My friend, Britni Coffey, and I have been challenged to spruce up our morning announcements. How Exciting, a Challenge! With a little trial and error and a lot of patience from Britni (I was a slow learner on this one.) we have come up with our first published attempts at "Tiger News Network"! Each episode is as unique as the students that anchor. We've tweaked it here and there, added a ROAR at the beginning, a few props with our jokes and we have several new ideas up our sleeve. The link below will take you to our archived announcements. Check back often to see the latest and greatest of our changes.
My friend, Tamie Williams is an amazing library media specialist from Neosho, Missouri. She recently introduced me to the idea of "Worthwhile Wednesdays". This quick after school professional development opportunity is completely voluntary. It is created by teachers for teachers and is packed with valuable information in a short amount of time.
Willard East will be having our first Worthwhile Wednesday on August 24. Teachers will have about 15 minutes to hear about and then play with the educational tool, OSMO.
Next week's topic will be using the DoInk app with our new green screen.
Future topics include; the Follett Destiny library system app, creating a Symbaloo, and topics to be determined by the Willard East faculty.
I'm posting this before school "mess" to motivate me to update soon with my "Ta Da" pictures. I don't understand why it takes me a whole entire day at school to get ready to start getting ready, AUGH! It seems like a day I've wasted but actually that day is needed to just get my head back in the game and get a grasp on what needs to be tackled first. Otherwise, I start several dozen projects and don't accomplish anything with any of them. So, here are a few of my "before" pictures. (I didn't think about this soon enough to take pics of the furniture all piled up, so you will just have to imagine that.)
To do list:
Chromebook roll out to the 3rd and 4th grade teachers X
Green screen set up X
Mart Twain Book Club board and instructions and plan
Show Me Reader display
Reading response notebooks/shelf savers/self check out cards for 2nd - 4th
Shelf saver/self check out cards for K-1st
STEM/Makerspace set up
Volunteer invitations and plan
A+ tutor plan
Green screen tutorial
New Teacher Meeting to explain Destiny library program, inter library loan, holds, self checkout, digital resources, etc.
Lunch duty plan
And a few more dozen things that I've forgotten. :)
Yes, I put two things on the list that are already complete :). (Don't judge me, it makes me feel better)
I'm very excited about out new green screen! It's bigger than I thought but should fit nicely into our "creator room". Teachers will be trained to use the "DoInk" app and encouraged to use it as a class or send students to create presentations for the classroom.
We will also be using the green screen for our "Meet the Teacher" night.
School starts August 11. Check back soon for my "ta da" pictures after that.
After School S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Club
Our K-4 elementary library has undergone many changes this year both with function and appearance. But the mindset behind the use of the library has been the most impressive change. After school clubs are being offered for book clubs, Lego clubs and foreign language clubs. Students can’t wait to get into the library. The newest and most popular club offered is our Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) club.
We used our school social media accounts to advertise the club and an online ticketing platform for family sign up. The 20 coveted openings filled in less than 20 minutes for the first session and less than 2 minutes for the second. “It’s easier to get tickets to an Adele concert” joked a parent. Club members were girls and boys from Kindergarten to fourth grade. Facilitators created five teams that included a mix of gender and ages. These teams worked together throughout the session to accomplish a variety of STEM challenges.
Challenges were based on the following themes: construction (marshmallows and toothpicks), stop motion movie making (Lego bricks and Lego Movie Maker app), astronomy (making a nebula), construction (newspaper chairs), physics (building a catapult), physics (egg drop), chemistry (outdoor water exploration with chemical reactions), engineering (Solo cup building, craft stick building), physics (magnetism) and robotics (wigglebots and wobblebots)
Teams worked together to complete the task and meet the challenge. Some challenges included specific introductions, examples and step by step directions (building the wigglebots and wobblebots) while other challenges were more vague only offering the materials and the goal (creating the tallest tower with marshmallows and toothpicks). Team members were encouraged to take into consideration their individual strengths and use their skills such as leadership and creativity to strengthen their group. There were no prizes for the “best”. Instead, teams gained inspiration from the success of their peers and made modifications.
