We’ve been back at school for a few weeks now in my district, and the library’s been busy. All the sixth graders received orientation over the last week, and we’ve had almost every student come through the library at least once for book checkout. Our Maker Corner has been quite active. Our afterschool program is temporarily located in the library while our gym is being re-roofed, so we’ve had plenty of students with time on their hands to make some awesome creations.
I love that the teachers in my school have embraced our Makerspace as an incentive for students. Teachers will write passes specifically for students to come tinker as a reward for improved behavior, when a student finishes up their work early, etc. A lot of kids will also take a few minutes to make while waiting on their classmates to check-out books. That boredom would often lead to behavior issues before, but now students have something to keep them engaged while waiting.
My students have been favoring a lot of geometric shapes lately. We keep a display on top of our low bookshelves of things that students have created, and often these displays will inspire other students and start new trends in what they’re making. It’s so fun to see how students will take an idea and make it their own.
I’ve been engaging my student assistants in making lately too. On days when checkout wasn’t busy, I’ve had them help me assemble new displays, build objects with the K’nex and LEGOs for display, and redecorate our forms center (where we keep applications and permission slips related to the media center) with duct tape and silver sharpies. They LOVE being given jobs like this, and it gives them a greater sense of ownership in the library. I could have redecorated that ugly cardboard forms center myself, but by giving it over to one of my students, it gave her a chance to express herself. Now she’s proud to show it to other students and tell them that she made it.
The LEGOs section has been active, but not a whole lot has been coming together here. I’m still waiting on the district maintenance to come out and mount a plywood board to our wall. Then we’ll have our LEGO wall, and I think this area will quickly become the most popular spot in the library.