Our school (and in fact, our whole district) has had a strong focus on literacy over the past two years. Our literacy team's goal is to highlight the literacy instruction that occurs across the curriculum, not simply in our English and Social Studies classes, but also in Science, Math, and our electives. We work to bring easy-to-use literacy strategies and tools to our teachers that they will be able to immediately implement in their classrooms. One of the building blocks of our literacy plan is providing accessible text for our students in all disciplines. This is often a challenge -- we want to make sure that ALL of our students have access to a rigorous curriculum. So, what are some "go-to" sources for supporting readers across levels?
The Kilmer Library Makerspace is in its third year. Our goal in establishing this space was to create a open access space for messy and creative learning. We have found that while some students thrive on true open making, others need a bit more targeted focus: that's where challenges come in. This week's Take5 offers some simple, low tech challenges that can work with students of all levels, don't require a makerspace (only a maker mindset), and are easy to pull together at a moment's notice. Why not have a maker challenge day for your students as you close out the school year?
Branding has come up recently in education, largely due to the April publication of a book written by Eric Sheninger and Trish Rubin called BrandED: Tell Your Story, Build Relationships, and Empower Learning. I have long been fascinated by brands and branding, perhaps driven by the time I spent working as a librarian at an advertising agency and later at a big pharmaceutical and consumer goods company. I love the idea of bringing branding into schools and building a professional brand. And, I find it makes such logical sense as the director of a library program because our goals so closely align with the purpose of branding: We need to share our library story, communicate our messaging, and build relationships.
But I get concerned when I hear that someone wants to be a librarian because they are tired of teaching, because they want a desk job, because it's less work. Because, well, it isn't. Every level is different -- I speak with the voice of a middle school librarian. And I really want you to join this magical field, but I want you to do it for the right reasons.
This week's Take5, expands a bit on something I mentioned at the Educator Meetup: getting started. We began planning the Kilmer Library Makerspace a bit over three years ago and these are my top five tips for starting a makerspace.
After rolling this lesson out, I can confidentially say that this is now one of my favorite ways to connect kids with books books and I am excited to give you my materials and reflections so you can do it too!
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