October is National Book Month, and I can’t help but think about the joy books bring to us all. To help celebrate, students and staff came to school dressed up as their favorite book character. The students and I have read some really great books lately, so I loved seeing them excited to bring in and share their own favorite stories! Here are some pictures from the day.
This was the second year in a row I was lucky enough to present at the MassCUE Annual Technology Conference, held at Gillette Stadium.
Alongside Paula Pickett (Library Media Specialist at the Holmes Innovation School) I was able to speak about how having a makerspace has added an entirely new dimension of literacy to the Shaw library. From storytelling to game design, students can make truly meaningful connections to stories. They can explore the possibilities and try at coding a story, an animation, or game. This helps to ensure high levels of learning and meaningful student engagement. Paula and I spoke to attendees about the learning opportunities that emerge when bringing student imagination to life. We showed how making ties in perfectly with what we want our students to be able to accomplish. We displayed real project examples, showing attendees resources they can use in their own space. Maker spaces are a chance for educators to take stories and bring them to life. In our library, students can use hands-on materials to take control over their own learning and become an active part of the learning process when reading stories. Check out our presentation slides here!
The presentation was well received and I am so thankful I was able to share some of the incredible making Shaw students are doing!
I spent the summer thinking of how I could make our library into a more inviting, collaborative space. I received a grant from Lowe’s Toolbox for Education, which included money for paint and painting supplies to add color to the library. With a tremendous amount of help from an amazing group of volunteers at Brownmed, we brightened things up with “Spirited Yellow” to make the library become a more vibrant space. Check out the video to see the library transformation!
Inspired by the color change, I wanted to make the library space not just welcoming but also flexible for our community of diverse learners. We now have a variety of seating options. There are comfortable cushions, perfect for students wanting to get caught up in a book. There are stools and yoga ball seating to allow for movement. There are movable tables that can be pushed together for group work or separated for those students that like to work in a quieter setting. This dramatically increased the flexibility of our space by allowing us to rearrange tables and chairs to suit our needs.
I believe the library is now better able to meet the needs of all its users.
We have spent the first month of school exploring the library rules and delving deeper into how students can take care of themselves and others in the library. Students have been making the connection between their passions and dreams and the school rules and routines. We have read some wonderful books connected to our school core values.
I am so happy that the library is a place where students feel comfortable enough to read, collaborate, and create.
Mrs. Keohane is the School Librarian at the P.A. Shaw. She loves hockey, going to the beach, and reading (obviously!)