Librarian: Mrs. Virginia Merrick
Madonna Catholic School’s Library Improvements:
The Madonna Catholic School library is moving towards becoming a Learning Commons. While Learning Commons consist of the traditional elements of a library with books to read for pleasure and research, they are designed to facilitate project based learning. We have added tables and chairs to accommodate a full class and couches to accommodate another class for reading to self and others.
What is Project Based Learning (PBL)?
Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. In Gold Standard PBL, Essential Project Design Elements include:
- Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills - The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, and self-management.
- Challenging Problem or Question- The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
- Sustained Inquiry- Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
- Authenticity- The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
- Student Voice & Choice- Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
- Reflection- Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
- Critique & Revision- Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.
- Public Product- Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.
Madonna’s Learning Commons has become a place where students can spread out to do research for their projects using texts, books, and on-line resources; as well, students can work on RAZ Kids, or read to self or others. Our Learning Commons is a comfortable, visually appealing place that enriches learning and promotes literacy.
In the future, the librarian will be working closely with teachers and students to provide the processes and materials necessary for project based learning as well as crystalizing the love of reading, and enhancing overall literacy both with written material and technology.