De-emphasized Dewey: How I Changed Up My Non-fiction Section

De-emphasized Dewey: How I Changed Up my Non-fiction Section - A detailed step by step explanation of the approach I took in my school to de-emphasize Dewey

When I decided to de-emphasize Dewey in my library collection, I wanted to come up with an organization system that would make sense to me and make sense to my students.  I decided to divide the non-fiction collection into nine different categories (many of which are Dewey aligned) with sub-categories (done as sublocations in Destiny) … Read more

5 New Back-to-School Hacks for 2023

5 new back-to-school hacks to help you get ready for a new year in your library. Orientations, surveys and more.

My Back-to-School Hacks post from 2015 has been getting a lot of traffic lately (maybe because of the School Library Journal article with a similar title?) so I thought it might be good to write an updated version.  A lot has changed for me since 2015 – I’m at a different school (Tampa Prep, where … Read more

How to Start a Classroom Makerspace from Scratch

How to start a classroom makerspace from scratch : Want to build a mini classroom makerspace? Here's some advice and supply recommendations to get you started.

In the 2021-2022 school year, I collaborated with our 6th grade science teacher to incorporate makerspace activities into her curriculum.  We decided on a hybrid approach where for some projects, students would come up to the library makerspace and for others, I would come down to the classroom.  So we decided to purchase supplies (using … Read more

Genrefication Reflections: 5+ things I’ve learned in 3 years

Genrefication Reflections: 5+ things I've learned in 3 years : Since genrefying my fiction collection a few years ago, I've learned a few things. Here, I share those lessons with you.

  Back in early 2019, I reorganized the fiction section of my library, categorizing books into genres and labeling them with colored stickers to help students find them.  You can read more about the exact process I used back here, and I’ll include more genrefication resources at the end of the post.  Since that time, … Read more

Cardboard Challenge Tips Part 2: More Tips and Tricks

Cardboard Challenge Part 2 Tips and Tricks: Here's more tips to help support your cardboard challenge, including storage, organization, and using design challenges.

Cardboard challenges have been a core part of my makerspace programming for the past eight years.  I continue to be amazed year after year at the amazing ideas students come up with when given a design challenge and simple, everyday materials.  In Part 1 of this post series, I looked at some of my favorite … Read more

Open Exploration in a Makerspace: Best Practices

Open Exploration in a Makerspace: Best Practices // Open exploration time allows students to pursue projects and ideas that interest them. Here's some best practices.

In Open Exploration in a Makerspace: What it is and Why We Need it, I explored why having open exploration time in your makerspace in an important part of the learning ecosystem.  In this post, I dig more into the practical stuff – how to actually make this work in your space. Open Exploration in … Read more

Genrefication: How to Organize Your Fiction Collection by Genre

Genrefication: A Guide to Genrefying Your Fiction Collection - In this post, I share what I learned from genrefying the fiction section of my library and offer tips and advice for your own genrefication project.

How I Organized My Fiction Collection by Genre At the end of the 2017-2018 school year, I genrefied my school’s fiction collection.  This section of the collection is relatively small at the moment (about 2,000 books).  I intend to grow it a lot, so it made sense to me to get started in my first … Read more

How to Create Easy DIY MaKeyMaKey Storage

How to Create Easy DIY MaKeyMaKey Storage | A quick, easy tutorial on getting your MaKeyMaKeys organized.

When I first started the Stewart Makerspace back in 2014, one of the earliest tools that I purchased was a MaKeyMaKey.  My students loved it, and because they are so affordable (only $50 each) I was able to get a set of 10 of them through a DonorsChoose project, allowing students to work on longer … Read more

How to Create Makerspace Organization that Actually Works

Figuring out how to get (and keep) your makerspace organized can be a daunting task.  I don’t claim to have a magical organization system that works perfectly 100% of the time.  But I have learned a few things about keeping our space organized over the last three years.  Here’s my advice: How to Create Makerspace … Read more

4 Reasons Why I Love Copernicus Carts in Makerspaces

4 Reasons Why I Love Copernicus Carts in Makerspaces | Finding the perfect makerspace storage solution can be tricky. I now have three Copernicus carts and they've revolution storage and accessibility in our makerspace.

Why I love Copernicus Carts In setting up a makerspace in my media center, I’m constantly on the lookout for effective, flexible storage solutions for the myriad of supplies we have.  I think I’ve found one of the best ones out there in Copernicus.   I started with one Book Browser Cart (similar to this one) … Read more