20,000 Pennies: How a Book Club Transformed our School Community

This article was published on Nerdy Book Club on June 24, 2019. You can read in its original format here.   I stood in the middle of the room and listened to the sound of more than 20,000 pennies clinking and jingling around me. To my left, a fourth grade student helped her first grade buddy to […]

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Pride All Year: Kid-Approved LGBTQ+ Titles for Middle Grade & Young Adult Readers

Happy Pride Month, my friends! It’s June, which means that Pride celebrations are in full swing – there are rainbows, commercial collaborations, and booklists everywhere you turn. In February, I shared a list of picture books popular in our library that celebrate gay families, and I was so moved by your responses. Thank you – […]

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3D Printed Braille Signage has Arrived!

Design Thinking: Empathize ➡️ Define ➡️ Ideate ➡️ Prototype ➡️ Test ➡️ Share And the final step… CELEBRATE!!! 🎉🙌🎉 4th graders installed their 3D printed Braille signs into their permanent homes in the nonfiction section of the library today. Students used the design thinking process to create this accessible signage in hopes to make our […]

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In the News: Student-Led Quest Makes Little Free Library for Bennett’s Village

The “Leveling the Playing Field” Quest, led by eighth grade student Jack Dozier ’23, has been a force in the Learning Village this trimester. Designed to answer one main question, How Can We Level the Playing Field for Children in Charlottesville?, Dozier and his Quest-mates decided to spend their class time raising money for Bennett’s […]

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Real World Math with the Bennett’s Village Penny Wars

How many dollars are in more than 140 pounds of donated change? 💰💰 Thanks to our amazing St. Anne’s-Belfield School LS math team, we came together as a community as a community to find out! We’ve spent weeks fundraising for Bennett’s Village, and the big moment is finally here! As a grand finale, fourth graders lead first grade […]

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Solving Library Problems with Design Thinking: 3D Printing Braille Signage

  Each year I push 4th grade students to use the design thinking process to create a lasting and meaningful contribution to their library. In past years, we’ve used graphic design to create new signage that’s more accessible to young readers, and interviewed kindergarteners to create systems to help them find the books that they […]

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Family Night: Library Programming to Celebrate our Unique and Wonderful Community

Last week, almost 200 members of our school community gathered to celebrate one very special thing: family! Families come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and varieties, and this last event in the ’18-’19 Family Fest series was the perfect reason to come together and celebrate them all! I designed this program to highlight the diverse, unique, […]

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The Bennett’s Village Penny Wars have begun!

    My 7th and 8th grade Quest group this semester is working on answering the question: What can we do to help level the playing field for kids in Charlottesville, so that every child has a chance to learn and play? These fundraisers for Bennett’s Village are one of their many current ongoing projects […]

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Building our Little Free Library

  From the first pencil sketch design to drilling today’s final screw, this Leveling the Playing Field Quest team has had little Charlottesville readers and Bennett’s Village on their minds and in their hearts. With help from Mr. Browning, our sketches and plans became real pieces and we worked together to assemble them. Our Little […]

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We failed. Now what?: 10 Steps for Discussing Failure with Kids

Student-led, inquiry based, project based… these learning terms are big in the education world, and the pressure for students to create meaningful, big, showy products is intense. But student-led and project based learning isn’t all productive work periods and beautiful results. Sometimes, the most meaningful and memorable thing that students can do is fail. When […]

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