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Showing posts from 2014

Christmas Lists: A Little Different In 2014

Lewis and Clark Christmas lists look a little different this year thanks to our MakerSpace.  So many kids have shared with me what they are asking for this year for Christmas and upcoming birthdays.  My students are asking for littlebits, MaKeyMaKeys, snap circuits, knitting needles, OSMO and of course Sphero robotic balls.  I can't wait to see what shows up under their trees and in their stockings.  
This never would have happened if I hadn't received the LSDF Grant! My students would not have known what most of those materials were if they had not experienced them in our MakerSpace.  So thank you LSDF for helping me show my students what is possible!

Early Release Choice!

Our early release schedule means that I have kids for just 30 minutes and will see them the next day we are in school for their entire 50 minutes.  Last Friday (12/19) we used our early release schedule to account for our school sing along and the winter parties.  So kids in library specials had a day of choice and they loved it! Through our Genius Hour philosophy the kids always have a choice but they still really love an extra choice day.  
I try to set out different experiences each time, so this time the kids could...use the Sphero robotic balls, learn with OSMO, build with Legos, K'Nex, or TinkerToys, play a variety of games of logic, coding on the ipads, or play chess with a friend.  
The kids tell me those 30 minutes are the fastest minutes ever!

Genius Hour Success!

There is no better feeling than seeing your students take what they have learned and independently go about their learning!  The Wednesday before our winter break was one of those great days.  My third and fourth graders were totally focused on their Genius Hour topic and they made so much progress in such a short amount of time. I was so happy for them as I watched them problem-solve, help one another, fail and carry on from that failure.  
As I walked around the library I saw 2 kids figuring out how to make an origami ninja star together, one student watching a video to learn the basics of knitting, 4 girls making their first cheer bow, kids figuring out how to use 2 Sphero robotic balls among 6 people, 4 boys not moving from their spot because they were so engrossed in planning their video games, girls tinkering to figure out how things work, 2 girls deciding to learn to crochet first because they read that it would make knitting easier, kids deciding they still needed to research…

All Different Now by Angela Johnson

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a slave?  The book All Different Now is about a girl and her family who are all slaves, they pick cotton. One June morning changed their life forever. The girl and her family were out in the field when the big announcement came, it spread from the port, to the town, to the countryside, and into the field...things were going to be All Different Now. Read the book All Different Now to find out more about this wonderful event.  Reviewed by Jane G.

Poached By: Stuart Gibbs

Have you ever wondered that a kid might go to juvenile jail? Well, a kid named Teddy gets bullied by somebody named Vance Jessup. He forces Teddy to put a fake arm and a fake foot in Shark Oddesey in Fun freaks people out! Then Teddy gets framed for stealing a koala. Large Marge tries to catch him to handcuff him and take him to juvenile jail but Teddy's parents won't let them.  Marge thinks she has enough evidence to get him in trouble. Read more to find out about the case! Reviewed by Klaire P.

Big Nate In The Zone By Lincoln Pierce

Nate's luck is out. Getting yelled at left and right, 3 detentions in one day, looking like a fool at the assembly and-oh no *gulp*... REPORT CARDS CAME HOME! But that's not even the worst part, the school became a fitness zone. That might not sound bad to you, but it's a DISASTER for Nate! The vending-machine Nate gets cheez doodlez (that's the actual name) from, doesn't have them any more!! But then something happens, I don't know what. (OK I do, but what fun would it be if I TOLD you?) Things start taking a turn for the better. From sinking a miracle shot, to getting out of science, and replacing Arthur as Mr. Lucky! But how long will it last? Read Big Nate In The Zone to find out! Reviewed by Andrew A.

MakerKid's Club-Shadow Puppets and Theaters

In our Monday Morning First Grade MakerKid's Club we have been working hard on creating shadow puppets for the last several weeks.  This week we created our theaters and took everything home to share with family and friends over the holiday weekend.  

Decorating a shadow puppet theater stage.
Puppet theaters ready for the picking.  
Some of us working on puppets and others working on theater stages.
Hard at work.  We would check our puppets under the doc camera and iterate if they didn't look quite the way we wanted them to.
Loved seeing tweets from families that enjoyed their kiddos shadow puppet show.  I hope this encourages kids to make additional puppets and develop new stories and scenarios.

Genius Hour Learning...
Learning to knit with pencils...waiting for our knitting needles to come in!
Using our MakerSpace whiteboard to plan the upcoming LCTV5 Newscast. 
Finding out what is possible with LittleBits.
Amazing learning, questioning, and  inquiry is happening every day at LC!
The Official Lewis & Clark Library Maker Center Logo 
We Read, Make, and Think at LC!
Designed by 4th and 5th graders Thomas, Jack, Hayes, Seth, and Riley.

Big Hero 6 Inspiration

I LOVE that one of my students shared this story and picture with me.
After seeing the movie, Big Hero 6, Tate was really inspired to build his own creation.  He asked his dad for some boxes and went to work.  The picture below is his creation...The Tate'atron 3,000.  He explained that it has wheels, built in protections from his sisters:), and a bracelet inside that has voice capabilities.  So creative!  Way to make Tate!

