Did you know there are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 (43 quintillion) ways to scramble a Rubik’s Cube? This best selling toy of all time was invented in 1974 by Erno Rubik. He wanted a working model to help explain three-dimensional geometry. It took him one month before he was able to solve the Cube for himself.
According to Brandon Lin, expert at Rubik's, you don't need to be a genius to solve these puzzles. The skills you do need are as follows:
First year ETS/media assistant at Tyro Elementary, Hawshen Flinchum, has started a Rubik's Cube Club. Currently, the club is offered for 4th and 5th grade students on Mondays and Fridays during their Recess time from 2:00-2:20.
Flinchum has created a Google Slide presentation as well as handouts with the algorithms for students to learn.
If you need a club idea, this has gotten the students excited!!!
Beverly Cleary, author of the Ramona series among other favorites, was born on April 12. In conjunction with School Library Month, www.dropeverythingandread.com is promoting a day to "just read". Since April 12th fell during our spring break, some elementary schools chose to celebrate another day.
Students at Tyro Elementary celebrated DEAR day on Monday, April 17th. The theme was "For Peeps Sake, Drop Everything And Read!" Each student received a Peep bookmark and enjoyed Peep marshmallow treats. See below for a pdf of the bookmarks.
Dianne Wright is highlighting Beverly Cleary on the morning news programs at Friendship and has invited guests to come and read excerpts from their favorite Cleary titles. I got to share my favorite, Henry Huggins, today with kindergarten!
You can celebrate D.E.A.R. day anytime and adopt any theme. If you have celebrated DEAR day or School Library Month, comment below. We would love to feature your school library in the next blog.
Grades 3, 4 and 5 at Denton Elementary attended programs in the library media center today featuring Michael P. White, children's book illustrator, from Atlanta, GA. Mr. White earned his degree in graphic design from the Art Institute of Atlanta nearly 3 decades ago and became a children's book author quite by accident! He had his artwork on display at a large festival when a famous author bent down to retrieve a lost earring that had rolled into his booth. When she stood up she fell in love with his work and asked him if he ever thought about illustrating children's books.
Mr. White talked about his evolution as an artist and all about the process of illustrating books. Students helped to brainstorm ideas and were encouraged to follow along and learn to draw like Michael with this highly-engaging and entertaining program.
Mr. White said he was "born to draw", having drawn nearly every day since he could remember. Now, he draws 8 hours a day 6 days a week! He's completed over 30,000 pieces of artwork and draws 500 different images for a single book. Only 32 of those images make it into a picture book, and the process takes several years.
Mr. White left behind the artwork he created during the event for students in the school to enjoy. He encouraged students to have an open mind when drawing, to keep practicing, and told them to always sign their work! This was definitely an experience that those students will remember.
Teen Tech Week is one of the most successful programing events that we hold at East Davidson High School. Teen Tech Week is a week for the Libraries to spotlight digital resources and services that are available to teens. Typically at East we schedule a whole weeks worth of activities and this year was no different. The theme this year was “Be the Source of Change” so we spotlighted resources that students could use to get engaged in learning! Here was our schedule of events for the week:
All of our activities were scheduled during lunches, so the Media Staff set up tables each day outside the cafeteria so that students coming to, during and leaving lunch could participate. We found that by taking the activities to the cafeteria we typically have more interaction with students.
Monday was Take a Trip Monday. Students were able to stop by the Green Screen and take pictures with props and different backgrounds. This is always a popular activities that we use with many classes so the students are familiar with how it works. Since this is becoming such a popular activity we have students and teachers come to us with fun ideas. Like can you put me on the boat in the movie “Jaws?”
Tuesday was Stop Motion Tuesday. Students had the opportunity to create their own stop motion videos using iMotion and Stikbot Studio. This is always a fun day because we sit out the iPads and a random collection of items and let the students’ imagination roll. Some of their favorite items to use to create are old Scrabble pieces and legos.
