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Showing posts from April, 2016

New Shelving

As new materials are introduced into our MakerSpace, storage and organization continues to be a problem.  Because of this, I used this problem to walk my students through Genius Hour learning.  (Funny thing is, the kids thought this was just a "fake" example until changes started occurring in the space).   I was able to repurpose some cube shelving from another school in the district.  The district carpenter was thrilled to find them a new home!  Because of this new storage wall, I was able to remove 2 wire shelves and create some much needed workspace in the MakerSpace and provide more storage for student projects in another area of the library.  Happiness is an organized workspace!

The Impact Of A MakerSpace

Each January the third, fourth, and fifth grade students in our elementary schools complete a survey that yields data used to move our library programs forward.  Mrs. Haynes spends hours looking at the results of our surveys, graphing data, and reading EACH and EVERY comment from our LC students. She groups the kids' responses and looks for trends that we can act upon.  She then creates a presentation that she shares with our students so they know that their responses and comments truly make a difference to our library program.  I have to give Mrs. Haynes TOTAL credit for mapping out the survey information and following through with the kids ideas and suggestions.

As Mrs. Haynes starting noting trends in the kids' comments, MakerSpace comments started to stand out.  Here are a few of the comments that show the impact that the MakerSpace is having on our kids and their thinking.
It is a fun based learning place, you can stretch your mind more than you thought you could.It has e…

Sustaining a MakerSpace

I am currently completing year two of running a MakerSpace in my library.  It is a constant struggle to make sure that materials are available and ready for upcoming builds and projects.  Here are a few ways that I have been able to keep up with the needs of our kids and the space. 
Donations of recycled materials are an easy fix.  I have found that just letting families know what is needed at the beginning of the year seems to keep those materials coming in throughout the year.  Just today, there were 3 bags of recycled materials sitting by my mailbox in the office.  They contained tin cans, plastic water bottles, lots of paper towel and toilet paper rolls, and the ever popular duct tape.  I have also been gifted fabulous donations of yarn, fabric, and other craft materials.  
Donor's Choose projects have been a great resource for our MakerSpace.  I have created and have fully funded 3 projects that range from sewing machines and knitting needles to Keva planks and lego wheels and a…

Thank you Donor's Choose and LC Families

I finalized our Donor's Choose project in the middle of last week and some of our products are already here! We have received our 3 Keva Contraption sets and our 2 Zoob kits.  We are just waiting on a large supply of Keva planks to complete the project.  Thank you to the LC families who donated to my recent Donor's Choose project allowing us to add more building materials to our MakerSpace.  I can't wait (and I didn't) to try these newest materials with kids. It was great timing as we are currently in an assessment period and we had just the right amount of time to try out these new products after completing our assessments.  So, we broke open the boxes and plastic bags and got busy today building and creating...such fun!  

An Up-Close Look At Our First Grade SuperBugs!

Following An Inquiry Process

Background Information Question & Search Design Create Share Reflect

Combine 2 insects and select each insects' cool tools to create an interesting new Super Bug!
Results Below...

Thanks Liberty School District Foundation

I am SO thankful to work with these amazing gals.  Together we wrote a grant that was funded by our school district foundation.  We will be sharing robotics materials between 3 schools.  That way, the materials are in use all year round...including the summer months.  Soon we will be getting together to develop a scaffolded curriculum and a schedule that will work for all of us.   I am so appreciative to the LSDF for the opportunity to bring so many amazing experiences to my students.

Roland Smith Author Visit

Each year LPS treats its readers to a extra special author visit.  Fourteen Lewis & Clark 5th graders who had read all 12 Mark Twain nominees traveled to Heritage Middle School to hear a presentation by the one and only Roland Smith! I am so proud of our readers who set a reading goal and met it.  We joined an auditorium full of other readers to hear all about Roland Smith's life and books.  We had a blast and really enjoyed getting books autographed.  

First Grade MakerKid's Club

Our last session of MakerKid's Club for this school year is scheduled for our first graders.  Because the kiddos are younger, I took some time recently to develop some new options for their stations.  I returned to school late Thursday evening to set up a total of 10 stations and Friday morning most of the students spent their time in the MakerSpace working at the Creation Station!  Mrs Haynes and I quickly learned that our younger kiddos just simply wanted to use their creativity and make whatever they wanted!  It is good to know what to expect from them next week:)

Kicking Genius Hour Into High Gear

We are well into our Genius Hour projects.  We have developed plans, recorded our wonderings, avoided plagiarism by creating a works cited page & taking notes in our own words, and are now busy immersing ourselves in passions. The absolute best part of teaching is seeing kids so passionate about what they are learning that they can't wait to get started learning more about what interests THEM.  
We have a wide variety of topics being studied right now...tinkering, sewing, robotics, time lapse, origami, morse code, skinks, effective public speaking, designing items to help disabled animals, Lego WeDo and Mindstorm, developing a business plan and even light shows.
Some Action Shots...

If you have not tried teaching with the Genius Hour concept, I highly recommend it.  You will be amazed at how the kids take charge of their learning.  Check out this LiveBinder curated by Joy Kirr to help you get started...