Intro to Makerspaces

 

Our students had their first introduction to Makerspaces in the Library. Makerspace in the library is all about dreaming, creating and inventing. The activities focus on  Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art and Math.  Think Legos, K’Nex, Cardboard creations, origami, LED light crafts, 3D MagnaTiles. Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher on Twitter, recently published an article Essential Information on Maker Movement on her blog explaining what the Makerspace Movement is all about.   Sylvia Martinez, coauthor of Invent to Learn, also believes libraries are perfect places for makerspaces. Students can come to a safe learning environment and have the freedom to create and experiment.

This is our first year with Makerspaces in my new library, but my second year using it as a librarian. You can read more about other blog posts here, here and here. In our introductory experience, I opened stations with 3D MagnaTiles, Legos, Snap Circuits, Coding, Magformers, Ozobot Mini-robot, and plastic cups. Students listened to the story Press Here by Herve Tullet, which is such an amazing example of creativity and simplicity in early children’s literature,and then they had time for Makerspace and check out time. Here are some images from the week.image image image image
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Judging from the enthusiasm of the students all week, Makerspaces will be a fun learning addition to our library curriculum.

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Book Care Funny Videos

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Hurray! Everyone is checking out library books and taking them home to read. We have also been learning about book care rules to make sure they don’t get damaged when they go home. To help out, the second graders made some Sock Puppet and ChatterPix videos in the iPad. We hope you enjoy our latest funny book care videos!

Keep your books away from siblings!

Keep your books out of the rain!

Please don’t take your library books outside on the playground!

Please don’t eat near your books!

Please don’t step on your books!

Keep your books away from little sisters!

Thank you second graders for helping us learn these important rules!

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A Dot-Art-a-licious Week

 

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We made our Dot Art Mark last week in grades K-5 to celebrate #dotday15! During International Dot Day or week, children all over the world read the book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds and celebrated what makes them unique and creative. Over a million children in countries around the globe took part in this fun reading activity. Many of our blogging buddies participated around the country and in other nations including Mrs. Camp in Texas, Mrs. Monaghan in Middleham, England, and Mrs. Moore in Michigan.

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In library class we read The Dot and then the students in each grade learned about a different artist. After the mini-lesson, the students imitated that style of art to create their own awesome dot.

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We also had a special guest Ms. Bower from New Zealand visit our library during Dot Week. Ms.Bower has met Peter H. Reynolds many times and enjoyed reading The Dot to some classes with her Kiwi accent!

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This week in class, the first graders will be viewing the dots made by the students in our partner library in Texas. Mrs. Camp, the librarian at Benfer Elementary, and I have been collaborating on various activities in recent years, but this is the first time we have shared Bobcat Dot Day art! Since I moved schools, we are now both Bobcats. It will be fun learning how to make quality comments on their blog. They even learned The Dot song by Emily Arrows and Peter H. Reynolds.

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Still wondering about that book? Watch Peter H. Reynolds read his book on this video.

We are all so talented in ways we don’t even realize. Let me know in a comment how you are special, creative and talented. How are YOU making your mark on the world today?

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It’s a New School and New Year!

 

Greetings from my new school! I have a slightly new name for my blog to incorporate the mascot for my new school. The Bulldog Readers would like to welcome the Bobcats to this blog! We are going to read and learn together this year. Thank you to Summer M. Tribble for the Creative Commons photo of these bobcat kittens. “Bobcat-Texas-9110” by Summer M. Tribble (daughter of David R. Tribble) – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons –

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Our first mission is participating in International Dot Day. All week we are celebrating the fabulous book The Dot by Peter Reynolds and taking on the challenge of making our mark and seeing where it takes us.

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In my next post I will show some of our art in Dot Day style!

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The Dream Continues

Books to Africa: Year Three

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In  September 2012 when my students and I began our Books to Africa project,  their dream was to help other kids. They wanted to matter and make a difference by sharing books. They love to read and wanted to make sure that other kids had the chance to be readers just like them, no matter where they live in the world.

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That was the dream. We didn’t know exactly how things would work out, but we hoped they would. That’s where our partner schools came in. They made the magic happen in ways we couldn’t imagine.

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Who can believe that it’s been three years since we began our Books to Africa program? From the first Dream Team crew to now, each year the program has grown and evolved in different ways. We now have all the K-5 students participating, raising more money, sending more books and ultimately helping our partners in Ghana, Lesotho and South Africa! The first year our goal was to raise $1,000. The second year we totaled about $1800.  I am excited to announce that this year we have raised over…

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With this money, we will be able to send about 24 boxes of books overseas. I am so proud of the efforts of our students! I know there are some excited children waiting for the boxes to arrive too!