Wednesday was Virtual Reality Wednesday and this is a student favorite. We set up tables with various VR activities. We have iPad apps like Discovery VR, YouTube 360, a VR Roller Coaster App and the Quiver App. The Google Cardboard Headsets and VR ViewMaster VR Headsets with ViewMaster targets are always fun for students to try out. Students and Teachers are always excited about the Nintendo Virtual Boy that I bring from home to share with them how VR isn’t a new concept and that there were VR headsets and game consoles even in the 1990s. This is always a busy day for us.
Thursday was Low Tech Thursday where we share with students low tech resources and activities like legos, k’nex and other building resources. It is fun to see how into building some of our students get. They get serious about their creations and will check back to make sure that another lunch hasn’t dismantled their creations.
Friday was by far our most popular day with our Flashback Friday: Game Edition. We bring out a variety of gaming activities, from old Sega Genesis Games to the Nintendo Virtual Boy to Mrs. Pacman and Wii games. There are handheld game systems like original Gameboys which the students are amazed are still working to Nintendo DS and even a Computron that still plays games. The Media Staff has found that this particular day we know that we will be slammed and end up spreading many of these games out down the hall to accommodate the students and teachers that come out to participate.
Do you need some ideas about how to go "all out" for book fair? Then be sure to consult @dcsnc's own personal Pinterest board, Shanna Leonard, this spring or next fall when you are planning your event. Her ideas are simple to recreate and build tremendous enthusiasm for book fairs at Tyro Elementary. Thanks, Shanna, for sharing your ideas and pics! Do you have more ideas to share? Be sure to comment below or submit ideas and pics for a blog post.
We decorated the entrance of the Book Fair like a camp site with a tent, campfire, and picnic table. We had " I'm a Happy Camper" t-shirts made to wear during the Book Fair Preview Party and for our Parent Night.
During the Teacher Preview Party, teachers completed Wish Lists as we served Camping Snacks such as Fishing Supplies (gummi worms), Bear Claws (fudge rounds), Smore Trail Mix (mini marshmallows, Golden Grahams cereal, and mini chocolate chips), Bear Poop (Whoppers candy), and Spring Water (mini water bottles).
We hosted our First Annual Unusual Reading Spot Contest. The students were asked to take a picture of themselves reading in an unusual place with a matching book. Pictures were posted in the hallway and judged by local Photographer Mike Rowe and his wife Martha Rowe who is a retired teacher. One grade level winner was chosen and awarded $10.00 in Scholastic Bucks to spend at the Book Fair. We were amazed at the entries. Examples of the entries included: a student reading Cinderella at Cinderella's Castle, a student reading Charlotte's Web in a barn with a live pig, and a student reading Who Was Daniel Boone at Boone's Cave. The contest was a great way to get the students excited about the book fair.
All seven middle schools in @dcsnc came together today to compete in the annual Battle of the Books competition. Each school competed 6 times, going head to head with other teams answering questions from a list of 25 book titles, for a total of 21 rounds.
Never before has the competition been this fierce! Judges and scorekeepers checked and tabulated numbers numerous times before announcing this year's winners. Three teams tied for third place, each scoring a healthy 91 points: Ledford, Tyro and Brown Middle. Last year's winner, Oak Grove Middle, came in a close second with Central Middle School taking first place.
Coach Jennifer Jackson will accompany her team of Spartans to the Region 5 competition in Winston-Salem on April 4th where they will compete with teams from 15 other school districts. The winner from that competition will go on the the state level event.
All readers are leaders, but just like any sport, winning takes practice, dedication and perseverance. One CDMS student was so thrilled with the victory that he had to share his BOB story:
A very special thanks to Central Middle staff and Principal Sloan Denny for accommodating the competition today.
For a glimpse of today's events, please see the video below:
Although this is only her first year as library media coordinator at South Davidson, Mary Howell is a Wildcat through and through. As a graduate and veteran teacher of South, Mrs. Howell's passion for the school and community really shines through.
Lots of changes have been made since Mrs. Howell's move to the school library. One change is the new Makerspace where students can tinker and create. Just recently, 7th grade teacher, Kayla Craft, utilized the Makerspace as an extension of a poetry lesson.
