Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Make It to the Library

I knew that I wanted to get on the Makerspace wagon, but I wasn't sure about where to start.  During our district meetings, there was discussion about using what you already have.  I was okay with letting students create with discarded books, recycled materials, and art supplies.  I even had some old boxy computer monitors for the students to take apart and some Legos.
Pinwheels made from discarded book pages

After I took my granddaughter to a Maker Day at our public library, I couldn't stop thinking about the possibilities in our school library.

Determination became the word of the day.  I submitted a Donors Choose project and bugged my family and friends for about a week.  Donors Choose matched donations for a week and I wanted my family and friends to take advantage of that.  Then NEA matched the donations that were already there.  I didn't want to lose those funds so more pressure was put on my family and friends.  In exactly one week, my project was fully funded.  I can't begin to tell you how excited I was when the items came in just a few days.

My excitement escalated when the students didn't want to leave the library.  A few of the teachers wanted to stay also.  I would love to have Maker Mondays or Tinker Tuesdays a few times each school year.

More books will be added to the collection to reinforce the students' curiosity in relation to the new materials.  I am anxious to see how the new setup will effect the students' thinking and learning.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dr. Seuss Book Fair

I started preparing for a Dr. Seuss-themed book fair last year.  Although the snow has kept us from doing some of the activities that we planned to do, I still have high hopes that the rest of  our Read Across America/Book Fair events will be successful. 

My plan for the One Fish! Two Fish!.. All for Books fundraiser went great with the Underwater theme that Scholastic has for the spring book fair.

One Fish! Two Fish!..
We will be celebrating Read Across America during the week of the book fair.  I am looking forward to the main event when students and staff dress up as a favorite Dr. Seuss character.  I haven't decided which character I'll be.  I also don't know which character our principal will be, but donations will determine which character he will be for our Book Character Parade at the end of April.  The donations will fund our AR incentives. The original plan was to have a door decorating contest.  Students, staff, and visitors would make donations to the door of their choice.  The winning class would get a book fair gift certificate for each student and teacher.   

Who will our principal be?
I ordered posters and a stand-up from Upstart to decorate the media center.  I used a display board to make a Thing 1 and Thing 2 cut-out for a photo op.  I have seen some great props for Dr. Seuss-themed photo ops on Pinterest. Students will get one of the bookmarks that were also purchased from Upstart, when they buy books. 
Reading is Our Thing!

We Know a Thing or Two About Books.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Arctic Blast

The kindergarteners, first and second graders have been busy doing research about polar region animals.  The kindergarteners learned about four different kinds of penguins.  First graders learned about polar bears.  Second graders learned about a variety of arctic animals. 

First, I shared the signed copy of the book, One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo with the kindergarteners. While a small group of students learned about a penguin, the rest of the class was able to practice sight words and math skills with penguin themed activities.  Life-sized penguins took over the media center so students were able to get a better idea of the actual size of these “proper” birds.  They were able to use nonstandard measurement to compare the height of the five types of penguins displayed. Students loved doing yoga with Pedro the Penguin.  After groups of 4-5 students learned about one penguin, using PebbleGo,  they typed what they learned in an Animoto.  Some students displayed what they learned beside the life-sized penguin. Students also labeled a penguin. Thanks to Kindergarten Crayons.

Letter Match/Alphabetical Order -Cricut Create a Critter
Polar bears were the topic for the first graders.  First we talked about the Super 3 research process.  For the planning step, they used an ARE, CAN, HAVE graphic organizer to take notes.  Students used the links on the K-2 Symbaloo that I created for them, PebbleGo, and information that we learned from the book Knut: How OneLittle Polar Bear Captivated the World by by Craig Hatkoff and others.  Some students were able to dig a little deeper using QR codes to find the answers to questions about polar bears. Look for the Polar Bear QR Code Webquest at Emily Gibbons Teachers Pay Teachers store.   While students used their notes to do a report, one student at a time experimented with blubber.  One sentence from the completed reports was chosen for the student to type into an Animoto video.  Some students will present their information in a ChatterPix.  The students viewed the presentations and we discussed what we learned and how we felt about each presentation.  The review concluded our Super 3 process.  Students were excited to tell their teachers what they learned.
Polar Bears
Polar Bear at NC Zoo

The second graders learned about some interesting animals in arctic regions.  Using library books, magazines, links from our K-2 Symbaloo.  Students found as much information as possible to share with the class.  We did the same experiment as the first graders.  It was “cool” to see how blubber keeps the arctic animals warm.  One second grade class used the ARE, CAN, HAVE graphic organizer, while one class used a graphic organizer by Tiffany Reed, that required them to explain the anatomy (size, color, and appearance), habitat, diet, and interesting facts.  Some students used Animoto or Chatter Pix to present their information.  Others will present their information with a lapbook.   
Polar Animal Graphic Organizer

Blubber Experiment

I might use the life-sized penguins and lapbooks in combination with the Animoto videos and ChatterPix via QR codes for Digital Learning Day.  What are you doing for Digital Learning Day?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Batman Returns...His Books

After learning that Bat Girl was a librarian, I decided to change the name of my "dwelling" to the Bat Cave.  For Halloween, I dressed up as Bat Girl.  Pinterest has inspired the bulletin board pictured below.  It has caught the eye of students and teachers.

Data! Data! Data! Data! Batman!

I quickly put up the data because I didn't want it to look unfinished.  I plan to display an updated infographic each month. There are some things that I need to figure out first.