Saturday, October 15, 2016

5th Grade MakerKid's Club

Friday mornings, 7:45am, choice, fun, and friends.

Catapult building
Model Magic pitcher

Model Magic sloth
Ironing and cutting
Machine sewing
Hand Sewing
Creating with tinkering parts
Sewing was popular
Model Magic and Yarn Bombing
Keva Planks and Dash
Week one-create      Week two-paint

Great News!

As I have said before, we strive for a balance of reading, making, and thinking in our library.  Mrs. Haynes is FABULOUS at collecting data that helps us track many programs in our library.  One area that she continually tracks is our Missouri award reading data.  In the past few years we have seen our circulation and award book reading go down.  As a staff, we have tried to find ways to stop this decline.  The 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers continually use strategies and encouragement to help kids start AND finish books, we have implemented a set reading time at the end of our school day for the entire school, and I have been highlighting books and series every time classes come into the library for specials.  So when Mrs. Haynes shared this news with our staff about our Missouri award reading data, we were overjoyed that maybe our decline has come to a halt! Oh, and maybe the intrigue of the ChromeBooks has worn off as well...the opinion of one our 4th grade teachers.

4th Grade M. Twain Quizzes
2.3 X more
5th Grade M. Twain Quizzes
2 X more
4th Grade Qualifiers
2 X more
5th Grade Qualifiers
2 X more

First Grade Lego Storytelling

Step 1:  Build a Lego Scene with Friends
Step 2:  Storyboard Your Scene
Step 3:  Design a Background
Step 4:  Practice, Video, Improve, Repeat
Step 5:  Final Video Production
Step 6:  Share with our LC community and the world

What Every Librarian Wants To Hear!

We Appreciate You!

We LOVE to see empty book carts and we LOVE our volunteers!
Thanks to all of you who help our library run smoothly...shelving books, stamping monthly magazines, filling out birthday book forms, cutting bookmarks, and visiting with and helping kids as they search for great books to read!


This little gal is a Maker!  She was standing in line to check out her books and I spotted this cute little purse that she was carrying.  I asked her about it and she said that she had made the pot holders a while ago and they were in her kitchen drawer and she decided to stitch them together to make a purse.  Isn't it the cutest thing ever!

Fourth Grade Makers: Catapults

For the past couple of years, my 4th graders have started the year with a catapult inquiry project. Each time we work through this unit, I learn something new to improve my students learning.  This
year we focused more on planning our ideas and building prototypes (they really just want to go in the MakerSpace and begin making) but we really talked about the benefit of planning.  Using the Launch Cycle Design Model, we are working through the steps to help us build a successful catapult.  

We looked at the plans for our newest school addition to reinforce why the planning process is so important and the details that are required for a successful project.

The planning and design process was taken very seriously!

Working in the MakerSpace during the planning process to see what materials are available for their builds.  

A prototype and the plan!

This year I am being a stickler about requiring the kids to build from their plan and not veer off course.  Some tweaks may be necessary but they need to stick with their plan or look at another one of their design ideas.  When we launch, they will need to have their plan to show as well.  In the past, many of my students have produced a catapult that did follow a plan at all.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Power of A Book

I recently finished the book, Appleblossom The Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan (the author of Counting by 7's)  Let me start by saying I will read anything that H. G. Sloan writes.  What an amazing author!  Appleblossom is the sweetest little possum you ever did read about and she totally changed my feelings about possums.  They just don't seem quite so nasty anymore:).  Just look at that cute little possum waving to you on the cover below.  She was drawn by Holly Goldberg Sloan's husband, Gary A. Rosen.

I started reading this book on Monday and found myself headed back to school tonight (Wednesday) after dinner so I could find out what happened to sweet little Appleblossom in the "monster's house."  I have always thought that I didn't enjoy fictional animal books.  I may be the only person in the world who doesn't like Charlotte's Web.  I am beginning to wonder if it is because of the sadness I felt as a little girl when I read about Charlotte's life.  I may have to rethink what kinds of books I enjoy.  I sure enjoyed Appleblossom the same way I fell in love with Toes.

