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Stave Falls Elementary
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Library Learning Commons

A library learning commons is a whole school approach to building a participatory learning community. The Library Learning Commons is the physical and virtual collaborative learning hub of the school. It is designed to engineer and drive future-oriented learning and teaching throughout the entire school.

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Why Flexible Seating?

After my first year in the library, I noticed that the students naturally gravitated toward working on the floor, reading under tables and in little nooks and crannies, and using the built-in steps to work with a group, as opposed to using the provided tables and chairs. In the summer prior to my second year as teacher librarian, I decided that I wanted to make the library a more comfortable learning environment that catered to students’ natural tendencies to be more productive and happier when they were in various nontraditional positions and workspaces.

I began by revamping the three “comfy” office chairs we already had in the library that the students would race to (and sometimes fight over) at the beginning of class — they were the coveted spots! I re-covered some of the worn-out cushions. I also purchased three beanbag chairs and a classroom carpet to help create a comfy zone and a more comfortable area for the students to work. I also was able to gather a couple of sturdy side tables that could be used as seating and a couple of small plastic chairs that would work for the younger students to create another reading area. I had a metal stool already in the library, and when other teachers saw that I painted it, I was also able to get another matching one from a colleague’s classroom to have a matching set. I purchased some clipboards for students to promote them moving about to find a productive work location.

“When my students entered the library for the first time, they couldn’t wait to use the more comfortable seating choices.”