Book Review: Lulu and the Cat in the Bag by Hillary McKays

Have you ever found a mysterious bag on your doorstep? Well in the book Lulu and the Cat in the Bag, Nan, Lulu's grandmother is not an animal person at all.  But when Lulu and her cousin Mellie find a mysterious bag on Lulu's doorstep, the last thing they expect to be in there is a big margold colored cat.  Read Lulu and the Cat in the Bag to find out what happens next.
Don't miss Hillary McKays other  books including... 1. Lulu and the Duck in The Park  2. Lulu and the Dog from The Sea 3. Lulu and the Rabbit Next Door
Reviewed by Ava

Book Review: Soccer Star by Mina Javaherbin

The book Soccer Star, is an Everybody book that all kids would like.  Soccer Star is about an amazingly kind young man named Paulo Marcelo Feliciano.  He loves to play soccer.  He believes every person on his team will shine someday.    His sister's name is Maria. Maria loves to play soccer and she wants to be on her brothers team, but she can't because there's a rule, "no girls aloud.''  I really like this book because it shows kindness and respect and that's why you should read the book Soccer Star. Reviewed by Jenna

Dean Pitchford Author Visit

Author Dean Pitchford had my students on the edge of their seats as he shared his books!  What an amazing storyteller.  We were all so starstruck by this talented gentleman before he came and by the end of his visit, we were so excited about his books that they were all checked out by the beginning of the next day.  If you don't recognize his name, check out his website!  Here is a hint to the genius of this man...he wrote Footloose!!!  
Thanks Dean for the fabulous visit and a very pleasant dinner.


Storytelling Club this morning was a B-L-A-S-T!  We practiced our stories a couple times through and learned about how important emotion is when telling a story.   We then focused on conveying different emotions through a couple of games.  We are so thankful for Mr. Haynes for volunteering his time to our school!

Early Release Thursday

We had a great day today!  So many experiences to take in.  Early release days mean that I only see the kids for 30 minute sessions, so it is considered a choice day for kids.  Fortunately, I will see the same groups on Monday for our regularly scheduled time.  Today, kids had the following options: Games of Logic, Legos, K'Nex, TinkerToys, Osmo, or MakerSpace Apps.  We were busy all day...

Rush Hour


Games Of Logic

TinkerToy Structures

Thank You LSD Foundation!

Mrs. Haynes and I are so thrilled to be awarded another LSD Foundation grant.  We are developing book clubs for kids to plan and run on their own.  We MAKE, THINK, and READ in the LC Library Maker Center!

Art Bots

For our last session of 2nd grade MakerKid's Club we created art bots.  I showed kids a simple example of an art bot, set out the supplies, told them what the end result needed to be, and set them off in small groups.  
We learned so much from this experience  
...sometimes we fail and we need to try again, and sometimes our second attempt fails also.  ...sometimes other people have great ideas. ...testing an art bot on the carpet is not as successful as on a hard surface. ...some markers work better than other types of markers. ...markers work better than crayons or colored pencils. ...because Mrs. Haynes is an engineer, we learned that our power source needed to be secured tightly so that energy wasn't lost. ...our power source worked better on the top or bottom of our container rather than on the inside the container. ...we learned how to open an electric toothbrush package without needing help:) ...we learned that putting the battery in correctly is really important.   ...…

2014 Global Day of Play

Saturday, October 11th was an amazing day in our Library Maker Center.  We hosted our first Imagination Foundation Global Day of Play.  Families came together to play student made games and use their imaginations to create what they wanted out of cardboard.  
We had a fabulous turn out for a busy Saturday morning.  Families started arriving at 9:00am and the library was buzzing until 11:30am.  Kids came before and after soccer practices, dance lessons, and karate classes.  Kids came with friends, parents, and grandparents.  Some families stayed the entire 2 1/2 hours!  Some families just made, some families just played, and some families did both!
The interactions between siblings and families was fabulous.  Parents helping kids, kids telling parents how they could help, siblings helping one another, and even grandparents sharing time with grand kids.  
Since the MakerSpace has become part of our library program, many families have commented about how it has impacted their kids.  Sev…

5th grade Rube Goldberg Machines

My fifth graders have spent the last several weeks working on Rube Goldberg Machines    They are now really excited to share the results of their efforts.
I have loved seeing their excitement for learning, working together, problem-solving, and even working outside of the library on their machines. 
Earlier this week my first class shared...the library was busting at the seams with kids.  Unfortunately, library is now a special class so we have set times that classes come in and that REALLY restricts some things I can do.  I asked my 5th grade teachers if their kiddos could stay through 4th grade specials so they would have time to set up their entire Rube Goldberg and share it with 4th grade.  The teachers were more than happy to have them stay longer:).  It was great for my younger kids to see that even the 5th graders face failure and learn from it as well.