On another note, this year my school reinstated SSR time to end our school day.  I have noticed a BIG change in my own reading.  I have read several articles that say that SSR doesn't improve reading and I have even heard of school principals that do not allow SSR for that reason.  I beg to differ.  This is what I the past few years I have not read as much as I have in the past. Several reasons come to mind-I have three teenagers, I was focused on integrating a MakerSpace into my library programming, my school district went 1-1 and I was working hard to integrate tech in meaningful ways, I was learning about and implementing genius hour, and have I mentioned I have three teenagers.  So what is different this year?  SSR!  I am spending the last 20 minutes of my day reading and I have found that I am getting so involved in the books I am reading that I just can't stop reading them! I think that is what SSR does.  It give kids a chance to read for pleasure and get lost in a great story.  Simple pleasures in a busy world.  Please, just give kids time to read!

Below are the books I have read this school year alone, probably about the same number of books I read all of last school year.  Most importantly, I have enjoyed each and every one of them for different reasons.  Two were sequels to books I had read last year.  One was a quirkly little historical fiction book and another was one of the most interesting books I have read in a long time, Circus Mirandus.  The Paper Cowboy was a really emotional read as it dealt with really tough topics and Absolutely Truly, had me looking for the next book in that series.  Tomorrow I will start another book and with it I will find joy or sorrow or danger or mystery or adventure or even talking animals:).

One thing I know for sure, I will book talk Appleblossom The Possum and one of my kiddos will walk out with a sweet little book to enjoy during SSR time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Missouri Libraries Snapshot Day 2016

Today,  September 14, 2016 was a day to share with the world what goes on in 21st century libraries on a daily basis.  I remembered to take a few photos & post them on twitter, but below is a list of what happened in my life and library today...

  • Started my day with a stop at Starbucks for a latte for Mrs. Haynes and I.
  • Opened the library around 7:20.
  • Welcomed some kiddos who thought our bookclub started this morning instead of next Wednesday.
  • Chatted with a teacher about a way to best support a particular student.
  • Asked our nurse to check over my list of summer readers for allergy issues before our ice cream celebration.
  • Tried to trouble shoot why my Britannica database isn't working on ipads...argh!
  • Greeted students outside the library as the bell rang and we started our day.
  •  8:55 Taught my first of 6 classes of the day-5th grade 
    • We started with a book trailer highlighting a great series and moved into a discussion of books kids were reading. 
    • Worked on our first Lego WeDo 2.0 build.
  • 9:45 Second class of the day-4th grade
    • Book trailer and book talks
    • Reviewed locating citations in databases
    • Learned more about catapults in preparation for building our own.
  • 10:40 Third class of the day-3rd grade
    • Book trailer and book talks
    • Inventor inquiry in preparation for spending the year inventing
  • 11:30 Fourth class of the day-1st grade
    • Read a Show Me Award Nominee
    • Worked on storyboarding our lego builds
    • Will videotape them and share on our hallway televisions and webpages
  • 12:20 Set out materials for kindergarten
  • 12:30 Lunch duty
  • 12:55 Ate my lunch while checking emails and responding as needed.  Dumped humidifiers:)
  • 1:25 Fifth class of the day-Kindergarten
    • Practiced our library numbers
    • Practiced using shelf markers
    • Read/Build featuring Vincent Paints His House (reviewed parts of the book and fic/nonfic) along with a museum walk
  • 2:15 Last class of the day-2nd grade
    • Read a Show Me Award Nominee
    • Learned about a new section to select materials from-magazines
    • Researched (answered our questions) about robots in preparation for a year of coding and programming
  • 3:10 Classes done
    • Helped a class checking out find books
    • Shelved a few books and put some magazines away.  We have an early out tomorrow and no school on Friday so we will not have volunteers to shelve books.
  • 3:20 Whole school SSR-I am reading Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
  • 3:35 Car Rider Duty
  • Throughout the day I helped kids locate books, set goals, trouble shoot devices, put on a bandaid or two, reminded kids about choosing kind and making good choices over and over:), looked at wiggly teeth, and verified that a grant I submitted was received.
I have the best job ever!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

We Are Off And Running

We are entering our 2nd full week of school and I have seen each class two times. So far we have reviewed our Missouri Reading Award Programs, checked out for the first time, learned how to access digital materials at home, set up Google Classrooms, and become familiar with Overdrive ebooks.  Mrs. Haynes met with each class before their second checkout (first with their classroom teacher) and chatted with the kiddos about checkout expectations and a couple of other new things she is working on.  She is so good about being proactive instead of reactive to what we know happens each year in our library.

