Short Term / Low Cost Activities
- Setting up a relationship with the local public library, elementary school, and high school would be fun. My school is fortunate, that all of these are within walking distance of the school (less than 4 blocks). I think it would be cool to set up book
clubs, reading partners, and mentors with these libraries. Some of the middle school kids could be
paired up with elementary kids to do read-alouds or book talks. The middle school kids could also be
paired up with high school kids who could serve as mentors or book club
peers. (Many of our honor society
kids also need community service hours, and this would be a fun way to earn
those.) I would also love to see
some of the 8th graders take “field trips” to the public library
branch in order to do research for their “InfoQuest research paper.” This is a joint paper in the social
studies and language arts classrooms in which students take a research topic
all the way through the research process to a movie-making skit that serves as
a visual of their research/learning.
I think the public library would be a great place for kids to do “real”
- A “free book” bin would be a great way for low-income students to have books of their own. Many of the materials that are discarded or weeded from the collection could be used for this. Weeded materials from other schools and libraries could also
be collected. Teachers and
community members could also donate gently used or new books to donate. There would be time needed to inform
people in the program and in the need for donations, but over time this could
be a great way to permanently get books into the hands of students that do not
have many or any of their own. A
“Take One, Leave One” bin could also work for this. This would basically be a “donate a book and take a book”
idea. I currently have something
like this for the teachers in my building, where we leave a book and take a
book on the “teacher book shelf” in the library. I think this could be expanded to the students as well.
Short Term / High Cost Activities
- Starting a book club for Colorado writers and books might be a way to engage students and teachers in reading, but also would provide more access to authors. Last year, the 7th grade classes read Savvy
by Ingrid Law, a Boulder author.
We then invited her to make an author visit to not only our school but
to another middle school in the district as well. Because she lives to close to our district, the travel cost
and author appearance cost was reasonable because we split it between the two
schools. Not only did the kids
LOVE meeting a real-life author, but also it was nice to have a real-life
Colorado author! The kids definitely
connected to her!
- I think more audio/visual resources would enhance the learning of students, regular, special education, and ELL. Many of the students would be
more engaged to listen to books on CD or MP3 players. Many of our special education and ELL students also have
specific IEP goals or ELL standards that focus on listening abilities and
comprehension. Having the
resources for them to read and listen to texts would be a wonderful enhancement
to the learning they already do in the classroom. The high cost would come in purchasing the resources and
maintaining them, as they will be handled a lot and at times roughly. The resources have the probability of
having to be replaced as they get worn out.
Long Term / Low Cost Activities
three to five years
- As a school, we host a literacy night each year. The language arts department hosts the event and pays for any necessary items, i.e. food, decorations, etc. (so no cost to the
library). This year we had the local library come and bring the
bookmobile. This was at no cost to us, and it drew a large crowd.
All of the students' families were able to sign up for library cards and learn
more about the public library's facilities. I think this is an activity
that would be beneficial to continue.
- The library could start up a blog or Wiki page in which to provide updates on new books, reviews, and interesting items that students, teachers, and community members would enjoy. The library has a webpage, but this is
pretty dull and non-interactive. A
blog or Wiki page would allow more student interaction and would promote
interest in the library. Although
the cost is “time,” with a little attention and thoughtfulness, these would
promote a more welcoming environment in the library.
Long Term / High Cost Activities
three to five years
- The library currently has one computer lab available for teachers to sign up and bring their students to. I think the purchasing of a
mobile Netbook lab would be an awesome way to provide more students with
opportunities to use technology within the classroom. The mobile lab would provide easier access to computers and
would allow more students the ability to incorporate technology into their
class work. Currently the library
lab fills up months ahead of time, so it is in high-demand. Having another available lab would be a
huge asset to the students and teachers at TMS.
- With the possible purchasing of more computers, I also think E-books are a useful resource in which to invest. With more
computer access, more students would be able to research using E-books while in
classrooms, not simply in going to the library. This would be costly, but would save shelf space, are more
engaging than printed text, and would “hold up” better to use over time.