Guest speakers from the astronomy department of Missouri State University not only spoke with the STEM club members but also stayed late for our first ever astronomy night. Professors brought telescopes and sky maps to share with the entire school community. Additional activities included a “Power On” electrical safety presentation from the regional electric cooperative and a walking field trip to a local business where they demonstrated their use of 3D printers and casting equipment. Each session also allowed for some team building activities, tech gadget fun with the “Sphero” and “Osmo”, and a lot of controlled fun chaos!
STEM club has been the talk of the school. Students are sharing what they are learning with classmates and taking their experiences home to experiment even more. A third grade club members parent shared “I was super impressed when my 8-year-old told me about the formation of a nebula! We still have her “artistic rendering” of it on display”.
Each session lasted 6 weeks with students meeting one day a week after school. Three adult sponsors facilitated the group including a first grade teacher, a paraprofessional and the librarian. First grade teacher, Robin Kramer stated, “My students look forward to doing STEM projects and I love incorporating them into my curriculum. I hope that I can give students new experiences and learning opportunities, while stretching their minds to work in new ways.” The success and popularity of our after school STEM clubs have prompted us to consider opening more opportunities for science, technology, engineering and math in the library. Summer STEM as well as Family STEM nights are already in the planning stages for the next school year.
"Unconference", "vote with your feet", "rocks vs. sucks", "if I could I would..." these are just a few of the things you will hear when you attend an EdCamp morning. Saturday, I attended my third EdCamp and it was another great experience. I brought my daughter with me as she is in her 2nd year of college with aspirations of being a teacher herself. I made a vague attempt to explain the day ahead but finally gave up. It's not something you can explain to someone who hasn't been there before.
The atmosphere is engaging. The dress is casual. You don't stay with your group but quickly branch out to find what inspires you.
Our first session was Twitter 101. My daughter, Kendra, was wanting to sign up and learn the basics. I was wanting to see how the presentation/discussion was laid out. In our 45 minutes, we connected with two area librarians, was introduced to Cybraryman.com and felt more confident with helping others use Twitter for PD. My daughter was hooked already. She was feverishly taking notes. She planned to present to her education class on something that she had learned from edcamp. Now, she needed to decide on what, the "unconference" atmosphere, using social media in school, or how Twitter can be used for professional development.
Our second session was a library round table discussion. The topic quickly went to the changes happening in local libraries and the relevance of a librarian position. All the time we were connecting with more teachers and adding to our professional learning community.
Our last session was an Edcamp staple, "Rocks Vs. Sucks". Topics are presented and you move depending on your opinion, the 'This Rocks" side or the "This Sucks" side. My daughter, having not moved from my side most of the day, branched out on her own and was able to give her college minded opinion about topics in a nonjudgmental atmosphere. Throughout the day my thoughts about education were stretched, challenged and affirmed. I connected with educators around the state. I have practical usable information and ideas that I can take back to my school and use on Monday morning. I laughed, tweeted, talked and listened. I enjoyed coffee, scones and even some frozen custard. And did I mention the entire event was FREE?!
Kendra and I are already looking forward to our next Edcamp experience.
Tuesday, September 15 is DOT Day! Here are a few ways that Willard East plans to CELEBRATE!
*Read the book, The Dot by Peter H Reynolds or any of his other books; Ish, and Sky Color to name a few.
* Watch, The Dot, on Bookflix: http://bkflix.grolier.com/lp/node-33979/bk0028pr
*Use the popular line from the book, "Make Your Mark and See Where It Takes You", to inspire some creative writing.
*See MANY other great ideas at The DOT website: http://www.thedotclub.org/dotday/get-inspired/making-a-mark
*Download the DOT day handbook: http://www.fablevisionlearning.com/fablevision-dot-day-handbook
*Singing along to The Bouncing Dot Official Song! https://vimeo.com/104743082
*Creating a giant mural in the hall with each student's personalized DOT.
*Projecting "Celebri-Dots" on our hall T.V. : http://www.celebridots.com/
*Hopefully..... a Skype session with another classroom sharing what we have done!! (any takers??)
*We have also created a Padlet to share our ideas with each other: http://padlet.com/lisahillenburg/17g7octtb2mz
...AND OF COURSE WE WILL ALL BE WEARING DOTS!!!
I have been inspired by my friend and coworker, Natalie Roth to be part of International DOT Day. She has participated much more than I and I'm looking forward to seeing her great work again.
What are you planning??? Please share!!