At Belvedere Parkway School we are embarking on transforming our library into a Learning Commons. This will be fantastic work, but my goal is less about transforming the space, and more about transforming the learning that takes place in the space.
I have created a Smart Notebook map for teachers and students to be able to play with, and have gotten large size paper “blueprints” made up as well. Through a Google form, as well as the paper documents, I want to engage staff, students, and parents in coming up with ideas to make this the ideal learning space for our school.
My plan at this point is just to have kids, parents and staff brainstorming, thinking, dreaming and scheming about what we would want as we develop our Library into a Learning Commons. This is less about “realistic” ideas at this point and more about DREAM BIG! We can narrow down based on whatever resources I can get us later.
I have asked our school community to use the following principles as they think about how we want to transform the space:
- How do we make the space agile and mobile?
- Easy access to physical, literary, technological and digital resources
- Spaces for kindergarten students as well as larger grade 6 students as well as adults
- Comfortable, collaborative spaces focused on enhancing great learning and wanting to spend time in the Learning Commons
- Must be safe… (Sorry, no shooting principals out of cannons…)
- How does the space represent great learning and ROARS?
- How does the space represent and support what we know about best learning practice today, and look ahead to potential best practices as well?
- How do we use the space as the “Third Teacher” to use design to spark cognitive development, such as “maker spaces?”
- How do we display student learning so a parent can understand what goes on at Belvedere Parkway School by taking one step into the LC? How do we make it look like a dynamic, ever-changing and up to date Gallery of Learning?
- Think about common areas in the Program of Studies, such as the concept of “growth” which is throughout our different grade levels. How do we work these concepts into the LC and unite the subject disciplines?
- Dream big!
This is an opportunity for every child, from kindergarten to grade 6, as well as parents and staff to think like a designer. We will all think like architects and engineers and designers, and collaborate on ideas to creating our “ideal” learning environment. The next step after “dreaming big” will be to look out the actual human, financial, and physical resources that we have available and have the school community work to look at what comes out of our big dreams that then we can actually implement within the space.
I shall keep you updated on our progress and how it goes. Can’t wait to share what the students and community come up with.
Stay tuned! I would love to see what others are doing in transforming school spaces into learning spaces as well.
Work hard, learn tonnes!