The Learning Commons
Teston Village Public School
A Vision for the Learning Commons
The Ontario Library Association's Together for Learning document lists the following key components of the Learning Commons:
- A physical and virtual space: I'll be building out the virtual space for our Library/Learning commons at http://testonvillage.ca/learningcommons/. On the right side of the page, you can sign up to receive updates by email when I update the main page of the site. There are also sections for teachers and students and MUCH more to come. As a side note, if anyone wants to host a class blog (one of my favourite tools ever) with a testonvillage.ca address, just let me know and I can help you get set up.
- Equitable Access: Equity of access to excellent reading and resourses for all of our students and educators is important to me and I will strive to do my best to make sure that I am meeting the needs of all students. If you have students with specific needs, or think that the way I've currently set the library up is preventing physical access for some students, please let me know, so that we can make it work for them.
- Learning Partnerships: If there is an idea that I am excited about, it is collaboration. I tend to think of collaboration in a broad and inclusive sense, and with less regard to the traditional roles in education. This means that I value collaboration between student and students, students and teachers, teachers and teachers, teachers and administrators, school members and the community . . . well, you get the idea. Partnerships don't need to occur just in the Library space, I'm more than happy to come work in your classroom, or help you partner virtually with someone around the world.
- Technology in Learning (Note: see the Google Geek section below): Technology, when used correctly, can inspire and connect teachers and students, and open up new ways of learning and sharing learning that can be more efficient, effective and engaging. When used improperly, the effects can range from distraction to traumas from online bullying. Over the last three years, I saw that many teachers were unsure of how to integrate technology and social media tools into their practice and were afraid of making mistakes or breaking the computer or tool they were using. The good news is that the tools are a lot harder to break than they used to be and I can help you with selecting one or two tools that will help you accomplish your goals with your students. Once you have those under your belt, we can add a couple more.
I've been with the YRDSB for 11 years, working primarily in the Junior and Intermediate divisions and spent my first two years teaching grade 9 math and science in the Inuit community of Arviat, Nunavut on the west coast of Hudson Bay. I grew up in South Porcupine, ON, and now live in Alliston, with my wife and two kids. As you can see from the photo, I am trying to keep the backyard rink tradition that we had in South Porcupine alive, but it's a lot tougher down here.
I would call myself an avid reader, but the last couple of years haven't left a lot of room for reading for enjoyment or reading books for students. I'm trying to work my way through an M.Ed., though I'm taking a break from my course work as I get started here at Teston Village. If there are books you're looking for to add to our library collection, please let me know and I'll do my best to try and find the books you (and your students) want.
If your technology issue isn't a Google one, I'm not a one trick pony and have worked with a wide variety of "GREEN" (YRDSB/Ministry/OSAPAC) and "RED" tools over the years and would love to help you and your students.
International Dot Day
Tuesday, Sep. 15th, 8:30am
80 Murray Farm Ln
The Global Read Aloud
Monday, Oct. 5th, 8:30am to Friday, Nov. 13th, 11pm
80 Murray Farm Ln
The Learning Commons Space and Me
Using the Learning Commons/Library Space
One thing to keep in mind about the more open schedule I'm proposing is that it will allow for more consistent use of the library. In my experience, when students (and some teachers) are working on a project once a week for a 40 minute block, the excitement and engagement quickly wears off. I'd rather have you book a period or two in the Learning Commons for a few days in a row, then take a break from the Learning Commons for a couple of weeks while I work with other classes. I think this will be more effective and engaging. I will be trying to keep the Learning Commons open for book exchange while I am partnering with other classes in that space.
Regularly Scheduled Classes
- Kindergarten, Grade 1, and the classes in the portable will have regularly scheduled book exchange periods in the library.
- Other classes may book a period (with or without me) if the library is available.
- The library schedule of availability will be shared shortly.
May only be done with a teacher in the library
Schedule of times when Scott will be in the Library to facilitate book exchange will be posted
Send students in groups of no more than 3
Teachers can sign books in and out (tutorial videos to come)
- If you are unable to sign books in or out, students may use new sticky notes (left) to indicate the book(s) they would like.
The Learning Commons Space
Me - Scott - Teacher Librarian
Wow - that's enough
I hope you all have a great first week - and feel free to wander into the library and take advantage of the air conditioning any time you need to.
Find me online: