After viewing Margaret’s third video in her action research tutorial series, I am ready to provide a rich description of the setting for my action research.
My action research will take place in a K-6 school library in a Title 1 school located in a small city in upstate New York. I have been teaching therein the role of school librarian for over sixteen years. Over the past ten years, a paradigm shift has been taking place in school libraries around the country, shifting their focus from providing resources and supporting research projects to providing learning environments that support inquiry, exploration and creation.
There are seven libraries in my school district; five K-6 elementary, one 7-8 middle school and one 9-12 high school. Last summer, one of the elementary librarians and I decided to pursue a grant to purchase materials for a library makerspace, an area of the library where students can problem solve and create, using legos, circuit kits, robots, paper, markers, scissors, and craft materials.
Student engagement while using the makerspace materials is high, and I have offered teachers the option of sending their students at the end of the day to use the materials. In December, students used the makerspace to participate in the iEARN Global Holiday Card exchange. We received cards from Russia, Canada, Belarus, Taiwan and Ukraine. Displaying these by the makerspace was a good way to bring positive attention to the area.
My next step is a literature review, which I look forward to - reading about best practices and reflecting on and sharing what I learn!