Got your makerspaces up and running in your library or another area in your school, but the kids are wanting more time there besides their allotted time? Does this area have dead time during the day and you feel like this space could be better used?
You aren't alone. I was right there with you last year. I had worked so hard to transform my library into a true innovate space, full of makerspaces. Once I was done and I looked up to examine my work, I heard nothing but crickets.
My school is the 5th and 6th grade campus and each class gets to come to the Learning Center/Media Center/Library (it is a room with many names, just like me) every other week. Their reading teacher brings them for a 30 minute block which the kids use to check out books, read and visit the makerspaces, 5th grade one week and 6th grade the next week.
As you can tell from my schedule below that I have lots of holes in the rotation that would leave my library and all the makerspaces I worked so hard on, unused and empty.
I didn't like this one bit. I envisioned this area always bustling, with students working together on class projects while others are enjoying the makerspaces and some reading in a corner.... that is when it hit me... a golden idea....
INTRODUCING GOLDEN TICKETS
I decided to create "Golden Tickets" that the teachers could use to send students that had finished their work early or had some spare time to the library to enjoy the makerspaces. These tickets were a HUGE HIT. Students would complete their work just so they could come to the learning center to explore and create. Teachers loved it because it got those kids who finished quickly, grew bored and begin distracting other students. Golden Tickets are PERFECT for those kids, and it is usually them who benefit from makerspaces the most because it keeps their hands busy and minds occupied.
To explain the Golden Tickets to teachers and students, I created the following video for teachers to show their students in class.
This video was created last year when I had classes in the morning so the library was only open in the afternoons. This year teachers can send students to the library whenever they want. Teachers know that if there is a class and several other Golden Ticket holders in the library, their kids may be sent back.
I think it is also important to say that we don't put much focus on only students who only make the best choices can earn a Golden Ticket, this is a reward for students who finish their work on time.
With that being said, students know that coming to the library is a privilege that will be revoked if students don't adhere to the library expectations and guidelines. Below you can see what is up on the tv during the day to remind the students of these expectations.
But don't just take my word for it... hear it from my teachers!
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