Ok, so this post feels a little like a tease, but I wanted to at least share the story (so I don’t forget and therefore never post it because I don’t have the right pictures. I’ve made that mistake before. 🙂 ).
This year, our librarian, Mrs. Meihaus, made the jump to turn our library in a learning commons, taking time and care to recreate the space by moving furniture, adding “soft things” like more stuffed animals, bean bags and pillows, and rethinking how we’ll use the communal space for learning. Kiddos were SO excited when we finally got a chance to visit and see the new space for ourselves last week.
First graders got to spend the first few minutes exploring the new space on their own, and then we met Mrs. Meihaus in the storytelling area for some fun, a story (of course!) and conversation.
Mrs. Meihaus shared Kate Messner’s How to Read a Story, which is a great tool for any aged reader on what readers really do with a book. I love that Mrs. Meihaus even said it should be a manual that all teachers should read for how to do ELA (she probably said it way more eloquently than that, but I concur. It was pretty great!).
After we read, we played a game to help remind us of “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” things to do in the library or with books…
…and then we had time to check out….the rest of the library AND new books!! BUT…that’s the part I don’t have pictures of. As you can imagine, first graders need lots of support as they navigate a giant library and figure out what to read. I don’t have pictures of the great new layout, or the cozy soft stuff where kiddos snuggled in to read, or the ZERO ZONE, a new space where kids can go if they need absolute silence to work/read, but believe me: it’s awesome! We’re going back again to visit on Friday, so maybe I’ll have time to snap some then.
I do actually have some pictures of us reading our new books, though….just not in what would be considered a typical place. We took a bathroom break after our library visit and took full advantage of the time to sit and enjoy our new gems! It was such a great sight–had to share! It was so great to watch them dig in and get busy with a book!
Students: What was your favorite part of our new Learning Commons? What was different from last year? What was still the same? What books did you check out?
Parents: What did your kiddos tell you about their visit? What do you know about a Learning Commons v. a “regular” library? What questions do you have?
Teachers: What does the Library Learning Commons look like in your school? How is it utilized by students? by teachers? by administration? by families? What advice do you have as we transition to a new learning space?