Paper Trail Assignment

Step One

Step One, Introductory Research (brainstorming to assist in arriving at a research question, checking general reference tools for suggestions, concept mapping, and outline to include both major and subtopics):

My introductory research began with a need in my current position as a middle school media specialist. When trying to decide in which direction I was headed in my research question, I really looked at what is expected of me in my individual setting and what I feel I need to improve upon. I also closely examined my recent peer observations and evaluations.

The following is a list of steps I took to come to my decision:

  1. I logged into my First Class mail system within the School District of Hillsborough County to revisit my observation evaluation.
  2. Under my e-mail, I visited my employee appraisal, which took me to a PDF of my results of my observation with my peer.
  3. The following chart shows one of the areas in which I presented as “developing,” which indicates I can improve in this area. Under the Empowering Effective Teachers’ media specialists’ rubric, number 3c deals with “engaging students in literature and instructional activities.”
Developing Accomplished Exemplary
3c.   Engaging   students in literature and instructional activities. Library media specialist provides limited  literature appreciation/instructional   activities and guidance. Library media specialist consistently provides literature   appreciation/instructional activities and guidance. Library media specialist consistently provides  and differentiates literature   appreciation/instructional activities and guidance.

Elements within this component of the evaluation rubric include the following:

  • Literature appreciation
  • Library programming
  • Information Literacy instruction and guidance

*A full PDF of the rubric can be found within the project

For the purpose of this paper trail project, I decided to look further into “information literacy instruction and guidance,” with the guiding question:

How can I better incorporate information literacy lessons into the school, state, county and nationwide standards of learning using the resources I have available as my school’s media specialist?

  • This was an area where my peer and I discussed ideas at great length during the interview portion of my observation. During this time, my peer, Dr. Jennifer Dillon, a previous Reading and Language Arts teacher and Media Specialist  (for both middle and high schools) discussed ways in which I could entice teachers to work with me on implementing information literacy lessons into their classrooms.  My interview with Dr. Dillon sparked my interest in my project question.
  • During our interview, it was recommended that I look into the Common Core Standards and begin creating information literacy lessons to help guide teachers at my school.
  • I decided to focus my project question on the content areas of Science and History specifically, as this is an area where there is more leeway to visit the Media Center at our school. With other content areas, such as Language Arts and Math, we currently have very scripted and deadline-sensitive curriculum.

The following is an outline of the major topics and subtopics in regards to the specific question I have chosen for the project:

Information literacy instruction and guidance within the public middle school setting

Needs within the middle school setting

Content areas to consider




Research Electives

Learning standards

Schoolwide, In-class requirements, tests and other assessments

County, EOC (end of course)

State, FCAT, SunshineStateStandards

National, NRT (norm reference tests)

College Board/Springboard

Common Core Standards

Current availability of materials

Current school collection

Online resources

Virtual Library

Other reliable online resources

Possible hindrances

Time constraints

Technology constraints

Teacher “buy-in”

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