Spreading PEARL at Baldwin High

Shannon Alueta

Shannon Alueta

As PEARL developers, we are always curious to hear if the PEARL resources are reaching teachers. We are delighted to report that Shannon Alueta, librarian at Baldwin High, is doing an amazing job of teaming with her teachers on research projects. While she was completing her PEARL training in 2011, Shannon was also moving from King Kekaulike High to Baldwin High on Maui. As the new librarian at Baldwin, she was able to partner with an English teacher who worked with both juniors and seniors on research papers. The teaming was a huge success, so much so that Shannon now has the six to eight teachers comprising the entire English Department seeking her assistance with research assignments.

Shannon has focused her teaching on the critical beginning stages of the research process: selecting a researchable topic, conducting presearch activities, generating relevant and higher order questions, and webbing ideas. She spends as much as three 70-minute periods with each class. Shannon says that she has used various PEARL resources including the Question Master and the Presearch-Research Matrix.

To quote Shannon: “I love using the PEARL sources because they were created with care and thoughtfulness. PEARL also breaks down the research process into easily digestible, bite-sized chunks that teachers can tailor to their needs.” She added: “Students are then able to better understand the research step at hand, while teachers are able to quickly assess the student’s understanding of the research step and provide appropriate feedback on the go. It’s a wonderful thing.”

In addition to the teaming that she is doing with the English Department, Shannon and her partner librarian Lynn Yamauchi were asked to conduct one of the professional development sessions for the entire faculty in the 2013-2014 school year. This request was sparked by the Common Core requirement for students to write arguments in all disciplines. Shannon chose to share a range of tools and resources from the library including the PEARL handouts, EBSCO databases, EasyBib for citations, and various print resources. According to Shannon, the sessions have “opened doors” to working with faculty in a range of departments. To date, in addition to the English teachers, she has worked with teachers from woodshop, culinary arts, physical science, and drivers’ education. Our hats off to Shannon!

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