Sunday, December 18, 2016

Friday, December 2, 2016

So this happened...

AS many of you know, we have a Makerspace in our primary school library. We have been fortunate to have amazing support, financial and otherwise, from our administration and from the truly fabulous Medfield Coalition for Public Education (MCPE) who has funded Makerspaces in four of our schools.

One of the favorite items in our Makerspace are the Picassa Tiles, which are magnet tiles. Students come up with such creative ideas and work collaboratively to see their ideas come to life.

On Tuesday, a kindergartener built a tall tower - taller than himself! I told him he could leave it when the class left the library. Well, this tower caught the attention of almost everyone who walked by the library. Many (kids and adults) came in to see it up close.

Here is what happened the next day:

We have six scheduled classes each Wednesday. Of course, each group of new students were wowed by the structure. During Makerspace time, kids in each of the six classes added to and changed the tower. Amazingly, it didn't get knocked down.

Thursday we had four scheduled classes and the very same thing happened. The kids had so much fun thinking of ways to change and improve the tower.

Take a look a what happened to one tower over the course of three days and eleven classes!

Here's Neal Sonnenberg, Medfield HS Technology Integration Specialist, making his mark on the tower!

The structure is still standing, day four. Can't wait to see what happens with it next week....:-)

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Our Storybook Pumpkin Patch and a Few Creepy Carrots Too!

Here is this year's Storybook Pumpkin Patch Video - our kids did a GREAT job and had so much fun watching the patch grow. Enjoy!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Creepy Carrots!

In honor of Halloween, we had a lot of fun with the Caldecott award book, Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown. 

As a choice in our Makerspace after book check-out, students had an opportunity to make their own creepy carrots! Some students chose to take their creations home while others allowed me to hang theirs up on our Wall of Awesome bulletin board.

The kids had so much fun! They did a great job, don't you think??

Sunday, October 16, 2016

It's OK To Make Mistakes

Have you ever made a mistake? This is a question we explored during library classes recently. 

First, students had a chance to talk about mistakes they have made when we did a Turn and Talk. As you can see, they had a LOT to talk about!

Then I introduced them to the book, It's OK To Make Mistakes written and illustrated by the fabulous Todd Parr.

We had a chance to "meet" Todd Parr and listen to him read this book.

From KidLit TV 
Lots of mistakes are made in this story. There's an "Uh-Oh" on every page! But as the characters learn, it really is OK to make mistakes, it's how we learn. Mess-ups, accidents and mistakes, they happen to all of us no matter how old we are. 

We finished our lesson by following step-by-step directions on how to draw Todd from Todd Parr's website.






I love this message of It's OK To Make Mistakes for so many reasons. But I especially love having this "uh-oh's happen" mindset in our Makerspace and in all areas of our lives where we're learning, taking chances, making guesses, experimenting and then learning from our own "Uh-Oh's."

Todd Parr ends his books with these words: "Love, Todd." I will end this post the same way:

Love, Randie ;-)

PS  Photo cred to Dorothy Redding

Sunday, October 2, 2016

International Dot Day 2016

International Dot Day is a BIG deal! This is our fourth year celebrating at Memorial School and each year it seems to be more fun with more school-wide participation. Our art teachers, Joe Knaus and Tracy Babin, read the book, The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds to all their classes and each student created their own dots. Some kids made "buddy dots" where each half of a circle was made by a different person and then put together to make a whole dot. Staff created dots and hung them outside their rooms. We read Ish which is the sequel to The Dot during library classes. These are both the kind of books you can read over and over again. Our young students relate to the characters and feel empathy for them. We had some great discussions about the stories and did a bunch of follow-up activities in the library. Our very first school spirit day was Dot Day where most students and staff wore dots or at least had a dot sticker. It was so much fun being dotty all day long ;-)

To see a quick glimpse of how Memorial School celebrated Dot Day, click on the (under two minute) video below. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Saturday, June 11, 2016

We Had A Little Makerspace Exploration For.... Staff!

We were fortunate this year to have been awarded funding for our Makerspace from the Medfield Coalition for Public Education (MCPE). This amazing organization supports the Medfield Public Schools and encourages innovative thinking and programs. Lucky for us, our grant, Makerspace Memorial Style, was approved!

We've added lots more legos, K'Nex, Picassa Tiles, Wooden Castle Blocks, arts and crafts supplies, books that inspire making, robots, Hokki Stools and more. Our young students have been loving the new additions and it's been a joy to watch them plan, do, create, work collaboratively, think about how it can be improved and be proud of their work. We have a Makerspace Museum where kids can save and share their creations.
Close-up from the Makerspace Museum
But we wanted to do more. Our principal, Dr. Missy Bilsborough, and I planned a Makerspace Exploration for staff which took place during a scheduled staff meeting one day after school. Our goal was to introduce the whole idea of what a Makerspace is and to give everyone an opportunity to do, make and learn.

The staff was divided into three teams which cycled through the three activities (table-top manipulatives, KIBO robots and BeeBots, also robots. All of the items used were from the grant (yes, HUGE thanks to our MCPE!)

Here are some pics from the afternoon:

KIBO Robots



 As you can see, there  was lots of learning, exploring and fun. Now when staff walks by or come into our library they have first hand knowledge about what the kids are doing and that they're doing more than just playing.

This image by Sylvia Duckworth shows the mindset of a makerspace. Our students are into it, are you?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The One Where We Say Thank You

All of the books in the Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems are pretty much the most popular books in our library. It is a rare occasion that we have any on our shelves and we have multiple copies of all of them. Most of the time they get snatched off our shelving cart! At the moment, I Am Going is our #1 book to be checked out (that's for the whole library!).

When I read that Mo Willems had written the 25th and final book in this series, I knew I had to pre-order a copy. The Thank You Book had it's book birthday (otherwise known as the day the book is introduced to the world) on May 3, 2016. I felt very lucky to get a copy that day - it was a celebration after all!

I shared the book with all of the K-1 kids at Memorial School and I can tell you I never got tired of reading it, even though I read it aloud 16 times! We all LOVED the book. What a brilliant way for Mo Willems to end this beloved series.

Students and I talked about what we loved about these characters and the stories. We took a look at the special post Mo Willems wrote to celebrate this final book. Mo has declared the month of May as Thank-O-Rama Month. He, along with Gerald and Piggie are thanking all of their readers and they are taking this thanking very seriously. One of the ways Mo is saying thank you is by teaching us how to draw Piggie. Hope you enjoy the following pics from a few of my classes:

Learning how to draw Piggie by watching Mo Willems via video

Mo is a great teacher!

He taught us how to make a "moval"

Mo said we weren't done until we signed our names

Proud and happy kids

Saying thank you to Mo

After drawing our piggies, we all thought about who we wanted to say thank you to, afterall, it's Thank-O-Rama Month!

Dear Mo Willems,

Thank you for writing 25 Elephant and Piggie books. We love them.
Love from, Memorial School