WOW! It has been a BUSY week!
The beginning of the week was spent with 5th graders doing research about countries. They are getting ready for Immigration Station. The first day of research, we focused on print resources and on the second day, we focused on digital resources. I had them use CultureGrams in DISCUS to find what they could not find in the books. After they complete their research, they are going to create a presentation for their class and we are going to simulate coming to America at our Immigration Station on Tuesday – an excellent idea that I borrowed from my friend, Betsy Long…you can read about how we did it last year at the link above.
With my Kindergarten classes, I started reading gingerbread man stories. This lesson will take me through to Winter Break. During this first lesson, I retold the gingerbread man story using props (a story basket) and then read The Gingerbread Bear by Robert Dennis. We talked about how there are lots of different gingerbread stories out there and I told them that we would be reading a few of them in the library and in their classroom during the upcoming weeks. After reading The Gingerbread Bear, they checked out and went to a center. There are three centers, so they will visit a different one each week. The centers are:
*Bake and decorate a gingerbread cookie using the Gingerbread Fun! app on the iPad
*Decorate a cookie and listen to the Gingerbread Man story on Starfall.
*Decorate and cut out a bookmark shaped like a gingerbread man.
On Tuesday, we had a group of kids from the high school come to the library to kick off Hour of Code. We will be doing Hour of Code lessons for our students during the actual Hour of Code Week (December 8 – 14), but the high school kids gave us a good taste of what’s to come! 4th and 1st graders came in to check out what they have been learning in their Computer Programming classes.
Wednesday was an early release day for our students, which meant it was LEAD Time day! LEAD Time is an hour long “club” that students select. My LEAD Time is Maker Time! and we made cards that light up with copper tape and LED lights – like this. Cool!
On Friday, I presented to our district librarians and Technology Integration Specialists about what we are doing at my school for Makerspaces. I gave them a little background information and then they explored centers. The centers were:
*100 Item Structures/Explore Makerspace – This was 2 centers rolled into one. At 100 item structures, they had stuff (cups, legos, toothpicks, etc.) to free build with. I plan to use this in January for Makerspace Moments, since the 100th day of schools falls in January. Folks spent 10 minutes at this area and then used the rest of the time to explore our Makerspace. We put out a lot of the cool stuff we have been able to purchase (Snap Circuits, MakeyMakey, Squishy Circuits) for them to take a look at.
*Debbie Jackson from Pelion High School – Debbie is a librarian in my district doing Makerspaces at the high school level, and she spoke to people about what she was doing at the high school level.
*3D Printing – I stayed at this area with a couple of students who told folks about the 3D printer and how we use it at NPES. The students showed off Tinkercad, which is the online software we use to create items we print on the printer and answered questions from the LMS and TIS.
Since it was the first week in December, I also sent out our December Learning Commons Newsletter and switched out our spotlight for Makerspace Moments. This month’s focus is Toy Take Apart (idea from Tinkering Studio). I got a few toys from Goodwill and cut off the skin so that you can see the mechanics underneath. The other areas they can explore are making Christmas ornaments using a variety of materials and make something using perler beads.
AND, as if my school week wasn’t crazy enough, I threw a surprise party for my husband on Saturday for his 40th birthday. I must say that after my errands that I need to get done today, I will be SO happy to rest on my couch before another crazy week starts! I also must say that this week was super crazy, but I couldn’t have done it without HELP. My computer lab teacher and my media assistant have both been amazing in helping me get ready for these lessons and events. And, we aren’t done yet! 😉
How was your week?!