Mrs. Craft shares a little about her project: "This was a brain child of Mrs. Morris and me. The students were really getting into poetry and I wanted to do a spoken word poem. Mrs. Morris helped me find Prince Ea and I found "Can We Autocorrect Humanity?" The kids loved it and I wanted them to create a response to the poem. I gave them the following instructions, "Create an appropriate response to the poem." The kids were confused at first, but they knew I had high expectations. The result is what you see!"
In February a group of students at NDMS had the opportunity to Skype with author Sundee Tucker Frazier from her home in Seattle, Washington. Mrs. Frazier was extremely friendly to the students, and they loved listening to her stories and asking her questions. She has written several children’s books, but her most well-known is The Other Half of My Heart, which has been on the middle school Battle of the Books list in years past. It was a great experience, and I would love to do it again!
How I found the author:
After hearing several presenters at NCSLMA talk about their positive experiences with Skype events, I wanted to give it a try. I searched the Microsoft Educator Community for authors who do Skype visits for schools. https://education.microsoft.com/skype-in-the-classroom/find-guest-speakers
I was hoping for someone whose book we already had in the media center and someone who would Skype for free or a minimal charge. When I found Sundee Frazier, I sent her a request through the Microsoft Educator Community. I knew we had several copies of her book because it had been on BOB, plus the book has a North Carolina connection - it was perfect! The book is a sweet story about identity and the bond between sisters. She emailed me back and we set up our day/time. She agreed to do a 30 minute Q&A chat for free!
How I picked the participating students:
I sent information to all of the ELA teachers and asked them to share with their students. I required that students read The Other Half of My Heart in advance (this was also a request from the author). I set up a waiting list. As soon as one student returned a copy of the book, I let the next student in line know that it was available. There were interested students who were not able to check out a copy in our time frame; however, I did tell them when they added their names to the waiting list that they could always buy their own copy of check one out from the public library.
How we prepared:
When students checked out their copy of the book, I asked them to think of some questions they had along the way. We met a couple of days before the Skype so that we could talk about the book and plan out which questions we wanted to ask. After our planning meeting I created an agenda for us to follow so that every student had the opportunity to ask at least one question. I did tell them to be active listeners - if their question was answered earlier in the conversation, they should ask another question so there was no repetition. They did a wonderful job coming up with questions in advance and on the spot.
I found that the Skype app on my Dell laptop did not work well with Zscaler. Using Skype online with Internet Explorer worked perfectly! Our ITF Jill Elberson did a couple of “test runs” with me to make sure I could connect to her and the sound/audio worked well. We did one of these test runs with our student group so they could see what it would look like to Skype with someone! Mrs. Frazier and I were not able to connect ahead of our scheduled Skype to do a test run, but that would have been a great idea.
What I will do differently next time:
Next time, I will meet with the students an additional time or two beforehand so we can spent more time chatting about the book. It would also have been helpful for the students to have visited Mrs. Frazier’s website in advance because some of their questions were answered there. I wish more interested students had been able to read the book before our deadline. Maybe next time I will try to tie an author Skype with a book that is available as a multi-user eBook or one that we have in our building as a class set (or that we could borrow from another school). Google Hangouts is another option for virtual guest speakers that I would like to try.
If you have used Skype in your media center to connect with authors or other experts, I would love to learn from your experiences!
Thanks to Marley Knapp, ITF, for all of this great information about BreakoutEDU!
BreakoutEDU is a game based concept where students solve a series of problems and puzzles to determine the clues which unlock the box containing the final piece of the puzzle. The problems and puzzles can take on any form from a mix of coded messages to curricular problems and activities. The clues come from answers to the problems and could be a numbered combination, a word, a series of directions, etc. and all of those clues unlock different types of locks. Students work together in small teams to complete the activities and solve the problems.
The Breakout games are great for blending 21st Century Skills with curricular lessons for students. Critical thinking, collaboration and teamwork, communication, creativity, organization and perseverance are proven factors in a better understanding and a greater retention of content. It’s a great way to explore and strengthen content knowledge with students.
BreakoutEDU is sweeping the nation AND Davidson County!
Davidson County elementary AIG Teachers have been planning and delivering some exciting things in the classroom. The AIG teachers have been working with the Elementary ITFs to set up and deliver lessons from BreakoutEDU that allow their students to study math and language arts as they "Break Out of the Box".
