The Hive: Hooch Learning Studio

September 2015 Newsletter from Your CHS Media Center

Happy September!

Ms. Olson, our Media Assistant, and I hope that you all enjoyed a great start to the academic year in August! As we jump into September, I wanted to share a few resources and "in action" strategies with you to give some idea sparks for ways I as your new METI can assist you during 2015-2016. We want to transform our media center into an active learning space for all content areas that honors many ways of learning and engages students using high tech, low tech, and no tech mediums. We will also continue to honor the student need for quiet workspaces as well. Check out some of the activities I've done in the past---if anything speaks to you, please come see me, and let's brainstorm together! Best, Buffy Hamilton, METI/Media Specialist

Other Ideas for All Subject Areas

Student Visits to the Media Center

Our library hours are 7:30 AM -3:45 PM daily. During periods 1-7 we ask that students scan in and out with their barcodes either in their agendas or on their student ID. The digital sign-in provides accountability for the student, and we are able to verify their time in here upon request.

  • If you are sending students to the media center to work, please write passes in their agendas or send a handwritten pass; please do not send more than five students.
  • We ask that students do not bring food or drink into the media center except for bottled water; bottled water should be put away if the student is using a computer.
  • Students who do not have a barcode for admittance will be asked to return to the classroom or lunchroom. Students who have lost agendas may purchase another one from us for $5.00; replacement barcodes are $1 each.
  • Students visiting during lunch are welcome to use the media center as long as space is available; however, scheduled classes will have priority for seating and computer use.
  • We ask that students use their time constructively and to be respectful of others. Students who are disruptive in any way will be redirected once; additional off-task or disrespectful behavior will result in the temporary loss of library visitation privileges and/or a discipline referral to administration.
  • Sending a student during homeroom/advisement? Please send them with the gold pass with your signature and that of an academic teacher as you have in years past. Students who do not come with the gold pass will be asked to return to homeroom/advisement.

Looking to the Future

We do not have a definite timeline for additional renovations of the media center, but in the interim, I am collecting research and evidence based work to lay out the design drivers for the way our media center could function as a learning studio with real impact on classroom culture, work, and learning. Drawing upon my own teaching philosophy, best practices of contemporary school librarianship, and recent grant writing and design thinking work for a library renovation in progress at Norcross High, I envision a flexible and nimble media center space that can easily support direct instruction, active learning, and individual/small group learning activities. The video below gives us a glimpse of the possibilities for creating active learning "classrooms" within the media center that could support both high tech and low tech kinds of learning activities. The zones of learning and furniture are more than just aesthetically pleasing---they draw upon a playbook of learning design drivers that can elevate the possibilities for libraries and media centers in a school learning community. In the meantime, we will utilize what we currently have and hope to obtain to make these kinds of learning opportunities and those you saw in the links above during 2015-2016 as the beginnings of a new chapter in our media center's work with you and our students.
Verb classroom collection at Coastline

Buffy Hamilton, METI/Media Specialist

From July 2013-July 2015, I was a school librarian at Norcross High in the Gwinnett County Public School District. Prior to coming to Norcross, I was the Learning Strategist for the Cleveland Public Library in Cleveland, Ohio and a high school librarian and teacher at The Unquiet Library (Creekview High) in Canton, Georgia. I have twenty two years of experience in public education as a high school English teacher, technology integration specialist, and librarian. My interests include critical literacy, participatory learning and culture, inquiry-driven learning, and ethnographic studies, I’m a 2011 Library Journal Mover and Shaker who loves dogs, shopping, running, music, and poetry. I blog at The Unquiet Librarian and for DMLcentral.

Carol Olson, Media Center Assistant

I have been a book lover all my life and when I was little I wanted to be a librarian. It wasn’t until many years later after a career in New York City as the Director of Advertising for a major textile company, then raising two children that I achieved this goal. Both of my children are Chattahoochee graduates. I love to read, play tennis, hike, camp, walk my dog and help students discover the joys of reading.