In this episode we interview Jennifer Brown, who is the Teacher Librarian at Castle Oaks Public School. Jenn shares her journey of how she transformed her library space into a space for everyone at the school. Through embracing the concepts of open learning and adopting a maker mindset, she has noticed shifts in her learners that have left them truly empowered.
What’s New in the World of EML?
Jim recently visited the Library Learning Commons of Huntington Ridge PS. He was involved in early discussions about the redesign a few years ago. The space is now a well developed, exciting learning environment in which learning is supported with a wide variety of materials, spaces and opportunities. There is a dynamic makerspace workspace and a busy reading, co-learning, building, exploring space next to it. Student inquiries are rooted in classrooms and supported by the teacher-librarian, Deborah Hammond, as students use the learning environment to explore and share their questions.
Amit shared his trip to Jean Augustine Secondary School, where he and a teacher from Mayfield Secondary School visited Michelle Hollingsworth to see how she is empowering her students in her Science classes. She is really trying to focus on skills and weaving the Scientific Investigation Skills strand in the Ontario Curriculum into all the rest. The students are working independently, but can book lessons with Michelle when they need to review concepts.
Links from the Interview with Jenn Brown
- Jenn spoke about an Ontario document entitled Together for Learning
- She also spoke about how she has been inspired by Melanie Mulcaster
- Jenn mentioned a book that has inspired her entitled Loose Parts: Inspiring Play in Young Children by Lisa Daly, Miriam Beloglovsky, Jenna Daly
- You can find Jenn Brown on Twitter
- You can find Castle Oaks LLCS on Twitter and Instagram
Shares for the Week
Jim shared a Mindshift article entitled 10 Tips for Creating a Fertile Environment for Kids’ Creativity and Growth. This article is actually an excerpt from the book Lifelong Kindergarten by Mitch Resnick. He shares ten strategies parents and teachers can use to support children’s efforts to imagine, create, play, share and reflect. Jim focused on #7 in the podcast as a strategy that he is working on with students this year.
- Imagine – show examples to spark ideas
- Imagine – encourage messing around
- Create – provide a wide variety of materials
- Create – embrace all types of making
- Play – emphasize process, not product
- Play – extend time for projects
- Share – play the role of matchmaker
- Share – get involved as a collaborator
- Reflect – ask (authentic) questions
- Reflect – share your own reflections