Sunday, June 11, 2017

What's Trending: Librarians a Leaders

I had an opportunity to participate, and help host an amazing day. It was a blended day of learning for myself, and other local school librarians. We all know students are our future, but how are we getting them ready for their future? Part of the conference was dedicated to describing how we can become Future Ready Librarians.  Follett sponsored our keynote speaker, Shannon Miller. She gave us ideas of how we can become future ready librarians, and the importance of sharing this message with everyone in our school building and community.  As we set our goals to become future ready, Shannon has set up a Padlet so we can all share our goals as librarians.  Now, let's get moving and share our great librarian ideas.
I had the opportunity to share two presentations. The first one I shared this morning was on Take-Home Makerspace Kits. I wrote a CCEF Grant for 10,000.00 with Valerie Loper and Erin Irvine they are also local school librarians. We were awarded this grant to purchase and create makerspace kits the students can checkout and take home. Each kit includes a non-fiction book that relates to the makerspace general topic. Earlier this semester, we presented at TCEA to share our Take-Home Makerspace idea with other teachers and librarians.
The second presentation was a lot a fun. I shared how I started my makerspace, logistics of operating my space, and my future makerspace plans with two other elementary librarians. It was interesting since we all solve problems and think differently about our space.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mobil Makerspace Wishlist

Our mobile makerspace began in January. The students and teachers love it. But, I know to keep the interest going we need to add new items and circulate them, so the students don't get bored. So, I'm hoping to get these items I've put on the wishlist.
  Mobil Makerspace Kits for K-2 Proposed List of Supplies
 Stem Robot Mouse
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Makey Makey Go
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 Dash and Dot,
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 Tegu Magnetic Wooden Set,
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 Q-bits Jr,
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 Rigamajig Junior Kit,
Rigamajig Jr
Candy Construction Building Set,
Candy Construction Building Set
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 Qwirkle Expansion,
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 Keva Bot Maze,
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 Snap Circuits Rover,
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 Makedo Pod,
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 Any of these items would make a great addition, fingers crossed we will find out if we will have the funding soon.

PT A is funding the mobile makerspace  for the 2017-2018 school year. I'm so happy for our students. They are going to have the resources to help the mobile makerspaces thrive.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Makerspace Scheduling

Scheduling has been a conundrum since we started our school makerspace. The vision was to offer a space where any student could come in and explore a makerspace session. Scheduling is an issue because we can not interfere with students existing class schedule, and we can not add to the school's tight schedule. At first, we opened our makerspace as a before school club that met once a week by grade level. We also offered students a chance to work in the makerspace during the day once a week at recess. Students could choose to stay in an work in the makerspace instead of going to recess one day a week. We called it alternative recess. In the beginning this worked since few students signed up and all of the material was new so it a novelty. But after 2 years of offering this schedule it no longer worked.
Our makerspace became so popular sessions would fill up with in an hour of being posted. I began to hear comments like "I hope I can make it into a makerspace session this year," and "When will the application come out I'm going to turn in my child's application to you the day I receive it." We grew the second year from serving 75 students to 150 students. We were seeing students before school four days a week and during recess two days a week and we still were not serving 1/2 of the total population at our school.
So, this year our makerspace is open to 100% of all of our students. Instead of having before school clubs and alternative recess, one library lesson a month is dedicated to being a makerspace session. Six to eight sessions are set up and students can select from Engineering, Robotics, Re-cycled Craft, MinecraftEdu, Coding, Bloxels, Osmo, and etc. Students are able to choose one thirty min session to complete a mini-project or explore a topic. Non-fiction books that are related to the session are displayed near the table so students have access to the books to investigate more on the topic. This year students have a chance to check out makerspace kits to learn more about the topic of interest at home and this will solve the problem of not having enough time to explore a topic. Now that all students have access to our makerspace it solves the condundrum of scheduling.