This morning I noticed this large mysterious structure in the library:
UPDATE: It’s part of a Rube Goldberg machine. Go fig.
It has been an exhausting but satisfying fist week back at school. The Library is all set up for the new school year, with tons of new books and a few new systems in place.
The self-serve kiosks are set up and ready to go, meaning the boys can now check out their own books, and leaving Ms. Walker free to herd cats:
We’ve also implemented a “Clean Sweep” system to ensure the library gets tidied up after each class visit:
And, most exciting of all, we now have a microphone for making announcements! It has clearly gone to someone’s head:
The Grade 7 Socials classes have also begun working on a guided inquiry unit for Remembrance Day. We held an “open” session this week in the library, with the boys reading war-themed picture books:
Want to learn more about Guided Inquiry Design? Find out here!
Phew. That’s a lot going on, but we’re really looking forward to the year ahead. Time for curiosity, creativity and fun!
As part of our library renovation, we got some wheeled folding whiteboards, which have been great for helping the students plan, envision and organize themselves. Last night Daniel took the opportunity to create his “bukkit list” for what he wants to accomplish. It’s pretty interesting and varied!
The Phantom Tollbooth is my favourite book, and I read it to the Grade 3s every year. It’s a classic: a hilarious, touching and pun-filled adventure through the Kingdom of Knowledge. The only problem is, sometimes the title doesn’t make immediate sense to the students, so I have to explain what a tollbooth is, and also that, in this context, “phantom” doesn’t mean a literal ghost, but is actually a synonym for “mysterious”.
A few years ago, a boy in Grade 3 couldn’t remember the title and asked me: “What’s the name of that book we’re reading? The Phantom… Toothbrush??” Ever since then, I’ve joked that we need to write a sequel where Milo finds a mysterious toothbrush that transports him to the land of… dental hygiene…? We’ll work on it.
Well, believe it or not, today as I was tidying up the library, I discovered A MYSTERIOUS TOOTHBRUSH in a Ziploc baggie. It truly is The Phantom Toothbrush.
It must be a sign.
We’ve had our new furnishings for just over two months now, and we can’t even remember what the library was like before! The new furniture has made an immediate impact on student satisfaction and learning. Here’s just one example: yesterday both Grade 4 classes visited the Library at the end of the day to kick-start their First Nations projects. In years past, we would send the set of books up to the Grade 4 teachers, but this year everyone was invited and able to find a space to collaborate! After an introduction to the task and some advice in deciding what information the boys needed to learn, finding the right book for the job, and extracting information in note form, they were off! Forty-eight boys were able to spread out across the space to take notes in small groups. The moveable furniture and private nooks really made the lesson effective since the boys were able to either work together, or find a quieter spot on their own.
The past month has been a whirlwind of moving, organizing, planning and setting up, as we finally received our new library furnishings to complete the first phase of our renovation! The new library setup is phenomenal. The new shelving units are moveable and provide cozy nooks and corners for boys to read or work. The tables and seating are adaptable to different sizes of students, and allow the boys to collaborate with their peers more easily. The new carpet and paint complement the lighter coloured furniture too. Check it out:
And here’s the makeover! Click on a picture to view a slideshow. Tell us what you think!
In the midst of the joyful chaos of yesterday’s author visit, we received a surprise shipment of new furnishings! Even though we’re still awaiting the majority of our new furniture (tables, chairs, whiteboards, shelves) we were thrilled to receive some ottoman cubes and mini couches and chairs. The boys have taken to them straight away!