Just a little of this and that...here is a follow up (reflection) on some of our different projects/programs.
1-Incognito Readers Club: "Shh! It's a secret club!" It is so easy to run. The Club started in October and teachers already had students in mind. They mentioned how it was so meaningful to a student they invited last year.
2-Tech Ninja Club: We are really liking the transformation! We now only are meeting once a month after-school but have added one before school meeting every week. The before school meeting spotlights a Tech Tip.
3-Design Thinking: We are doing the Food Truck Challenge with our 3rd graders. The 4th graders will be doing an authentic problem. They will be looking at the PBIS rewards and then recommend new rewards. We added a new one for 1st graders. They designed a monster character for a puppet author.
4-Google Expedition: We had a chance last year to be a part of the AR pioneer program. I purchased a set of 7 devices and accessories. I figure that 3 students can share a device and experience AR.
5-STEM BOXES TO GO: This program is on it's 3rd year. They are still are flying off the shelves. We are planning on changing and adding some more to challenges.
6-Social Media Intern Program: This program is small but is important. We train just a few students to tweet out using our official school twitter account. #kidstweet It is great seeing what the students want to share.
7-Girls Can Code: Wow! Girls come one day a week before school to Code. We spotlight a Code activity but the girls are given freedom to choose what coding they want to do.
8-Flexible Schedule: Truly from Monday-Thursday my library is a mix scheduled...but on Friday-I am flexible schedule. So far this year, Fridays have had Coding, Google Expeditions, BreakOut EDU, iCentre Reward, Pilgrim Lady presenter and Workshops on Chromebooks, Seesaw & Book Talk Choice Board.
Fall might be in the air, but Diana & I just finished up our Summer Reading "Beat the Heat" program. (Check out our June 2018 Blog post below) We hosted our celebrations on both of our campuses this past week. I had 65 students come to PGE's party with 2 coming back from the Intermediate School to join with us to celebrate our summer reading.
At PGE, the students had fun with character BINGO games, prizes/rewards and watching book trailers. When asked if they enjoyed having a bag of books to read for the summer ...the resounding answer was "YES!".
I am happy to report almost 100% of my bags & library books were returned from the summer reading program. It confirmed that it is okay to let the books go...they don't need to collect dust on the library shelves...get them into the hands of your students for the summer. Our library shelves don't need them! Let us build the culture of reader.
One part of the program I need to evaluate is the digital sharing part. The students liked the book bags but only 1 posted to the Seesaw site(it was optional). I will need to rethink how to maybe get more wanting to share what your are reading or see if that is a needed part to include.
I agree with Suzanne that these books do not need to be left on the shelves to collect dust over the summer. Most of my book have been returned as well. The students checked out 465 books and 462 have come back already. Even though students moved away, they returned their books. Best part was that I had the emails of parents of all participants. This made it easy to get a hold of those who forgot their books or moved. I did my informal survey during the celebration, and most students had read from some to all of the books in their bags, and they all said they would like to participate in the program next year. This program had the highest participation of any of our summer reading programs over the past 5 years. Thanks to Suzanne, I borrowed her character bingo cards, and the winners took turns running the BB8 Sphero's around the Colby Speedway. I was also grateful for the support of the staff who came and helped with the after school celebration. We even had the assistant principal play some dance impromptu music over the intercom and the kids broke out their best dance moves with the principal.
What would I do different next year? I would try and include more students in the celebration. I know BES had a lot of summer readers who read books from other places, and it would have been fun to include those readers too.
Diana went to a presentation at Service Center XI Lib2Tell Conference 2018 and brought this idea back. A special thank you to our Follett Rep. Naomi Bates for arranging for the bags for our students to place their summer books in. In two weeks, we will have 150+ students fill their bags with books. Some books they can add to their home libraries and others will be checked out from our library collection.
Why do we let our library books just sit on our shelves all summer break?
We know research shows that students need to read over summer break or their reading ability will decline. So why not let the books get checked out by students over the summer. We are calling the program "Beat the Heat" READ. Below are images of the flyers and bag tag we are using. I will post a follow up blog in September to let you know how it went.
, .Design thinking is one of the newest topics to hit the education market. This topic was widely discussed at SXSWedu in 2017. So, how did two library/media technology specialist bring Design Thinking to the library for elementary students? Here is our story.
Joining the library field later in life, I am always looking for ways to connect student learning to real world experience especially in the library. I want students to learn how to learn, not just learn where the books are, how to follow the rules or even find a good book to read. I think it goes much deeper than this. Students need to learn how to take charge of their own learning. Librarians do a great job of showing students a wide range of resources both print and digital. However some of those ways are in reality quite boring. I learned about the iSearch process first from Donna Duncan, Laura Lockhart and Lisa Ham in their The New iSearch, You Search, We All Learn to Research (2012) and then from my library certification class. I converted this in to my research model for my third and fourth graders. Shortly after, I started this process, Genius Hour became a hot topic. This proved a great way to take the iSearch method and blend it into the Genius hour concept. It worked great for the one year that I had a teacher willing to collaborate with me.
However something was still lacking. These ideas were solely focused on what the student wanted to do with little regards to the world around them. I had begun to follow A. J. Juliani and John Spencer and discovered Design Thinking and their LAUNCH process. This started the wheels spinning. I decorated my library with rockets and mission control, but again I was stuck.
This is where SXSWedu come in. Suzanne and I attended and learned how a lot about design thinking, but the most important part was that we learned how to teach students how to use design thinking. Thanks to Sam Patterson and Echo Horizon School, we had a plan. Now that we have your curiosity piqued, join us next time for part2 and see how we use the design thinking in our libraries.
March is here...
March roared in with many fun experiences. We started with a week of celebrating Dr. Seuss. This year the activities involved FlipGrid, Seesaw, BreakoutEDU & a QR Scavenger Hunt.
The second week of March, PGE had an Incognito Book Club secret meeting & PGE had the District Sphero Kit for the students to investigate. In addition, we announced the Design Thinking Food Truck winning design teams.
Then a week of Spring Break...which will be followed by 2 more weeks of engaging activities. The month will end like a lamb as our Tech Ninjas will try to create a paper circuit card...stay tune---in April's blog post, I will share how it went.
Diana Colby @DianaColby Mother of eight. Library/Media Technology Specialist, one busy momma. "Live as if you were to die tomorrow, Learn as if you will live forever." Gandhi