student learning and achievement
- Support received from school leadership
- Ability for others to replicate this best practice
For the third consecutive year, the judges – seasoned Gale and Library Media Connection staff – were encouraged by the number of entries, as well as by the passion demonstrated in the collaborative projects submitted for consideration.
“Once again, we had more than 100 entries,” said Marlene Woo-Lun, TEAMS Award judge and president and publisher of Library Media Connection. “There were a very large number of strong submissions, and selecting the winners was as difficult as it has ever been. Today’s educators and administrators are doing amazing things to educate today’s students, in spite of the challenges they face, financial and otherwise.”
“Collaboration is happening in schools across the country,” said Dave Schroeter, Gale’s vice president of K-12 sales. “It didn’t matter if it was a rural school or an urban school, a large school or a small school, an elaborate project or a simple one, the commitment, dedication and implementation by the teachers and media specialists was incredible.”
The award is comprised of $2,500 (U.S.) cash; Gale products; a one-year subscription to Library Media Connection; and an Educator’s Professional Bookshelf from Linworth Publishing. In addition, the winners will be featured in an article in Library Media Connection in the 2007/08 school year.
Awards will be presented at a special reception held in conjunction with the American Association of School Librarians Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada.
The following schools received honorable mentions in the TEAMS Award competition:
- Chamberlin School
- Concord High School
- Dug Gap Elementary
- Jefferson West High School
- New Smyrna Beach Middle School
- North Hunterdon High School
For more information, please go to www.galeschools.com/TEAMS.
About Cengage Learning and Gale
Cengage Learning, formerly Thomson Learning, delivers highly customized learning solutions for colleges, universities, professors, students, reference centers, government agencies, corporations and professionals around the world. Gale, part of Cengage Learning, serves the world’s information and education needs through its vast and dynamic content pools, which are used by students and consumers in their libraries, schools and on the Internet. It is best known for the accuracy, breadth and convenience of its data, addressing all types of information needs – from homework help to health questions to business profiles – in a variety of formats – books and eBooks, databases and microfilm. For more information visit: www.cengage.com or www.gale.com.