Lyman Elementary is a Higher Order Thinking (HOT) school that uses the Integrated Day Program in Connecticut. The school serves about 250 students in Kindergarten through Grade Four. The Library Media Center is a hub of activity within the school, sponsoring a variety of integrated learning initiatives, including a MakerSpace to encourage innovation and creativity.
The Integrated Day Program teaching philosophy sets teachers as facilitators of students’ interactive and individualized education. Teachers encourage students to explore and be active, autonomous learners. As an HOT school, Lyman also has an arts-integrated approach to learning, believing that “education in, about and through the arts helps students develop critical thinking abilities, independent judgment, and creative problem solving skills.” Teachers of different subject areas work closely to create an inter-disciplinary curriculum that “reinforces learning in all disciplines; encourages students to seek, establish and test connections; and all allows them to synthesize relationships between ideas.”
Jenny Lussier is the Library Media Specialist for John Lyman Elementary. She is passionate about getting everyone having fun reading and using technology! She is an avid reader personally and is also active on social media, sharing her teaching, reading, and learning tips.
Mrs. Lussier introduced Tales2go at school first, for about two weeks. Starting with her oldest students (3rd and 4th grade), and then working with the younger students (1st, 2nd grades and Kindergarten). She has ten iPads in her library, so her students use headphone splitters to listen together. Mrs. Lussier explains that reading is a social activity, and her students definitely love doing it together.
Tales2go is helping students who want to read the same books as their peers, but struggle to do so independently. Listening to the audio gives those students another access point. Similarly, Kindergarten students who aren’t reading independently yet can use Tales2go to find and listen to books they love.
Once they were comfortable and having fun exploring the catalog, Mrs. Lussier told the students they would be able to listen at home. As soon as she opened up the take home license process, the students flocked to it. [They found it hilarious that they, elementary students, would be getting a ‘license’ to take home!]
The two week in-school introductory period worked really well at Lyman Elementary. As Mrs. Lussier explains,
“make sure you give kids time – they need time to explore, to try things out, to just use Tales2go. Once they get started, they just run with it.”
She also helps by making sure that Tales2go is always mentioned as an option during book checkout, as a companion to library books, building or any other activity! She often sees her students listening while building with PlusPlus blocks.
Students at Lyman Elementary have found that listening to stories has been a natural addition to their daily activities. They love to hear Mrs. Lussier highlight titles and authors she finds on Tales2go and then searching for new stories on their own. Students and teachers love how easy it is to use Tales2go. They find new stories in many different ways (browsing by age, grade, series/character, searching). Students are drawn to the large catalog and kept interested because the offerings continue to grow!