As I reflect on how I learn best, I started thinking of the learning space in the library media center for my students. What I realized is that over the years I have made a lot of changes to the wall decor, but I have not made any significant changes to the physical learning space. The tables and bookcases are in the same places that they were in when I inherited the library media center ten years ago. My guess is that they are in the original location that they were placed when the school first opened and no thought has been given to them ever since. The learning space has to be conducive to how students want to learn, not how teachers want to teach. Therefore, I decided to ask the students to redesign our learning space to fit their needs. Their only parameters were that walls couldn't be knocked down and the computers couldn't be moved due to the drops on the floor. Everything else was fair game!
The kids worked in small groups to discuss the library learning space. Some groups sat at their tables to discuss and others got up and walked around the room to visual the changes. We then came back as a group to discuss their ideas and I was blown away! Some of their ideas included the following:
- Replace rectangle tables with round tables to promote a calm and cool atmosphere. They also thought it would be easier to have group conversations.
- Get comfortable chairs and bean bag chairs
- Get some chairs with higher backs, so the smaller kids will feel more confident
- Add more bright colors
- Rotate the book shelves to make longer rows, which will help make it easier to find books
- Move the reference and biography books
- Move all of the books out of the middle area and make that the classroom area
- Add more lamps
- Add more quotes
- Add cushion seats
- Add a fish tank to help calm students
- Add more chairs around the library to give kids more areas to read
Wow! They thought of so many things that I hadn't thought to do! To get things started, I emailed our K-6 schools to see if anyone was interested in trading our rectangle tables for their round tables and I got a volunteer. Redesigning the learning space had begun! It is definitely a work in progress to implement their ideas, but it has been so exciting to see their faces when they come into the library and see the changes they suggested. As student leaders, their voices have been heard and the library will be a better learning space for everyone!
|Students used Google Draw to design the Literacy Lounge area of the library.|