Some of the exciting games that have been delivered here in DCS so far are “The Bad Case of Stripes” with Christa Halsey’s 5th grade students using the Book by David Shannon and a variety of activities and puzzles about Context Clues to break out of the box and find out Ms. Halsey’s final clue. Nina Allen adjusted the “Breakout of the Meeting” Game with her students which was a great game for enhancing critical thinking skills perseverance and collaboration.
Christa Halsey, Angela Stanley and Dolly Fields all wrapped up the semester before the holidays with 4th and 5th grade students completing the “Reindeer Games” which was a fun exciting holiday game to build teamwork and organizational skills.
There are some fun breakout games being planned for the spring semester. Jessica Callaci is developing a game with activities and problems on decimals and fractions and Angela Stanley and Dolly Fields plan to have the students create games for each other’s class where the final clue in the box is necessary for the other class to finish their game. They will get together and complete the game via Google Hangout so they can collaborate with each other from across the county.
The Elementary ITFs have also been working with teachers on Digital Breakouts. BreakoutEDU also has a digital section where the games are all completed on a website page. This is a great way to get started with breakout games. Students can use the chromebooks and group up in pairs or teams of three and collaborate to complete the games and get an idea of how codes and puzzles render the combinations for the different locks. For more information on the BreakoutEDU idea visit their website http://breakoutedu.com/digital
How can I try it?
Reach out to your Instructional Technology Facilitator. Each ITF has been given a full BreakoutEDU kit and can assist you or your teachers to bring this new, engaging method of team building and problem solving to your school library or classroom.
The BreakoutEDU website has many pre-created game ideas that have been shared by teachers. They are searchable by grade level and content area and are designed to go with the locks and boxes in the Breakout Kit. Teachers can use the exact lesson shared, adjust it to meet their needs and lock types, or simply create a game with a series of activities/puzzles on their own. The Breakout website offers a kit for purchase with all of the boxes and locks necessary to complete the games, or teachers can obtain these materials from other sources to collect all the items needed. For more information on the BreakoutEDU idea visit their website http://breakoutedu.com
Shanna Leonard teamed up with ITF Libby Ferrell to create stations to celebrate Computer Science Education Week. If you missed #CSEd, you can recreate something similar any time of year. Here is the lesson plan:
First Grade/Second Grade Media Center Lesson Plan
Date: week of December 5-9
Definition of The Hour of Code: The Hour of Code is a global movement by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries through a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming. The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. The 2016 Computer Science Education Week will be December 5-11, but you can host an Hour of Code all year round.
Video: What is coding? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKhVupvyhKk
Hour of Code Activity Stations
3 Ozobots (Libby will bring 2) TES has 1
Red, black, blue, green markers
Ozobot Code Reference Sheet
Osmo Coding Kit: TES has 1 (Libby will bring 1)
Green Screen Kit
1 copy of Green Screen App Activity Sheet for each student
Green Screen App Activity Sheet
iPads: 3-4 ipads (2 for Osmo), 1 (or 2) iPad(s) for Green Screen
Background photos for Green Screen on individual iPads
Divide class into 3 groups
Station 1: Ozobot
Ozobot Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xFjTXQ8uho
Ozobot is a tiny robot that we use lines, colors, and patterns to program or code. We are needing to practice drawing thick, connected lines, using different colors.
Task: Ozbot is new at Tyro Elementary School. Using the markers, make a map with three different places in the school. Draw thick lines and make sure they are connected.
Station 2: Osmo
Students will use coding pieces and Tangram/Number pieces to code using the Osmo app while working in small groups.
Station 3: Green Screen
Students will create a video, using the scenario: “Pretend you and your classmates created an app to help other students at your school learn. What is the app called? What does it do? How much does the app cost?”
Students will complete the Green Screen App Activity Sheet.
I can define coding and hour of code.
I can code using Ozobot and Osmo.
I can work with classmates to design an educational app.
North Carolina Information and Technology Essential Standards:
National Education Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S)
Profile for Technology Literate Students PK-2
Welcome to the official blog just for DCS library media programs. Enjoy new posts from one of our many contributors and follow along to see the amazing things happening in Davidson County school libraries.