Our Junior School Library has a makerspace zone, and we incorporate high tech and low tech makerspace ideas into our library planning and teaching – you can read more about this here and here. I have evolved into the more low tech side of the operation (such upcylcing, managing the Earth Angels’ school kitchen garden and sewing) and my teaching partner Jackie #bestteachingpartnerever blogs here about her high tech makerspace endevours including robotics, coding and circuitry. Combining our love of literature, language, sustainability and creating has seen us create a makerspace zone that is flourishing and student engagement with the library is at an all-time high.
The latest little ‘zone’ that we’ve added to our library is the ‘Slow Communication Station’ – inspired by two things, the beautiful book ‘Snail Mail’ and the House of Cherub mailbox, which I spied when I was halfway through reading ‘Snail Mail’. I was inspired to do something with my Extension English students which involved formal letter writing and also inspired them in regards to the art of letter writing. Oh and we also made paper from waste paper – because paper and letters go hand in hand and makerspaces are all about making from scratch and problem solving situations.
I am a social media lover; and my phone bings and dings at me day and night and my palms sweat at the thought of not having wifi access at all times. I so hope my mother is not reading this. Nor my father (here), who is very interested in brain science and how too much social media use changes brain wiring. Having said this, I still love old-school letter writing and I still send 100+ handwritten Christmas cards every year (here). There is something wonderful about receiving mail – from the stamp, to the handwriting, to the knowledge that someone cared enough to sit down and write card or a letter – I adore everything about mail.
And so our Slow Communication Station has come into being – and I love checking the letterbox and the students love ‘posting’ the letters. In fact where I can, I send the letters on. Extension English students just finished addressing their letters today and popping them into their handmade envelopes. Sometimes (like today) the letters are to real people and are intended as a lesson in formal letter writing. Sometimes the letters are to book characters or to authors, and we display these on the windows and walls, or place them inside book covers for other students to find.
We got our House of Cherub letterbox on a picket fence. Because…picket fence. It was too excellent an idea to not try it. It is beautiful quality and is standing up well to the frequent use it is getting! I also have their ‘Love’ shelf – librarians dream. #notsponsored #justlove