"Play is the answer to how anything new comes about." Jean Piaget
In our library, we not only inspire students through literature, but also by experiential learning.
Through collaborations with classroom teachers, students are better able to engage with their content and create fabulous products. It is for these reasons that we want to transform our library into a learning commons.
My students love literature but we don't just read books in our library. We have added a small maker space and are expanding into coding. Being a suburban high school with a high number of high-poverty students, not everyone is exposed to the same rich experiences as that of our more affluent students. We have to provide those experiences for them. Negative experiences with school make typical learning environments less engaging so emphasis on project-based assignments allows more opportunity for students to get hands-on experience, as well as explore new career opportunities. When our students graduate from high school, they must be adept with technology to be competitive in the job market. Preparation for that competitive edge begins right now!
This year we are focusing on turning our traditional library into a learning commons. A learning commons is much like a traditional library but different in a few specific ways. We will still have books and computers, but we need flexible learning spaces that we can adapt to the particular needs of each project. Tables on wheels that are easily moved are being provided by our school but we still need a few finishing touches that our budget doesn't cover.
Project based learning opportunities provide our students with authentic and engaging experiences.
To support our students and teachers, our library must evolve to meet these new needs. For these reasons, we are transforming our space. Mobile tables, clear signage, and dry erase surfaces for brainstorming and planning are all integral requirements for a learning commons.
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