Skip to main content

Summer Ends, School Begins

This summer was full of family and school.  I was able to read a couple of professional books to help improve my library program and my teaching.  I attended the Model Schools Conference in Atlanta and was so proud to teach at Lewis & Clark as I listened to Dr. Palmer and Mrs. Lawson share our very own Model School story.  I learned from other educators in our district at our Liberty Leads PD sessions and shared my MakerSpace/Genius Hour experiences with a few other area library media specialists (even one that I met in Atlanta!)  My family took a short vacation to Chicago, I (mentally and financially) prepared to send my first kiddo off to college in another state, and sadly we said goodbye to my father-in-law.

For the last few weeks, I have been really focused on what the 2015-2016 school year will look like in our library.  Last April I began jotting down a list of things to remember or do for this year.  I have slowly been working to cross things off of that that list.  Some are a result of things that needed improvement from last year and some are a result of what I have learned this summer.  Even after 27 years of teaching, I am always looking for how to grow and learn.

A welcome surprise came this summer when I happened to be working at school in late June when the tech guys were picking up the last of the staff desktops around the school (all staff now have a MacBook Air).  I made a quick decision to remove 18 desktop computers from our library. As of this year, every student in our district will have a device, so I didn't feel that I still needed all the desktops. WOW...there is so much more room in our library with those 8 tables of computers gone (I also took the 12 laptops off tables and moved them to a charging station to use as needed). All of the sudden I had extra tables and space!  So I changed up the tables in my "teaching" area with more narrow tables and was able to set up a few more work stations for kids to move to as they worked.  I have some really low tables for kids who like to work on the floor,  some tables with stools, and some comfy chairs grouped together for collaboration.

Of course I added a few Pinterest projects to the space as well.  I spend so much time at school that it is really important to me to have a pleasant space to come to each morning and the kids always comment on the atmosphere in the library.

I have also spent some time mapping out my year with each grade level.  I am sure I will not be able to fit everything in that I want to do, but I will try my very best!  I also created a template for planning that helped me focus on what objectives I want to teach in each "unit" and an outline for each day of learning.  I am really looking forward to our second year with our MakerSpace and the continuation of Genius Hour mixed in with some new, exciting learning I have planned.

Today I am officially back to school.  I love that even after teaching for so long, I am still excited and thrilled to try new things and put into action what I have imagined! is to an amazing year in the Lewis and Clark Library Maker Center!


Popular posts from this blog

Dash Fashion Show

Earlier this Spring, my 2nd graders added a little creative flair to our robotics unit...we decked Dash out in the latest fashions!  The kids put their designs on paper, created patterns out of newspaper, and then worked on their final projects.   What a fun way to end our robotics  study.

Adopt A Shelf

Each year the members of our Page Turner's book club adopt a shelf to take care of throughout the year.  The kids pick a shelf and we take a "shelfie" and post their photo on the shelf they claimed.  This group REALLY helps keep the shelves organized and looking good.  Plus each student gets to highlight the books from their shelf. 
Here are a few of our "shelfies".

The Making Of An Elementary MakerSpace

So much has happened at Lewis and Clark since the end of May.  The library received a grant from the Liberty School District Foundation in the amount of nearly $8,000.00 to be spent on creating a MakerSpace.  Since being awarded that grant, my brain has not shut off.  I have been busy planning for great experiences, purchasing materials, and getting donations for our MakerSpace!
I knew that we needed a MakerSpace when I didn't have the resources my students needed and wanted during Genius Hour.  
Our MakerSpace will be located in the reading resource room in the library.  It will be very easy to access everything we need when we need it!  This is what the room has looked like at various stages during the summer months.

 Mrs. Carey and I relocated all the books in the picture below and our fabulous custodial staff has cleared out everything else.  

I was fortunate to find 3 shelves hanging around storage closets that will now be used in the space.  Thanks to Mrs. Carey for uncover…