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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Learning Commons

Christie Elementary is taking a big leap forward in the area of innovation and hands-on learning. As a Title I school, we have many challenges - That said, we believe every child can and will learn, be successful, and leave with a foundation for a future of excellence. One core belief we hold dear is that students need to learn how to think, create, and apply. By implementing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) educational practices in all classrooms last year, we took one step towards this belief. Our next step is to build a specific environment that fosters this core belief, and for us, that will be our Learning Commons. By repurposing the existing space in our library, we created a large area for our Learning Commons. This area will house eight different learning labs where students will use creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking.

Lab One: Maker Space/Reverse Engineering – This lab fosters play and exploration through hands on tinkering and creation. Students will take things apart, learn how they work, and create new devices or objects based on their interests.

Lab Two: Little Bits - Little Bits is an open source library of electronic modules that snap together with magnets for prototyping, learning, and fun. In essence, students will generate robotic type creations in order to learn and create new objects in a collaborative atmosphere.

Lab Three: iPads and Tangible Play – An iPad tech bar in an elementary school? Of course! With all the new aps and programs available to students, having the technology to implement these programs is a must-have.

Lab Four: Hexbugs – Cleverly designed tiny toy robots. Students can create and build all kinds of obstacles, mazes, and challenges for these tiny robots.

Lab Five: Lego Robotics – It’s one thing to build things with Legos, it’s another to add robotics. The sky is the limit with Legos and students working together to engineer and design new creations and inventions.

Lab Six: Scratch Coding –MIT students have created a computer coding program that enables students to write and create their own computer programs.

Lab Seven: iMovie Studio – Students will work together to create videos such as book trailers, puppet shows, morning news stories, and much with the use of cameras and software.

Lab Eight: Cardboard Creation Station – It’s amazing what kids can do with cardboard, tape, scissors, and their ideas. At Christie, kids have created arcade games, desktop golf courses, and much more.

Other ideas include: Christie Question Board, Research Lab, Drama Area for Puppet Shows, and a Makey Makey lab -


  1. It's a great start for our Learning Commons!

  2. I'm continually amazing and proud of the learning promoted at Christie. Lucky teachers...lucky kids.