Student Voice & Choice with Library Centers

Last weekend I presented a session on Student Voice and Choice with Library Centers and Makerspace Centers at the PA School Librarians Association Annual Conference.  If you missed it, though, you can still view my presentation below.  Many of the resources shown are linked in the presenter notes as well.

During the session, I showed paper copies of each library center with all the materials I use at them.  I also demonstrated how I’m using Google Classroom to manage the 3 types of library centers that I offer to students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades: Research Centers, Reading and Language Centers, and Makerspace Centers.  This blended approach of physical center materials and digital management allows me to keep students accountable while still allowing choice.

More student choice during library class also increases motivation and student buy-in.  When students have more voice in their education, they are more engaged too!

Check it out for links to freebies, screenshots, and other resources!

Disclaimer: This presentation contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase an item after clicking on a link, I will receive a small commission.  See Disclosures & Disclaimers for more information.

If you’d like more ideas for using library centers, check out and follow my Library Centers or Makerspaces for Elementary Schools Pinterest boards.

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Mrs. J in the Library

Collette J., or Mrs. J in the Library, is a full-time elementary teacher-librarian, blogger, and mama from Pennsylvania. She loves technology, books in any format, makerspaces, and all things Harry Potter. The information and opinions represented here are her own and are not the views and opinions of any business or organization.

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4 Responses

  1. Amanda says:

    Wow! What a great presentation. I’ve always wanted to buckle down and have organized centers in the library. This is fantastic information.

    • Mrs. J in the Library says:

      Thanks, Amanda! I’m still iterating and figuring out my “system,” but this presentation outlines the basic design of my library centers. I’m glad you found it helpful. 🙂

  2. Mary says:

    I have been put in the rotation for 2nd and 3rd grade this year, so I am looking at adding centers now that I will have them longer. I noticed that many of these centers on your TPT are for 3rd grade and up. Do you do centers with your 2nd graders and what do you recommend? I really enjoyed your presentation…I wished I could have been there to hear you first hand!

    • Mrs. J in the Library says:

      Hi Mary! I currently use centers for grades 3, 4, and 5 because I have other curriculum for K-2, however, near the end of the year I often show the 2nd grade classes a little taste of how centers work. There’s no reason that they couldn’t do the 3rd grade centers (with some accommodations, of course). In 2nd grade, after orientation, I teach the online catalog with lots of practice and focus on beginning research skills. I also do the PA Young Readers Choice books as read-alouds, so those 2 units tend to take up a lot of the year. This coming school year I’ll be teaching 25% more classes in every grade, so I imagine I’ll use centers earlier in the year for 2nd grade, possibly starting in the spring. I would probably have it work the same way as 3-5, but require less research centers to be completed before opening up the reading and makerspace centers.