Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Maker Clubs Finish Strong! Spooky Creations

Today we wrapped up the first session of our maker clubs and it was incredible to hear our students share what they learned from this experience. As parents began to enter the library for our presentation, there was a flurry of activity. The students were creating until the very last minute!

We had a full house, and the students were excited to show their creations! The maker club had created a haunted house, a graveyard with rotating tombstones, a spider and a scorpion. One of our Curtis parents, Dr. Keith Emmert worked with this group and the students really enjoyed having him lead their group. The green screen club had used those items, created a script, uploaded images and, using the Do Ink green screen app,  created a haunted movie. 

It was very impressive how eloquently the students explained what they did and what they learned. One student shared how even though what they were doing was "hard, really hard!" it made them want to do more and try harder.

Each student had the opportunity to speak, and I was so proud of their courage! They not only took ownership of their clubs, they took ownership of this presentation. I loved how one student talked about how they weren't always successful, that there were definite failures during the learning process. They talked about working together, not giving up, getting better at what they were doing, and thanked Dr. Keith a lot! 

After everyone spoke who wanted to, we showed their green screen creations, which highlighted the maker club's creations! There were a few giggles as they saw their haunted movies on the big screen. There was even requests to watch their "bloopers"! We will upload the creations to our YouTube channel so that students can see them again.

Here are some pictures of our time together. We met one day a week for five weeks. Some students came in during recess to work on their projects. 

The first session of the maker clubs was a success in everyone's eyes! Parents were proud, students were proud, and there was a very proud librarian! I can't wait to see what our next group accomplishes! Our next session will be basic programming using the Sphero robotics ball. Students are really excited about it!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Picture Book Month

It has been a while since my last post, but here I am, and I am so excited to celebrate Picture Book Month with my students! 

Our library just got a new book order in, so there are lots of books our students haven't read yet! There are also many favorites, waiting to be shared! To help us choose, there is a Picture Book Month calendar with days based on themes or subjects. 

Many of my friends are celebrating Picture Book Month! You can read about how Jennifer Reed celebrates with her students HERE! One of the things I look forward to is the opportunity to connect with schools around the country. Curtis students will be connecting for a Picture Book Smackdown on November 18th. We will have a very fast paced hour of sharing our favorite picture books! Last year we connected with both students and authors and had a great time! You can read more about our fun HERE!

The Picture Book Month site has many resources, including a Teacher's Guide with activities and ideas.  Another great resource is Mr. Schu & his blog, Watch.Connect.Read. He will be using 20 wonderful picture books and have his students participate in a Mock Caldecott unit. We have many of the books mentioned in his post, so I will be sure to share those with our students!

Students and adults alike will be asked to share their favorite thing about reading picture books on our Picture Book Month Padlet! I can't wait to see what they say! Feel free to add to it!

It is sure to be a great month! Grab a picture book and join us!