This particular class decided that their Rube needed to pop a balloon to be successful.   Out of the 6 groups of kids, 5 suc…

Striking A Balance

My goal for this school year is to strike a balance between making, thinking, and reading in the library.  This summer I read many books about creating amazing MakerSpaces and several focused on fostering the love of reading.  Our MakerSpace is up and going so I have been thinking and implementing ways to encourage the love of books.  At the beginning of the year, Mrs. Haynes and I added a spot where we can share with the kids what we are currently reading...a very simple idea.  Mrs. Haynes commented the other day that several kids had inquired about the book she had been reading. At the time, I had not had any conversations about my reading choice.  But today that changed!  I was waiting to walk a kindergartner back to the library after a little bathroom break (she was a little worried about the big kids at the bathroom) so I was standing there when Grace, a 4th grader, started talking to me about the book I had been reading, Behind the Bookcase by Mark Steensland.  She had already r…

BIG and Busy Week!

This is going to be a BIG week in the Lewis and Clark Maker Center!  Three clubs are beginning...6 sessions of MakerKid's Club for 2nd graders (other grade levels will follow), Page Turner's book club for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders and Storytelling Club for 4th and 5th graders.  MakerKids is a new club for us with the addition of our new MakerSpace and Page Turners will be seeing a few new ideas including Shelfies and creating "My Reading Year" journals.
Additionally, we will be voting on the designs for our LFL from 18 K-5th grade entries and celebrating our summer reading!
Plus, I will be getting ready for next week's Dot Day festivities and working on a couple of grant opportunities.  
Several great things happened last week.  A student of ours talked to us about setting up a Chess Tournament.  We are really excited that he felt empowered to come up with this idea.  We are more excited that he will be the one to organize  and run it with only a bit of guidance…

First Annual International Dot Day Celebration

This will be our first year celebrating Dot Day at Lewis and Clark!  My fabulous Parapro's husband told us about it last year but we just couldn't fit it into all that was going on.  So this year I started reading and learning about it during the summer months after seeing it mentioned often on Twitter.  I have recently been planning how to bring this day week to LC students and make it so very meaningful. 
We will be spending the week making our mark creatively and really thinking about how we can impact Liberty, Missouri, the United States, and ultimately, the world!  I am teaming up with fabulous first grade teacher, Ms. Oyler and her Lewis and Clark Service Learning Club to reach out to people and places who may need assistance or simply a smile.  We will be starting locally and moving globally.  We will hopefully be connecting with former LC 4th grade teacher, Chip Bloecher and his family as they begin a mission in Honduras. 
I worked this weekend to begin publicizing th…

Recent Events in the LC Library Maker Center

4th graders giving catapults a first try.Working toward building a catapult that will launch their pompom the farthest distance.

More 4th graders using teamwork to learn and problem-solve while building their first catapult.  I was thrilled to have a parent come up to me at the high school football game and tell me that the best part of their child's day was building catapults!

Kindergarten friends working with TinkerToys.  I learned something really important with my first class of kindergartners...not many of them had ever used TinkerToys.  So, I had to take a step back and just let them build and discover with them before moving on to what I had planned.  We will "practice" with them several times before we move on.  We also had to talk about how to take our creations apart.  Several pieces broke because they were bending the pieces down, rather than straight out.  Maybe that helpful hint will help someone else:)

First and second graders "inventing" a way for R…

Gearing Up For Our First Big Maker Events

Quite by accident, I started last school year with the Cardboard Challenge.  As part of our introduction to Genius Hour, we watched Caine's Arcade. After viewing it, one of my fourth grade students mentioned that she thought that we should build our own cardboard arcade games.  After a bit of panic and doubt about such a big (wild and crazy) event, my parapro and I decided we could do it. So we started gathering boxes, sending notes home about what was happening, and asking for donations.  We got started, failed along the way, and ultimately succeeded in our efforts to plan, design, and create our games.

This year, with our new MakerSpace in place, I knew that I wanted to start off the year again with a big event!  Plus, each grade level would need an introduction to the space and would need to learn what possibilities it held.  I decided that each grade level would begin the year with a maker project that would require them to use supplies from our space, work together to solve …

Simple Things!

A piece of brown roll paper and some Sharpies...that is all it takes to start a graffiti wall for kids to recommend or find a great book!
What can a simple chess board (or 3) do in your library? 1.  Ignite a passion to learn something new. 2.  Bring kids together to teach and learn from each other. 3.  Get kids' brains working strategically. 4.  Help kids make new friends at the beginning of the school year. 5. Encourage kids to learn how to win or lose graciously. 6.  Help kids realize that you don't always get what you want right away...sometimes you have to wait your turn. 7.  Help kids understand that sometimes you are wrong and it is OK to admit it. 

2014-2015 First Day of School

Whew!  What a first day!  Six classes through the library doors to scope out what is new in our library space and to check out for the first time!  Most of our discussions were focused on our new MakerSpace and our genrified Fiction section...both were a big hit with the kids.  I am already looking forward to seeing them again so we can get down to some making and learning business...not just procedures. Our day in pictures: