Sunday, August 14, 2016

Book A Day Challenge Week four

This has been a great experience reading a book a day for a four week period. I enjoyed it so much I plan on picking a month this fall to read a talk about a book a day. Our reading lives are just as important as exercising or eating healthy.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Week 3 Book A Day Challenge

Friday, July 15, 2016

Week 2 Book A Day Challenge

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Week One Book A Day Challenge

Monday, June 27, 2016

Book Review: GRIT

Before you read the book check out Angela Duckworth's TED talk on grit. This will give you a quick background on the new "it" word and it's importance. The bottom line is you need grit to succeed. Duckworth describes grit as a combination of perseverance and passion. It's not just talent that catapults individuals to success, effort counts more. Failure is okay, if you use it as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. But, too often failure becomes a permanent excuse to never try again. In the world of education, the importance of grit and growth mindset are often discussed as vehicles to drive student success. This book gives examples of individuals in many different industries to support this thought. The author takes it a step farther and explains that grit alone is not enough. The true equation is grit + support = success. So our gritty students need supportive teachers, parents, and environments to flourish. Grit is contagious. This frame of thinking can strengthen teams, workplaces, schools and more. Read the book, it's a real page turner.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Where to Buy Makespace Suppllies

Finding vendors is one of the most difficult aspects of setting up a makerspace. Ali Express and Amazon are awesome places to pick out inexpensive supplies such a coin batteries in bulk or bulk LED lights for a nice price. But, they don't take P.O.'s, so the struggle becomes how much can I pay out of my own pocket? I don't worry about this as much as I use to there are some great vendors out there who now package and prepare makerspace materials for the busy librarian. At the Texas Library Association Conference, I recently discovered two vendors who sell makerspace kits. Maker Maven will customize a makerspace box with multiple activities or they offer several kits with about ten activities each. They include the consumables needed too which is great for a busy librarian. Follett now sells makerspace kits that cost $50.00 on average. Barnes and Noble now offers makerspace resources such as Little Bits, Makey Makey, Ozobots, and etc. As library vendors get into the makerspace business, it will make it easier for the busy library to set up and maintain a makerspace.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Google Cardborad

Image result for google cardboard

Take your students around the world while staying in the classroom. Google Cardboard is a virtual reality device that can be purchased for twenty dollars or less on-line. It works with an i-phone or android. Once you have the device, download the Google Cardboard Apps on your phone, and you are ready to virtually travel the world.

Google Cardboard was introduced in our elementary makerspace this semester and the students loved it. It was a challenge to get the phones. But, I had a generous donor let us borrow phones that had working apps without a phone service, and they worked out fine.
Students loved the roller coaster app. In the classroom it can be used to explore settings, environments, and unlimited educational destinations. Click here to learn more.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Makerspace: Year One is Done!

One year ago today, my elementary school library opened a makerspace for students. It took a semester to plan, fine tune the plans, and gather enough supplies to offer this new program in the library. About 75 students participated in a before school maker club, so they could have an opportunity to work in the makerspace. About 60 students gave up their recess on Mondays to participate in the Alternative Recess, so they could spend their time in the library makerspace. At this point in time student participation has doubled. Along the way I've learned a few lessons and gotten a few tips from librarian Internet stars. It has been a great 1st year and hope to keep going strong with the makerspace and blog. Happy Birthday Makerspace Library Blog!!
                                           Image result for 1st birthday cake common domain

Tips from Library Internet Stars...
Collette J's blog  A Wrinkle in Tech help me resolve me latest makerspace problem.
How Can I give more students access to the makerspace? Next year I plan to let students check-out makerspace kits, so they can take parts of the makerspace home in a bag. You can order these take home kits from Collette's blog, and she even offers MARC records.

As I was planning this space my planning team Skyped with Andy Plemmons to get tips and ideas to start the space. I asked him, "What's the one of the best resources your makerspace offers?" He said, "Sphero." Looking back having a Sphero in the makerspace got a lot of students interested in coding and robotics. Robotics went on to become our makerspace theme for this 15' - 16' school year.  At the beginning of the year students had a chance to build a robot and share it a Maker Faire Houston, the Robotics Team held their meetings in the library. Coding and robotic design will continue to be a part of our makerspace offerings this spring semester.

Since, I've followed Mr. Schu on Twitter for the past few years, I was super excited to hear him speak at a recent library meeting. He is an ambassador for libraries and reading and spent thirteen years as an elementary school librarian. Hearing him speak was inspirational and reminded me of the importance of my profession. The library is a safe haven where students can develop their thoughts, voice, and reading life, this is all supported in our makerspace.

5 Lessons I learned Starting a Makerspace

1. Get lots of help.
Our makerspace would have looked a lot different without the help of volunteers. It would have been chaotic. Volunteers ensure the students stay on task and they guide students through the process of completing a makerspace project without feeding students the answers. They also give the librarian a chance to oversee the whole program as they watch over one area of the makerspace.
2. Tinkering is okay. I was so worried when we started the makerspace would be viewed as indoor recess. But, I had forgotten that kids learn through play. The constructivist educational philosophy was supported by Montessori, Dewey, and Piaget stresses the importance of learning through play or tinkering.
3. Write Grants. Our budget for the makerspace was zero dollars. The funding came from grant writing and donations. Grant writing takes time, but it's worth it.
4. Students who work in a makerspace quickly learn they need grit which is a combination of passion and perseverance. It's very rare for students to create a robot, make a duct tape wallet, or complete a project without failing at least one or more times in the process. In a makerspace it's okay to fail, but giving up is not an option. 
5. You don't have to be the expert on everything. A makerspace is about the students discovering, inventing, and learning. As a librarian, I'm there to give students space to create.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Latest Presentation

This a presentation presented to Pasadena ISD librarians. Valerie Loper, a high school librarian, Erin Irvine, a middle school librarian, and myself an elementary librarian shared the trials and celebrations in creating and sustaining a makerspace.