Friday, March 31, 2017

Digging in and Wrapping Up

I'm not sure how it's possible, but Spring Break is over and we're working a week at a time, getting closer and closer to summer vacation.

But just because the school year is winding down, doesn't mean that our library classes are wrapping up.  If anything, we're just getting started with new projects for all grade levels.

Here are our newest units:
 - 5th graders are beginning to use the Lego WeDo kits we acquired through a grant from the Liberty School District Foundation.  These kits allow kids to build various robots with legos and code the motors to move in different ways while discovering scientific principals along the way.  Super cool and fun!
 - 4th graders are SUPER excited to begin working with our brand new 3D printer! These kids are working through some tutorials on Tinkercad and beginning the process of designing our own chess pieces that we will print... and then use to play chess!  So much thinking and learning happening for these kids!
 - 3rd graders are just beginning to use their robots as well.  They will be using Ozobots, which are teeny-tiny robots that move based on colored pathways.  Even though they seem easy to use, kids will be discovering that coding can still be complex.
 - 2nd graders are beginning some inquiry research about bees.  We're digging deep into our resources to learn what we can about bees in order to develop ways to protect them from extinction.
 - 1st graders are wrapping up a LONG research unit we have been doing about different animals and their habitats.  Some classes will be taking their research and using the green screen to make videos showing the animals in their natural habitats!  We are SO excited.
 - Kindergarten students are also working on a research project.  We realized that if we're going to be Schumacher Sharks for the next few years, we better learn more about what it means to be a shark!  We're researching their natural habitats and some of their coolest features.

Be sure to ask your student what they're learning in library!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Knee Deep!

It's almost the end of September in the Schumacher LMC and we are knee deep into so many different projects!  Here's a quick recap of what each grade level is working on this month.

Our Kindergarten friends are busy learning so many different things!  We have practiced using shelf markers to help us choose library books off the shelf and we're starting to really get the hang of it!  We have also been exploring the very basic elements of computer programming so that next week we can begin using our brand new ROBOTS! We are so excited to have access to a class set of Blue Bots thanks to the Liberty School District Foundation.  We are so lucky! I can't wait until we can share some photos of kids programming robots.  It's going to be amazing!

First Grade
First graders have already begun programming our Blue Bots and they are LOVING it.  It's not always easy to get a robot to follow our directions, but we're building up our stamina and perseverance.  We're learning that problems with our coding are called "bugs" and that when we work on fixing those problems, we're actually "debugging."  Try using these terms at home!

Second Grade
Second graders have been using their powerful research skills to find out lots of information about insect and spider body parts.  It's so fun to watch kids get excited about what they read.  Even though bugs can be gross in person, kids love finding out all of their super powers while reading in books and on our iPads.  Soon, we'll be choosing our favorite bug body parts to combine into our very own SUPER bugs.  The most exciting part will be when we take our new ideas into Shark Studio to build real life examples.  Watch out world!

Third Grade
All year long in third grade we focus on the power of inventors and inventions.  Right now, each student has chosen a famous inventor and we used a group questioning protocol to ask really great questions about our inventor.  Soon, we'll be heading into the MakerSpace to begin building some artifacts and we'll have our own live inventor museum.  It will be so fun to dress as our inventors and share what we've learned!

Fourth Grade
Fourth grade students have been digging deep into Natural Disasters.  Currently, students are researching different disasters and soon, we'll be headed into Shark Studio to build models of our disasters that we can use in a stop-motion movie!  Combining high-interest research with fun experiences in our MakerSpace and with technology is what library is all about!

Fifth Grade
Fifth grade library students are putting their problem-solving skills to the test.  We've learned a little bit about famous cartoonist Rube Goldberg and now we're hard at work as a class trying to build our very own Monster Traps.  Rube Goldberg machines are a series of complicated chain reactions that accomplish a simple task.  They're challenging to make, but so fun to watch!  We're working with low-tech chain reactions this quarter, but we'll revisit our Rube Goldberg machine at the end of the year when we have some robots in our arsenal and see how complicated we can make things!