Wednesday, October 4, 2017

"Unplugged" Programming

This week we are working on programming in library.  We are defining the word algorithm (a set of instructions to solve a problem or complete a task) and program (an algorithm written/coded so a computer can read it).  

Second and third graders are playing a game where one person is the programmer/controller and uses a "program" (series of hand signals) to guide their "computer" (the other player) to the finish.  

Four and fifth graders are writing their own "unplugged" programs to guide their partners Automatic Realization Machine (A.R.M.) to complete the pattern.   

We will continue these activities this month, eventually moving to online programming using and/or Scratch programming.   

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Art / Library Collaboration: Shelf Markers

All grades are working diligently in art class, creating shelf markers to be used in library.  They are learning about patterns and design in art, while also creating a tool that (hopefully) they will be able to use for many years in the library.  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Battle of the Books

I am very excited to start a Battle of the Books program at Dothan Brook School.  I have seen a lot of ideas kicking around on the Internet and it took me a year to wrap my brain around it, but now I've got it and the kids are getting excited! 

We are going to do four rounds, elimination style.  Fourth and fifth graders will be working in pairs to convince the rest of their class that the book they chose is the best!  They are trying to convince the rest of the kids to read their chosen book. 

Round one, with everyone participating, will be to create a poster in art class that represents their book.  Posters will be displayed in pairs in the library and their classmates will vote on which ones make them want to read the book the most.  Winners will move on to round two.

Round two is to do a dramatic reading in front of their class, round three is to act out a scene from the book, and round four is to create a technology project. 

I have mentioned to the project to the kids a few times in the past few weeks, but gotten lukewarm response.  This week the kids are picking their books and the excitement is definitely building!  Fifth graders have picked their books and fourth will be picking later this week. 

Check out this silly intro I created using PowToons.  I've been showing each class at library time. 

This is a learning experience for all of us, but I hope everyone has fun!  

School busy

Oh my goodness, we are now a full month into school and I haven't updated this blog.  I started an Instagram account that does get more regular updates.  You can follow @dbslibrary for pictures. 

We have a lot going in the library!

We are reading.

Watching book trailers.

Doing magic.

Building amazing buildings.

Learning how to use the OPAC (online public access catalog)

Building tall towers.

And more building.  Those Keva Planks get a lot of use in the library!

Third, fourth, and fifth graders reviewed the Hartford Acceptable Use of Technology Policy and signed their names, agreeing to be Caring, Safe, and Responsible with school technology.  Grades 2-5 have been learning how to use the OPAC (online public access catalog) to find books they want.  PreK-1 have been learning the ways of the library, how to take care of a library books, and what the stuffies like to do (hint: snuggle and listen to stories!)  We have lots more coming up.  Reading, book awards, programming, readers advisory, robotics, Legos, and of course Keva Planks!  Oh, and reading!  :) 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Back to school!

School started this week and we have all been busy! I rearranged the library and added some decorations, which the kids have enjoyed finding. The fish had babies just in time to entertain the students (and make them ask questions about survival rates!)  It has been a great first week, with one more day to go!  I'm so happy to be at Dothan Brook School again this year and to see so many happy, smiling faces returning.

Welcome back!  Where will READING take YOU this year?

I moved the Dorothy Canfield Fisher book display this year. The more flexible locations allows for taller books and more kids to browse at the same time.  It's also a little more prominent and, hopefully, easier for the kids to find.  We will be doing a fun Battle of the Books with these books this year, so I'd love to get as many fourth and fifth graders as possible reading them.

Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Awards display

Fourth and fifth graders are starting the library year off with a QR code scavenger hunt.  They had to find 24 locations around the library, scan the QR code to find out the word for that location, then put the words in order to get a quote.  It's a fun activity with a Harry Potter quote at the end, but unfortunately the quote was a little above most of their heads.  They enjoyed the search though!  Next time I'll make my own version and use a different quote.  :)

Technology AND freedom to roam the library?!  Score!!  

This year the students and teachers have all been divided into five "houses," indicated by color.  I'm in the Blue house.  At our first school-wide assembly on Tuesday all of the kids learned what house they are in and then we did some fun activities with our houses.

Fifth graders finding their "house" assignments.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Scholastic Book Fair

After many student requests last year, the book fair will be coming back to Dothan Brook School!! The fair will be at school from Monday, October 30th through Friday, November 3rd, and open during parent/teacher conferences on November 2nd and 3rd. Students will have a chance to visit the book fair with their classes during that week and notices will be sent home with students closer to the time so you know exactly when they will be going. The book fair will also be open before school on Tuesday, October 31st for parents dropping off kids in the morning. Stop by and see what's new! Check out the Scholastic Book Fair web page for more information! Any questions? Let me know!

Friday, August 11, 2017

It's almost time for school!

Where did summer vacation go?! It feels like we went from "Last Day Love" to "Back to school" in a heartbeat! I'm excited to see everyone again though. We have some fun changes in the library this year. New seating, new books, and new activities. The 4th and 5th graders will be doing a "Battle of the Books" using the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award books. I hope everyone has fun with it. We will also be getting some Sphero robots in the library (for keeps, not just one loan!) and all of the grades will have some interactions with them. They are a lot of fun and a great way to get hands-on programming experience. We will be learning about digital citizenship, digital leadership, literacy, and robotics. We will read and play and learn and have fun! I can't wait.

You may have noticed an Instagram feed down the side of this page. I wanted to update the blog more frequently last year, but found it a bit complicated for quick updates. For this year I'll be posting photos regularly on Instagram and updating the blog with more detailed information every couple of days (or weeks...). Please take a minute to follow @dbslibrary on Instagram.

I can't wait to see all the kiddos again on August 29th! Enjoy the remaining days of summer.