How to Transform Your Library Space on a Budget

How to Transform Your Library on a Budget | In my post for AASL Knowledge Quest, I share advice and ideas learned from transforming the library at Stewart Middle Magnet over the course of five years on a small budget.

Transform Your Library Space Recently, I’ve been looking back through photos of my media center at Stewart Middle Magnet from the past five years… As I look back over these photos, I’m struck by how the space slowly evolved over this span of time. It’s easy to just focus on all the big sweeping changes we … Read more

SLJ Leadership Summit: School Tours

SLJ Leadership Summit: School Tours | As a part of the 2015 SLJ Leadership Summit, there were school tours to four local schools, including elementary, middle, high and private. These tours gave a great snapshot of the state of school libraries in Seattle, WA.

A few weeks ago, I had the honor and privilege of attending the School Library Journal Leadership Summit in Seattle, WA. It was an amazing weekend filled with sightseeing, learning and good times with friends old and new.  I’m going to break up the experience with several posts, starting with today’s. School Tours in Seattle, … Read more

5 Easy Ways to Make Space for Innovation

5 Easy Ways to Make Space for Innovation | Innovation is a hot topic in education, and it's essential for educators to find ways to support innovation in our students. In this article for AASL Knowledge Quest, I share five different ways that you can change up your library or classroom space to make room for innovation.

  5 Easy Ways to Make Space for Innovation Our school libraries are no longer made up of the rows upon rows of stacks and hushed, immovable wooden desks. At least, not if we expect them to support the innovative learning styles of our students. The libraries of today need to be interactive learning environments … Read more

LEGO Wall Round-up: Celebrating a Year of Awesome

LEGO Wall Round-up: Celebrating a Year of Awesome | One year after building the LEGO wall at Stewart Middle Magnet School and posting a tutorial, I've collected images and stories of LEGO walls in other schools around the world.

LEGO Wall Round-up: Celebrating a Year of Awesome One year ago today, I put up that last brick and finished building our Epic LEGO Wall at Stewart.  Since then, I’ve been awed and humbled to see so many other schools build LEGO walls.  In classrooms, in libraries, in hallways, on old mobile whiteboards.  I can’t … Read more

3 Ways Whiteboards Can Make Your Space More Awesome

3 Ways Whiteboards Can Make Your Space More Awesome | Whiteboards and writable surfaces are far more than just instructional spaces. By creating unconventional whiteboard surfaces with whiteboard paint and whiteboard topped tables, we can transform how our students interact with our spaces. Here's 3 ways whiteboard surfaces can be used to make your space more awesome.

Towards the beginning of this school year, we created a whiteboard wall in our library as a part of our Makerspace.  Around the same time, we gave our instructional space a makeover which included four Bretford quarter round tables with whiteboard tops.  Later in the year, we also added an Interior Concepts Collaboration table with a … Read more

Defining Makerspaces: What the Research Says

Defining MAKERSPACES: What the research says: After receiving criticism that my space was not a "real makerspace", I decided to draft my own definition and take a look at how research defines makerspaces.

Recently, I had the unfortunate experience of dealing with criticism.  I was told (not to my face) by a visitor to our school that our library makerspace is not a “real makerspace”.  This same person stated that our woodshop is a “real makerspace” because it has power tools.  She suggested that I “do some research” on … Read more

6 Ways to Rethink Your Library Space and Make it Amazing

6 Ways to Rethink Your Library Space and Make it Amazing | Over the course of five years, I've worked to renovated and redesign the library at Stewart Middle Magnet. Here, I share what I learn in six lessons that you can apply to your own library or classroom.

Over the past five years, we have redesigned our media center and transformed it into a more flexible, collaborative space.  This is the story of how we got there, and how you can apply what we learned as you rethink your library space. Want to learn even more about transforming your library space?  Check out my … Read more

How to Create an Awesome Whiteboard Wall

How to Create An Awesome Whiteboard Wall | In 2014, we painted one wall of our library makerspace with whiteboard paint, transforming it into an interactive surface. Learn how you can create your own whiteboard wall in this post.

(Post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase using them, I get a small commission that helps support running this blog) The Story of our Awesome Whiteboard Wall This past week, our library and Makerspace got one more step awesome with the addition of our whiteboard wall.  This was a project that I had dreamed … Read more

The Great Library Makeover: Part 2

The Great Library Makeover Back in August I blogged Part 1 of how we’ve been making over our library this year.  We’ve been really busy since then with lots of good changes, including new computers and narrower library shelves in the fiction section.  Part 2 is going to focus more on our new flexible, collaborative … Read more

How to Build an Epic LEGO Wall

How to Build an EPIC LEGO Wall | Follow along with this detailed tutorial to create your very own EPIC LEGO Wall. Great for libraries, makerspaces, classrooms, bedrooms, offices or anywhere awesome. Bonus printable in post too! |

If you’re the type of person who loves to print instructions out, I’ve created a printable pdf just for you  🙂   Click here for a free download!   Building an EPIC LEGO WALL This post is a tutorial on how to build your own Epic LEGO Wall.  I’ve had many, many people ask me … Read more