April is here! This is one of my favorite months because there is so much to celebrate. It is National Poetry Month, School Library Month, and there are all kinds of fun “days” to get excited about – Easter, Draw a Bird Day, Poem in Your Pocket Day….
This week, we kicked off our April events and had some other fun too.
On Tuesday (April 1), we started Makerspace Moments (learn more about what this means here). I am doing this throughout the month. I got some of my logistics from Dr. Linda Waskow’s SCASL conference session. She has set Makerspace Times (when her schedule allows) and gives each teacher some passes they can use to send students to her Learning Commons during a Makerspace time. I am doing something very similar…I gave each teacher in 1st – 5th grade 3 passes. During Makerspace Moments times (9 – 10am on Tuesdays; 9:15am-10:15am on Wednesdays; and 1:45pm – 2:15 on Fridays), they can send up to 3 students to the Learning Commons to explore our Makerspaces. We have 3 spaces set up. The idea was to change them out each week, but I think I will keep the same ones this week as I had last week and switch them out after Spring Break. The 3 spaces are: Rainbow Loom Bracelets; Makey Makey; and Book Spine Poetry. At the Rainbow Loom space, there are lots of little bands and a loom, however, most kids prefer to create the bracelets with their fingers. The Makey Makey is connected to a computer and most kids created a keypad to run Munch Mouse from the Babymouse website (we are still Babymouse crazy at NPES!). My intern pulled a bunch of books for kids to use for Book Spine Poetry at our poetry space. We have the books in a box on the table with paper and pencils for kids to use if they want to write down their poem after they create it. Each area is set up at a table with directions. Kids came in and just got to work. We had some 1st graders, 2nd graders, and 5th graders this first week. The bracelet space was the most popular and the poetry space was the least popular. I think this is a good start to Making in our library. I got the exciting news this week that I will be a part of Maker Corps, so I hope to learn more about how to create “true” Makerspaces…stay tuned!
5th grade Media Technology students created animated presentations on Keynote on the iPads. Our Technology Integration Specialist came up with this cute lesson and the first day we were together, they did fairly simple math problems with matching pictures. The second day, I read This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and they created animated LIFE equations. So cute…you can see some of their finished work on our school webpage.
My intern planned Kindergarten lessons for 2 classes. I told her that they were starting life cycles in their classrooms. She knew they had learned about penguins earlier in the school year, so she decided to focus on penguin life cycles. She read Pierre The Penguin by Marzollo, went over some penguin facts, and then sent them to centers. Her centers were read a book about a penguin, color a picture of a penguin, read a book about penguins on TumbleBooks, and play a matching game. I am also doing life cycles with the rest of Kindergarten, but I am focusing on birds. This week, I read Tap the Magic Tree by Matheson and then read about birds using Pebble Go.
There are 3 bird centers they visit after checkout:
*a seed sorting/math activity…this is MESSY! I made 3 “birds” out of cups and feathers. I asked students to see if they could make a smart guess about how many scoops of seed it will take to feed their bird. They write down their guess and then actually scoop bird seed into the bird. They count as they are scooping and then write down how many actual scoops it took.
*Explore birds on Pebble Go. In the whole class activity, I read general information about birds. When they are at this center, they can explore whatever kind of bird they would like.
*Draw a bird. I have directions for how to draw a bird on our tables and I ask them to draw a realistic bird. We are cutting their birds out and putting them up in the library around our Poet Tree (get it?)
We started POETRY BREAKS this week. My intern and I hit 2 grade levels. A Poetry Break is an easy and fun way to read some poetry. Basically, you just break into a classroom, read a poem, and leave. Very easy.
Last year, I did my first Lunch Bunch and have really been wanting to do it again…this week, I got my chance! I am doing a Lunch Bunch with 10 2nd graders. They are coming to the library everyday for lunch and eating while I read to them. I am reading The Year of Billy Miller by Henkes. I thought that we would probably be reading it for the rest of the year, but I am surprised that we are already half way through! I may even get to do another Lunch Bunch before the end of the year.
My USC class focused on Biographies.
And, I sent out our April newsletter this week.
I think that’s about it (whew!) How was YOUR week?