Saturday, November 12, 2016

Working our way through the Design Thinking LAUNCH Cycle to build Rube Goldberg Machines.

Look, Listen, and Learn: Read about the man and the machines.  Watch many, many examples. 
Ask Questions: Ask and answer questions through the inquiry process
Understand:  Looking at our Rube Goldberg guidelines, requirements, and task.
Navigate Ideas: Begin planning and designing our machines.
Create a Prototype: Begin constructing based on our ideas.
Highlight and Fix: Fix what is not working.

Launch To The World!

Rube Goldberg:  A complicated a machine that  completes a simple task.  

The photos below show my students in the Navigating stage of the LAUNCH Cycle.  Each group plans a little differently.  Some got right to work drawing and sketching ideas, others started listing step-by-step descriptions of what would happen in their machine, some simply talked things out and had nothing on their paper, others needed materials to think things through.  If there is anything that I have learned it is that planning is so very important and the key to success.  We will continue to plan the next time I see them.

Collaboration and Conversation

Visual Planning

Deep Discussion

Hands-On Planning

Friday Morning Fourth Grade MakerKid's Club


Finger Knitting
Model Magic Creations

Watercolor Bookmarks

Open MakerSpace


Catapult Launch Day

This is always an exciting day!  After spending several weeks researching, planning, building, testing, failing, rebuilding, and testing again, we were ready to launch.  Each team or individual gets one practice launch and two official launches. Our launches varied from a few inches to 18 feet.  Following the launch we always embark on reflection and learning from the process.

Kindergarten Builders and Problem-Solvers

Mission:  Using the supplies provided, build a contraption to help the Little Red Hen carry flour.
Supplies:  TinkerToys, Yarn, Bucket, 5 lb Bag of Flour
Focus:  Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Fun

Just Keep Reading!

Our 4th and 5th graders are reading up a storm!  These cards represent the kiddos who have read 4 or more Mark Twain Nominees and are already eligible to vote for their favorite title in February.  Many have already read all 12 nominees and are working on the Lewis & Clark Above and Beyond list.  I am so thankful for our teachers who, during their very busy days, encourage and challenge their students to read great books.  
Mrs. Haynes tracks all this reading like a boss!

Adopt A Shelf

A highlight for our Page Turner's Book Club members is adopting a shelf to care for throughout the year.  They keep the shelf looking spiffy and display great books. 

Your shelf is looking good.  Keep up the great work O!

My Reading Year...

Mrs. Haynes Talking Books

Mrs. Haynes shares a funny selection from Never Say Genius the second book in the Genius Files Series by Dan Gutman.  We share a book trailer and/or booktalk a new book or series to encourage reading each time classes come in.  It only takes about 3-5 minutes, but it has been so worth the time.  Sometimes I read a picture book...even to 5th graders!  So much to love about a fantastic picture book!

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!