A couple years ago, I was listening to a book on tape and the speaker was talking about planting seeds, except she wasn’t referring to plants, but rather the seeds of ideas. She asked her audience, “What seeds did you plant today?” She explained that often we have no idea how the seeds we have planted have affected others. Her point reminded me of our literacy project and the reading seeds we have planted in different parts of the world.

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When our original team brainstormed the slogan: “Every Child Deserves a Book”  they believed that where you live shouldn’t determine what resources are available to you. Kids here are just like kids in other parts of the world. Books open up a world. They plant a garden of knowledge. They can change the educational course of a child’s life. Here is a video clip from Pula Madibogo Primary School in Sovenga, South Africa. The children wrote a song and recorded it for our students. It’s a great reminder that the actions we take do matter to other people, even when they live on the other side of the world.

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We have had numerous fundraisers since January including Friday Fun Night, Multicultural Night and Lollygrams. Many other people donated money for postage, including a very special group of my friends who don’t even have children at our school. A special shout out to my “Girls Club” friends for your belief that all children should not only have the right to read, but also have the materials they need.

 

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Just Say No to Bullying

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What do orange cookies, an enormous Green Giant statue sporting an orange toga, and Ellen DeGeneres wearing orange on national TV have in common? These are all ways people have celebrated Unity Day, a national event developed by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center to show support for students who are bullied. This year, students, schools, organizations, businesses, and communities across the country will wear orange in support of Unity Day on Wednesday, Oct. 22.

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This includes our Bulldog Readers! We will be showing our support by wearing orange at school on Unity Day on Wednesday.

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Everyone can take a step toward ending bullying, which is why this year’s theme The End of Bullying Begins with Me is so powerful.

“Unity Day is a great time to send an orange message of solidarity against bullying,” said Paula Goldberg, PACER Center’s executive director. “We encourage everyone to come together in schools, communities, and online to unite against bullying. When we stand together, no one has to stand alone.”

Besides wearing orange, we will be reading bully prevention stories and handing out special bookmarks in the library.

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There will be a special display of books for students to check out as well. Can’t stop by? Here is a list of wonderful books you can find at your local library or bookstore. One book I will definitely be reading this week is The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig.

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Trudy Ludwig is a Pacific Northwest author who wrote her first book My Secret Bully after her own daughter was bullied by her friends. Visit Trudy Ludwig’s website for more information.

“Choose Kindness” is part of Disney ABC Television Group’s efforts to create a bullying prevention campaign to encourage kids and parents around the country to help put an end to bullying by choosing kindness. Club Penguin has teamed with 14-year-old Alex Angelo, host of Radio Disney’s “Saturday Night Party” with Alex Angelo (Saturdays, 8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. PT), who is a big supporter of the bullying prevention cause. Watch Alex’s video as he shares the message to “Be Heard” and stand up against bullying.

*All photos and portions of the text of this blog post came from the official National Bullying Prevention Center press release. When you visit their website, you will see lots more information including stories, videos, resources, and ways you can become involved.

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How does wearing orange help prevent bullying?

What anti-bully or choose kindness books are your favorite?

Leave a comment and let us know!

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Linking Dot Day with Art

Did you celebrate International Dot Day yet?

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The great part of this holiday is that the date is September 15ish.  The ‘ish” part means that you can keep celebrating or you can start celebrating when the time is right for you. It’s never to late to find out how you are creative and awesome.

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I love art, so this year I was inspired by the work of some other librarians and art teachers on Pinterest to try an artist focus for our Dot Day celebration. We  also talked about what we are learning in library standards through the process.

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Each grade learned about a different artist and then the students imitated that style of art to create their own awesome dot. The kindergarteners learned about George Seurat who painted some of his most famous paintings using thousands of tiny dots.

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The kindergarteners added dots to a coffee filter with watercolor dot painters, and then I sprayed water on this to get an impressionism effect. It was quite magical to see the colors blend together.

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First graders learned that tie-dye didn’t really get invented in the 1960’s, but is rather a style of artcraft that’s been used around the world since the 6th century.

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They used watercolor markers to create a design on their coffee filter, added some lines to get the ‘tie-dye’ effect and then I sprayed water on it.