Tomorrow each grade level will begin their first maker unit.  These units will include inquiry, mini lessons as necessary to teach/review note-taking, selecting best sources, questioning, citing sources, locating materials in our library and on our website, and instruction/exploration on databases and apps we will be using.

This is our plan...

Fifth graders are designers and will begin working through our new Lego WeDo 2.0 sets and projects.  We will then use what we have learned to incorporate Lego WeDo into our Rube Goldberg Machines.

Fourth graders are creative thinkers and will be learning about and building catapults.

Third grade will begin a year of inventing by learning about inventors and then become inventors themselves.

Second grade starts a year of robotics, programming, and coding.  We will start with simple paper & pencil coding and move into more advanced coding requiring critical thinking skills.

First grade begins a year of storytelling using Legos as inspiration.  I have not purchased the Lego StoryStarter kits so we will be using our MakerSpace Legos and plates.  Creative thinking and presentation is our focus to start the year.

Kindergarteners are builders and will be reading Missouri Building Block nominees and will then share what they loved about the book by building with Legos, Keva Planks, TinkerToys, Zoobs and Attribute Blocks.  We also are working hard to learn our library numbers, how to use shelf markers, and the process to check out books.

Monday, August 22, 2016

We love books!

We are a school of readers!  Dozens of kids read award books over the summer, kids can't wait to check out for the first time, we see some kids everyday to checkout new books, teachers value the importance of a great class read aloud, and as a school we spend the last 20 minutes of our day reading for pleasure.  

Sunday, August 21, 2016

I Love A Brand New School Year

I started taking photos of my library for the new school year and realized just how much has changed since May.  At the end of each school year, Mrs. Haynes and I always have some ideas about what to change in the library based on the kid's library survey that they take each January.  Mrs. Haynes fabulously captures the kids' thoughts and ideas each year and shares with the kids what changes will be made.  So, the photos you see below represent the kids' input and some other ideas that Mrs. Haynes and I had to make things a little easier for kids to find what they want in our library.

This isn't new, but the question is!
New signage for the genre sections.

Our focus board.
We gathered our maker books (and MAKE magazine) and placed them next to the MakerSpace.
The kids said that we needed more search stations in the library so we added two more.  Still waiting for the laptops from our tech. dept.  They are busy getting everyone in the district their device.
An additional gathering spot in the Everybody section.  
We moved the Biography section and organized the books a bit differently so kids can find what they want more quickly.  We grouped presidents, innovators, inventors, artists, authors, musicians and so on together...Mrs. Haynes idea! 
New signage for the Cave where kids hang out and read.
New signage in the MakerSpace to help 
identify areas.

Mrs. Haynes and I share what we are reading.  We then write a quick summary, our opinion of the book, and where kids can find it.  By the end of the year the library doors are covered in books!

After reading LAUNCH by Juliani and Spencer, I decided this model would guide us in our Inquiry and Making design process.
Painted my dad's old law office chair.

A grant written by 3 teacher-librarians will be giving my students access to so many great resources.  My 5th graders will be working with Lego WeDo 2.0 and my 3rd graders (and I) will be learning all about Ozobots.  The three schools are sharing materials so my other grade levels will experience other robotics materials throughout the year.  Thank you LSDF!

With funding from our summer MakerKid's camp, I was able to purchase some Lego plates to use for storytelling, building, marble mazes and so much more.  I have needed these for a couple of years now!

A few years ago we received a grant to purchase multiple copies of books for student bookclubs.  These books are now out on the shelves for the kids to form bookclubs with friends.  Thank you LSDF!

We added some wobble chairs for kids who need to be moving!
Found this huge poster at Five Below.  It will be a great way to give kids a break when they are a bit over stimulated.
Lastly, an update to a door leading to the MakerSpace from the hallway.