Library Stations. This is the crux of my library program, and it is working wonderfully! I have split the year into four-week units. For each unit, I have planned library stations that correspond to the unit and reinforce library and literacy skills or any other skills I want to focus on. Library stations allow the students to actively apply the skills and concepts that we discuss in the library, or those they are discussing in their classrooms. The beauty of library stations is that they can be anything! One of the most popular in our library is the origami station. It's not specifically a literacy center, but the students are reading and following complicated directions, working through an unnatural task that does not work if each step is not completed exactly, persevering when there is a mishap, focusing, concentrating, and, eventually, succeeding!
Examples of library stations in my rotation:
Each station has its own rules and clean-up procedures. Signs that specifically outline these are posted at each station and students are expected to read these rules each time they start at a station. I pull popsicle sticks with numbers on them to let students choose stations in a random order. They know that if they have done the Lego station in the last few weeks they can't choose it to allow someone else a chance. I have a grade book in which I keep track of the stations each student chooses from week to week.
1) Lesson and discussion (5-7 minutes)
2) Students choose stations (2 minutes)
3) As soon as they have chosen their station, students leave their seat and do any book checkout/renew/check in that they need to do BEFORE they go to their station. This allows them all the time they need to find their books - some kids don't like to be rushed.
4) Station time (25 minutes) - students are expected to be actively engaged in their station. They must stay at their station for the entire station time.
5) Clean up (2-3 minutes) - I use an online timer that is displayed on the SMARTboard, so students can see it at all times. As soon as the timer goes off, they clean up and go back to their seats. Once I check the stations to ensure that they have been cleaned satisfactorily, students line up at the door and head out.
Is station time loud? Yes. Is station time chaotic? Sometimes. Do they love it? Yes!
The SJS Library is a gathering spot for students. Whether checking out books, in library enrichment, getting tutored, or just hanging out, falcons are always welcome in the library!