Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday "Wrap Up"

We wrapped up our 2nd round of makerspace this week and I must say, finger knitting by far was the biggest hit. What was most fun was seeing kids the faces of the kids I didn't think would have the patience to learn the process end up making a necklace or bracelet they were so proud of. I wish I had taken more pictures.  This is one of my 4th graders who went home and created 4 necklaces after being in the makerspace. 

The rest of the week went like this...
- 3 Second grade Fairy Tale Battle introductions
- 5 kinder Storytimes with Rubia and the Three Osos (including one hilarious story time with our ESL kinder class who definitely knew more Spanish than me)
- 4 makerspace sessions
- 1 Fifth grade Virtual Valentine iPad lesson
- Coding Club and Newspaper Club meetings 
-1 Bluebonnet Voting Party - Vanishing Coin was our winner

And my nails this week are super cute if I do say so myself - True Love and Tartan

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday "Wrap Up"

Whew!  These last 2 weeks have been crazy!

I have been doing all day research with 3rd grade classes which has taken up these two weeks.  They spend the whole day except for lunch, recess and PE. Each class researches a Force of Nature... hurricane, tornadoes, volcanoes, wildfires, avalanches, and earthquakes.  Then we make a graphic novel on the iPads with the students as characters.  This project smashes 4 different apps together to create the graphic novel so it is a pretty involved procedure, but the kids are so excited when we finish.  

This week
- 4 days all day research
- 2 sessions of 4th grade Battle of the Book Introduction
- Attended library professional development
- Worked on a badge project for teachers
-5 kinder storytimes

And my wraps this week are Friday Flannel and Fame 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Technology Tuesday: Badges for Teachers

I am not sure when I first heard about digital badges, but it is something I keep coming back to as something I'd like to try.  And I think the time has come...

I know the power of being a connected educator and I want more people on my campus to experience the spark that a PLN can ignite.  I think they just need a little push so here I go jumping into something and flying by the seat of my pants again.  Many of the teachers on my campus are taking baby steps out of their technological comfort zones and I would like to find a way to acknowledge and encourage them.  I think digital badges might be a fun way to do this.  

I had a few articles saved in my "pocket" about badges and it has come up a couple of time in Twitter chats that I have been in this fall.  Back in October after one such chat, I emailed my teachers and asked who might be interested in earning badges for different technological tasks or achievements.  I gave them a couple of examples of badges I had created on
I told them they could earn these badges and then print them out to display in the classroom and/or post them on their blogs and I asked them to email me back if this is something that might interest them.  I received quite a few "Yes!" responses and so it was something I had on my "to be continued" list. 

Recently in an #edtechchat over the winter break, Shawna Ford tweeted
which got me thinking about it again.  I went back and reread the articles and tweets I had saved and got to work.  I reread "Building a Better Badging System" by Marc Toner and Alice Keener's  "Creating Badges with Google Sheets" .  Then Shawna Ford tweeted out a link to her blog post about "Professional Learning Options" and badging which pointed me to more models.  

So I think I have a working (in-progess) system to offer teachers.  I have created a page on my library website where I will post the different badges they can earn and a link to a google form they can fill out to request the badge.  I will receive an email when a form has been submitted and then through, I can "send credit" to them where they can then print and/or display on their blog by following these directions.

I am going to cross my fingers and hope I have thought this through.  Lucky for me my teachers are pretty flexible so if I screwed something up they will patiently wait until I can figure it out.  I am excited about this and am looking forward to seeing how badges might fuel growth at my campus.  

I would love to to hear any ideas about badging or how you have used digital badges with students or teachers.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Makerspace Update

Happy New Year!  Where does the time go?

We are in our 3rd round of makerspace activities here and so far things are going well.  You might remember, the first time they came to the space we all did the pipe cleaner challenge.  You can read about that here.  For the second round, they had choices based on STEAM activities (not for every letter though).

Technology - Stop Motion Animation video
Engineering - Tennis Ball Tower
Art - Origami

I have task cards for each of the activities but still have to do some explaining when all the students arrive.  Here is an example of the task card for the Tennis Ball Tower (I got the tennis ball tower idea from this blog which I found on Pinterest)

Some of the task cards have QR code links to how-to-videos like the Stop Motion Animation task card. 

This was really an eye-opening station for me to see how creative the students were.  Some just took off with it.  Here is an example of one some 5th grade girls made.

For origami, I printed out and laminated pages from this website .  These directions with the pictures were pretty easy to follow.  However, for the 2nd graders, I recorded myself making 3 things and then put a QR code to the video so they could follow along that way.  It worked better for the younger ones than the written directions.  

The kids are loving the makerspace so much and have asked how they can do this stuff at home so I put links to the activities on my libguide so they can access the videos and directions at home.

The one thing I am still struggling with is getting them to stop and clean up when it is time.  It is a disaster when they leave some times!