The TCIS Learning Commons (LC) is more than just a library to house books, but it is an active center of learning for all students. The Learning Commons personnel collaborate with teachers and support students as they develop the literacy, inquiry, and digital citizenship skills necessary to become global citizens.
The Learning Commons Facilities
The Elementary LC is on the 1st floor of the school. This area includes the main reading room, a bookroom for class resources, and a classroom for lessons and meetings. The Secondary LC is on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the school. This area includes a quiet study area, which is also used for large group instruction, two bookrooms for class resources, a large reading room, a small classroom, community computers and software packages, as well as printer and projector equipment.
Physical and Virtual Collections
The Learning Center provides all students with many opportunities to read for pleasure and for information:
- The Elementary LC contains over 16,000 items
- The Secondary LC contains over 14,000 items.
- We have subscriptions to many ebooks for both Elementary and Secondary Schools.
Virtual Collections and Databases
We have multiple, research-focused databases that are appropriate for all students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and which address the curriculum of all courses and units of inquiry in the PYP, MYP, and DP. For instance:
- PebbleGo, Searchasaurus, Razz-Kids, and Tumblebooks are primarily ES resources that help students in K-5 research and improve their reading skills
- Our multiple EBSCO products, Oxford Music Online, and JSTOR are primarily SS resources that assist MYP and DP students in academic inquiry
- Also, our subscriptions to BrainPop, World Book, and TheDay assist students in both divisions to do homework, inquire, and to learn about current world events.
Through all Secondary School classes and regularly scheduled Elementary School Learning Commons classes, students learn the skills necessary to explore these materials and use them to inquire and to grow as readers. Most importantly, the LC staff members are educators who work hard to connect students and teachers with the skills and resources they need to be successful learners and world citizens.
The Value of Reading
TCIS believes that developing the skills and love of reading is one of the most important purposes of a learning community. We support students by providing them with books to read no matter their age or level of English language proficiency. We use the Accelerated Reader programme to help students select the best resources for their age and ability. We also continue to develop our World Languages collections to support students’ literacy in their mother tongue and in additional languages they are learning. We have a subscription to OverDrive, which gives students access to a much wider range of eBooks and will help to reduce our ecological footprint by reducing our paper consumption.
We believe that it is vital for students to make their own choices when they read for pleasure, so we ask students to invest themselves in the collection by making book requests and giving feedback on our resources. Students reflect on their reading and encourage others to do so by writing book reviews and recommendations, which we publish both in print and digitally.
Several times a year the LC invites students to join reading-focused activities and events:
- Once a year we host International Family Story Night, where families from different cultural backgrounds share stories, food, and games, and get to know each other a little more.
- We run an after-school Reading Club for grades 3-5, which often coincides with ES Battle of the Books (BOB). During Reading Club, students read a list of 10 books and work as a team to prepare for BOB where they will compete with other schools to see who knows these books the best.
- We also hold Battle of the Books for grades 6-8, where students read a list of 15 titles and compete internally.
- Students of all ages can participate in the Morning Calm Award, Read-A-Thon, author visits, and other events to promote authors, titles and recognize student achievements in reading.
- During the summer, we continue to encourage all members of our community to read a common book through our One School, One Book programme. All TCIS community members, students, teachers, and parents, are invited to read the same book and discuss it in person and online throughout the summer.