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