Wrap up! Maker Corps Camp Weeks 15 & 16 @make @makeredorg #possibilities #myjobisfun #summerlearning

Maker Camp is over for me! My last day was yesterday…sigh. This summer went by in a flash.

My last couple of weeks as a Maker Corps Member were spent finishing up program cost analysis and helping with a Maker Professional Development my host site did for local teachers in our area.

Thinking about the past few months kind of makes my head hurt! I have learned SO MUCH from the people at my host site and the other “Maker Girls” who were part of my Maker Corps Team.

Other highlights -

*I loved seeing how life is outside of my school. By that, I mean, I’m sure all teachers kind of think about how nice it might be to have a job where you get to come in a little later, take a lunch, not be so stuck to the strict school schedule, etc. Working at my host site this summer let me see how it is “on the other side.” While it is nice to have a little more flexibility in your day, being here has confirmed for me that I am right where I need to be. I have missed my school library this summer and I am excited to go back.

*I have SO MUCH to take back to my school library this year. So many ideas of things to do with my students and a new way of viewing how kids do and make.

*I have learned a TON from the Google community and other Maker Corps members around the country. I feel lucky to have gotten the chance to lurk and get a peek at what others are doing.

In short, this has been a wonderful experience. I have learned life skills (HELLO?! I could not sew a button before Maker Corps); I have made new Maker friends; and I have a ton of new skills and programs to bring to my students. This has been an awesome professional learning experience and I am SO GLAD I was able to participate.

YAY!

VBF

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#imwayr It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 7.28.14

What Are You Reading? was first hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. If you’d rather follow folks who are reading books for grown ups, you should follow her Monday meme. I am  participating in the kidlit version of this meme (although sometimes I actually read books for grown ups).

In Print: Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff Started this one on Saturday. So good. Can totally see this as a great upper elementary read aloud. Cannot wait to see what happens to Albie! He’s a very likable character.

Listening to: Finally started a new book in my car! I’m reading the first book in the Alvin Ho series. I love Alvin… and, I especially love the kid reading about Alvin on the audio version of this book.

VBF

PS – Don’t forget – I am participating in Donalyn Miller’s Sixth Annual Book-a-Day Challenge this summer…it will be my third year participating. You can follow me on my library Facebook pageGoodreads and on Instagram to checkout the books I read this summer (#bookaday). I will mention many of the books I read this summer in my #imwayr blog posts, but chances are, I won’t mention ALL of them :)

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#imwayr It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 7.21.14

What Are You Reading? was first hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. If you’d rather follow folks who are reading books for grown ups, you should follow her Monday meme. I am  participating in the kidlit version of this meme (although sometimes I actually read books for grown ups).

In Print: Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg This book is so good. It is about a teen boy who is out in his hometown. He is very happy at home and his community is there for him – he is not teased or made fun of for who he is, but he wants to know what it’s like to not be “the gay kid.” So, he convinces his parents to let him go to a boarding school in another state where no one knows who he is. At his new school, he is not openly gay – he allows others to believe that he is straight, which leads to issues and problems that he was not expecting. It is a very touching story about love and about being true to yourself.

Listening to: STILL NOTHING! I really do have to put some things on hold at the library…

VBF

PS – Don’t forget – I am participating in Donalyn Miller’s Sixth Annual Book-a-Day Challenge this summer…it will be my third year participating. You can follow me on my library Facebook pageGoodreads and on Instagram to checkout the books I read this summer (#bookaday). I will mention many of the books I read this summer in my #imwayr blog posts, but chances are, I won’t mention ALL of them :)

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#imwayr It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 7.14.14

What Are You Reading? was first hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. If you’d rather follow folks who are reading books for grown ups, you should follow her Monday meme. I am  participating in the kidlit version of this meme (although sometimes I actually read books for grown ups).

In Print: One Crazy Summer by Williams – Garcia Loving it! Great story about 3 sisters who go visit their mom in California one summer. They don’t know their mom very well, but they learn a lot about her during their time with her that summer. This historical fiction novel is full of events from history to share with upper-elementary kiddos. Events that they might not otherwise learn about (Black Panther movement, hippies). Good book.

Listening to: NOTHING! Time to put some things on hold at the library…

VBF

PS – Don’t forget – I am participating in Donalyn Miller’s Sixth Annual Book-a-Day Challenge this summer…it will be my third year participating. You can follow me on my library Facebook pageGoodreads and on Instagram to checkout the books I read this summer (#bookaday). I will mention many of the books I read this summer in my #imwayr blog posts, but chances are, I won’t mention ALL of them :)

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#summerthrowdown – Year 3!

So, you know I love a challenge, right?

I’ve participated in #nerdcott (read ‘em all). I love #bookaday. And, it isn’t too late to get on board with #summerthrowdown!

