I just found out a few weeks ago that my school is receiving a Lowes Toolbox for Education grant of $5,000 to transform our library! I applied for this grant back in February, with the goal of transforming the instruction/tables side of our library into a dynamic, collaborative, Learning Commons-style space capabale of quickly and easily transforming to meet various student, teacher, parent and community needs throughout the day. You can see what this area looks like currently in a recent post I wrote about rearranging your learning space. We’ll be getting rid of our heavy wooden tables and chairs and replacing them with flexible, mobile furniture a la Hillbrook iLab.
Ever since FETC I’ve been working closely with School Specialty and Bretford to come up with a plan to transform how students use the library. I was very inspired by the Hillbrook iLab study and I knew that I wanted to create something similar at our school. I poured through online studies, visited a local elementary school with classrooms outfitted by Bretford, and finally came up with a plan. I wasn’t sure what we would be able to afford at first, but eventually it worked out.
So here’s what we’re getting:
Six Explore Flip and Nest Collaborative tables.
These can easily be set and reset by one person. There will be no more lugging around of heavy wooden tables, only to have their legs broken when someone drags them instead of lifting them. These tables can easily be moved around to support any configuration. We can transform the library from class project space to PTSA meeting in a matter of minutes now. Plus, these can nest out of the way when we need more room, making it easier to host events like class plays, movie parties and bookfairs.
Four Explore Quarter Round Activity tables with whiteboard tops!
All of these tables will be outfitted with whiteboard tops that will allow students to brainstorm and jot down ideas. I’m so excited for the potential these tables will have in collaborative groupwork. (Image taken from this video)
Chairs and Painting supplies
We’ll also be getting forty Classroom Select stacking chairs that will be easy to move and stack when not in use. And we’re getting paint and supplies to host a library painting party this summer with parents and students. Hello colorful walls!
I’m so excited about the transformation the library will be experiencing this summer! This grant is going to dramatically change how students use and view the library. I’ll keep you updated as we progress – it’s going to be awesome!