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The second graders learned about the artwork of Robert Delauney who was greatly influenced by color and geometry.

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They divided their dot in half and then in quarters. Then they added circles which they colored in. The same color could be used on the dot, but it couldn’t touch itself, except for in the inner circle.

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The third graders studied Walter Kandinsky and learned that he wanted to be a musician, but then became an artist.

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They made their art standing up, while listening to PianoGuys music. I encouraged the students to choose a color to use based on the music they heard, or the visuals on the screen.

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The fourth graders focused on Vincent Van Gogh and his heavy brush stroke technique. Most of our students are familiar with his Starry Night and Sunflower paintings.

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They used oil pastels on black dots to imitate his style, with brush stokes in different colors.

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The fifth graders combined math, line, and primary colors when they learned about Piet Mondrian.

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Each student was given a sharpie, a ruler and water color markers. They were instructed to create a cubism style dot with the sharpie and ruler, and then fill in the spaces with only primary colors: red, yellow and blue.

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It’s been a fabulous week of creating awesome artwork, and continues next week too. One student said about his dot, “It’s a tornado of color!” others eagerly talked about how it was the best day ever in the library! Here’s our Kindergarten -5th grade bulletin board with some samples from each grade.

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A HUGE round of claps and a super thank you go to Mrs. Lustgarten who shared her artist research and powerpoint slides with me!

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You can try these techniques at home!

What ones to you want to try?

Do you have a suggestion for another style we should try next year?

Leave us a comment and let us know!

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Dino Skype!

Who wants to be a paleontologist? 

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Nearly every hand was raised after our first graders visited with paleontologists Matt, Adam, and Jennifer from Stony Brook University in New York. Our first graders have been researching dinosaur facts, creating art, learning science, singing sings, reading books, and writing stories in Dinosaur Land to get ready for the annual Dinosaur Show. 

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Our music teacher, Ms. Gibitz knows paleontologist Matt from when she grew up in Ohio. When he offered to do a Skype Dino visit, we were thrilled! When you bring Skype in the Classroom, you don’t have to go anywhere outside of the school! You can stay where you are, and have people visit you, virtually! It’s super fun, easy and free!

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The students at Stony Brook University prepared a video for us to view first. 

 

Then our first grade dinosaur experts also prepared some questions as well, such as “What was the first fossil you found?” and “What’s your favorite dinosaur?”  During our virtual visit, they answered these questions and talked about some of the dinosaur bones they have in their laboratory. Some of them are 60 million years old! 

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We ended our visit with the “Fossil Rock” song about the dinosaurs! Mrs. Daly thinks a lot of our students have sung that song through the years. Thank you Ms. Gibitz for leading the song and arranging for this visit. It’s really great to collaborate with music, library, PE and the first grade teachers. Thank you Matt, Adam, and Jennifer for sharing your expertise with our students. I wonder how many of them will now want to be a scientist when they grow up just like you. If you would like to learn more about fossils, you can visit their Past Time website where they share their knowledge in podcasts. They will also Skype or GChat live with educators and their students. 

If you want to know the answer to the questions above, you will need to ask one of our students or leave a comment! 

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It’s All in the Bag

What does a rock, a feather, a mask, a rubber chicken and a bag have to do with one another?

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Poetry of course! I wanted the second graders to use their touch sense as the only method to describe an object hidden inside a bag. First I hid an object in the bag. Then volunteers came forward, covered their eyes with the mask, reached inside the bag and touched the object. Using one word, they had to describe what they felt, without using a word already used by a student previously. Squeak, hard, rubbery, soft, smooth, light, heavy. As fast as I could, I wrote down their words in a list.

After a few minutes we switched gears. This time, the students had to look at the list and see what the words had in common, to try to guess the hidden object in the bag.  How could something be both rough and smooth, hard and soft? The library got pretty loud with all the giggles and laughter as they realized that what they were describing was a rubber chicken! Yes, even rubber chickens and rocks deserve their own poems! Here are two of the poems written by our second graders. Poetry can be fun! A big thank you to Mrs. Daly for sharing her awesome mask, Mrs. Butler for the white feather,  and Mr. Haeck for donating his rubber chicken to us for our poetry lesson.

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A few years ago, I did a similar lesson called Paper Bag Poems. Another librarian, Mrs. Camp, in Klein, Texas saw the post and also had some poetry fun with her students. You can read about her Paperbag Poems on the Bobcat Library Blog.

What poems have you written lately? Leave a comment and let us know!

 

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