Maybe you’ll join me?

Here’s a blog post with all the info you need to get started. 

Here’s the document to add your name and your goal. My goal is 30.

Do it!

VBF

 

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Maker Corps Camp Week 14 @make @makeredorg #possibilities #myjobisfun #summerlearning

Maker Camp was back in action this week! We had 19 8 – 10 year olds and during the week, they did all kinds of fun stuff – Art Bots, Tie-Dye, Sewing, LEGO Mindstorms…so fun.

 

Art Bot!

Art Bot!

My learning this week was about LEGO Mindstorms. I’ve heard about them, but have never played with or explored them and I’m in love. They are a perfect mix of Maker, Math, Engineering, and Inquiry. Another thing to add to my school wish list!

I built my own set of Circuit Blocks this week. I think my teachers will enjoy getting their hands on these to explore electricity and even sound (there is a buzzer) with students.

Circuit Blocks

Circuit Blocks

What did you make this week?

VBF

 

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Reflections from #iste2014! #summerlearning #myjobisfun

So, last week, I went to my first ISTE Conference. I typically go to ALA, but this year I decided to check out ISTE since it was fairly close to home – OMG! Why have I not been going to ISTE all along?! There is no way for me to share everything I learned (so much), so here are the highlights.

I arrived on Friday, June 27. I registered and attended the Mobile Mega Share. I liked the way this session was set up. There were a number of large tables with various topics on signs in the middle of the table. You could go to whatever table/topic you were interested in and learn more about that topic. The “presentations” were informal and were only about 20 minutes long. After 20 minutes, the idea was to switch to a different table. At this session, I learned more about the app, Aurasma. I plan to use this app to do my Learning Commons orientation lessons with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade this year. Seems easy and I’ll let you know how it goes. After this session, I went to the Hummingbird Robotics Kit Makeshop. I had heard of Hummingbird Robotics before and I was thrilled when my friend, Dr. Craft, invited me to this event. I got to build a robot and program it to move. Loved it. I also enjoyed the idea of a “Makeshop.” This could be a great model for a family make night or something…good stuff.

My hummingbird robot creation!

My hummingbird robot creation!

On Saturday, I went to a 3D printing workshop. I recently found out that my Donor’s Choose project for a 3D printer was fully funded, so I was excited to go to this workshop, because I need to learn all I can about 3D printing, now that I’ll actually have a printer! While the workshop was interesting, I’m not sure that it was the best choice for me. I did get to explore various software for designing things to print and I got to see a lesson where students print something useful (instead of just something fun). All in all, I suppose I got what I needed out of it, but I was hoping for more? The BEST part of that workshop was meeting Jessica Allen (in fact, the best part of ISTE was making connections and meeting some personal tech and library heroes).

On Saturday afternoon, I sort of wandered around from session to session. I explored the BrainPOP Arcade for a little bit (if you haven’t explored GameUp…you should); I checked out the Global Education Conference; and then I caught the tail end of the first round of the Ignite sessions. LOVE the Ignite format. A speaker has 20 slides and 5 minutes and talks about their passion. I got to hear Nicholas Provenzano (AWESOME) and Pat Yongpradit (more AWESOME). After that, I went to see Katy Perry. Front row. Not ISTE-related ;)

Katy Perry!

Katy Perry!

I got to hangout in a few “playgrounds” on Sunday. The first one was with my people…LIBRARIANS! Librarians doing wonderful things. My favorite takeaway was learning more about Genius Hour from a couple of my heroes, Matthew Winner and Sherry Gick. I also went to a “playground” aimed more for science teachers, where I met an actual astronaut. I stumbled into an early learning playground where Gary Stager was speaking…Gary Stager! I have been obsessed with Invent to Learn since last summer and I knew the authors would be at ISTE, but I had not been able to attend any of their sessions up to that point. I was actually on my way to another session when I saw the sign saying that Dr. Stager was up next. Of course, I stayed. The next few hours were all about making and Invent to Learn because his session followed the playground. READ THIS BOOK! On Sunday evening, I got to spend time with the wonderful FableVision folks. AND I MET PETER REYNOLDS! Best.Night.Ever.

Me and PETER REYNOLDS!

Me and PETER REYNOLDS!

Before leaving on Monday, I got to meet Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and her friend, Erin. We talked about libraries and things we were learning at ISTE and I totally loved spending time with them! I also did one more walk through at the Exhibit Hall, learned a bit about MinecraftEdu and then it was off to home to get the dogs.

ISTE was fantastic. All of my teacher and librarian friends who are a little nerdy like me need to go at least once. It will definitely always be on my summer learning list from here on out.

I’m sure ISTE will sneak its way into future posts – I learned so much to take back to school this year – I’m getting excited for the new year to start!

VBF

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