HMS Library Media Center
How It Came About
As most of you know, I transitioned from a fourth grade classroom into the HMS Library Media Center this school year. I have relished the opportunity to be in the library because it puts me in contact with every student and staff member in the building. I strive to make the library media center the buzzing "hub" of the school. What an amazing gift! With that gift comes the responsibility to work hard to hone my teaching and leadership skills. Therefore, I am participating in our district's professional development entitled LEAPP to stretch myself in both roles.
LEAPP stands for Lead Educate And Promote the Profession. The idea behind this professional development is for students to take ownership of their learning. The premise is that kids become responsible for their own learning when you create the right system. We need goals (district, school, kids) that are evident to everyone, especially the kids in the system because they are the workers in the system and they need to know why they are working on what they are working on.
Key Structures that Set Learning as the Classroom Priority
Know Essential Learning Requirements and post in kid-friendly language- “I can..” statements
Publish a strategic or overarching class learning SMART goal -Chart with “I can” statements and boxes to check off when students have achieved them
Determine where your students are compared to where they need to be- establishing a baseline and creating a graph to chart progress from the baseline toward the strategic goal
Develop a mission statement with your students that declares their purpose for learning, aligned to requirements and focused on closing learning gaps.
- Agree upon class behavior norms
HMS Library Mission Statement Process
- During the last week of February I spent the first five minutes of every library class explaining that we need a mission statement for our classroom library so that anyone who walks into this space will know what it is for and what we do here. I said it is a library for kids so I want kids to be the ones to write it. I asked for volunteers to be the classroom's student library representative to help me with this task.
- Students received letters telling them to come to a working lunch on Monday, March 3rd. They were given two questions to come prepared with notes for the following questions: Why do we come to the library (during library class)? What do we need to do well together in the library (during library class)
- Students brainstormed many ideas for both questions on two pieces of chart paper. They were thoughtful and attentive
- Students went up to the charts individually to put tally marks next to the 3 ideas they thought were the most important for each question.
- Students were given letters asking them to come back for a second meeting. The letter contained the results of the two questions: Why do we come to library class? to enjoy reading - 14 votes, to improve as a reader - 13 votes, to learn how to find information - 5 votes What do we need to do well together during library class? respect others - 11 votes, cooperate - 10 votes, have a positive "five star" attitude - 10 votes They were asked to use that information to create a concise mission statement to bring to the discussion.
- Students came prepared with many great ideas on Monday, March 10th. They brainstormed and discussed thoughtfully and purposefully. It was amazing to be a part of.
- Students were given sheets with all the mission statement possibilities and voted on the one they thought would be the best mission statement for HMS Library.
HMS Library Media Center Has a Mission Statement
HMS Library: Read, Respect, and Research
The kids felt it was a mission statement people could remember because it is concise and has alliteration.
I think they did a phenomenal job taking what matters most and putting it in language everyone can understand and remember.
I am so impressed with the students who did the work for this project. They were thoughtful, conscientious, and respectful of everyone's ideas. They took their job seriously because they knew they were stakeholders in this.
Although it was supposed to be a one-time commitment, I'm hoping to pull them back in for more working lunches. We have already started discussing what they would like to do for summer reading programs.
It is time to to let kids become responsible for their own learning. They proved to me that this was an incredibly worthwhile experience.
Plea to the Community
If you are interested in donating your time and talents to the HMS Library, I can be reached at email@example.com.