"A Swisstastic Journey of Me and My Students"

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Hour of Code has hit Summit!

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     At Summit December means the Hour of Code.  All grades 1-6 will participate in the the Hour of Code.  We are learning about words like ALGORITHM, DECOMPOSE, ABSTRACTION, and PATTERN MATCHING.  We will be using these words to create projects that have coding during the next month.  Today grades 2-3 practiced making algorithms on making a paper airplane.  Next week we will test these out to see how well their algorithm work.  This is our first UNPLUGGED coding activity to get us in the CODING mindset.  

             Here is a pic of students creating their algorithms.  

If you can overlook the silly tongue and notice the problem solving strategy they implemented.  They needed to build the airplane in order to create the steps.  This wasn't part of the directions.  They problem-solved to make their job easier.  One of the many skills they learn from CODING.  Stay tuned to see if the results we effective next week as we fly our planes.  

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Public Library Visits Kindergarten in the Media Center

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Kindergarteners all received a public library card this week from Ms. Kitchen, the Anderson Children's Public Librarian Assistant.  

This is an incentive program from the state of Ohio in which all libraries can partner with schools to issue a card to all kindergarten students.  This is a special card that doesn't charge fees and allows children to check out up to 8 books.    

It is amazing how many children in today's world still don't visit the public library.  Maybe I am a little bias but it is such an amazing place with so much too offer.  From books, to various types of media, to makerspace events, to helping with technology issues, and so much more.  Kids need to be taught what a special place this is and how it can help them locate and analyze information.

November ....we are thankful for__________________.

November is over but our learning continues in the Summit Media Center.  Here is a look at a few activities that we just completed in the Media Center.  

First Graders are THANKFUL for many things.  We read Image result for thanksgiving book about a mouse and too much food for thanksgiving

  and then students created the traditional hand prints in which they wrote something they were thankful for.  We added these to a Thankful Tree in our hall.  Some of the things they were thankful for were:


Thursday, November 10, 2016


So this year our school is holding weekly PLC (Personal Learning Committee)meetings in which various grade levels meet to plan intervention and enrichment activities.  For me this means that I see an extra class or two each week.  The art teacher and myself have decided to partner up in lessons on these days.  I typically read a book to the students, integrate some technology piece if applicable, and then they rotate to art to create a visual piece that reflects some topic from the book.  

Here was the month of October's lesson.
FIRST and SECOND grade students listened to the fun, fun, and more fun book There was an Old Lady Who was Not Afraid of Anything.  

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I started this lesson by showing this video from YouTube that reads/sings the book.  I stopped it before it told the ending and then I physcially read the book to the students.  We then watch the rest of the video.  Student loved learning about on·o·mat·o·poe·ias and acting them out as we read this book.

Students then rotated to art and made these amazing pumpkins.  

Author J Scott Savage visits Summit

I LOVE author visits.  Any time I get an opportunity to host an author visit I try to make it happen. Nothing excites a student more than hearing an author speak of their life as an author and the books they create. Thanks to the Blue Manatee book store for providing this opportunity.

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Students were talking about his visit for many weeks.  They are still waiting to check out his books from the Media Center.

The word is BUZZ in the Media Center before and after school

Media/Tech Tuesdays and Thursdays

Each Tuesday and Thursday morning we have our Tech/Media crew come into the Media Center to explore whatever it is that their hearts desire as long as it is related to media or tech in some way.  I sit back and watch and it is amazing what these kids create and learn by experimenting.  I wish there was more time for this during our day.  Here is what is happening on some of these cool fall days.

The boys are experimenting with the LittleBits.  They have learned how to create vibrations and music sounds so far.  They are wanting to build a car next.  

Samantha working on keyboarding.

      I also have one student who manages our Public Relation slideshow that we run during lunches so he has to make sure the information is up-to-date and ready to show.  The information he is responsible for is news, birthdays, school closings, etc.  He must also make sure the slideshow if visually appealing to students.  

For those of you wanting to know how to organize LittleBits so your students can be independent when placing items back here is a pic of how I did it.  You can get the images of the parts from the LittleBits website.

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So every afternoon we have a crew come in and do our morning announcements for the next day.  We call them WSUM.  They are responsonsible for reporting the daily weather, birthdays, lunch menu, fun fact, and any school news we my have.  I have the fortunate experience of leading 15 great kids on this journey.  This year marked a few changes- one of which involved using the Green Screen to film.  We are loving it!   Take a look at one of our WSUM videos (this one was a little long because we had book talkers for the upcoming book fair)!


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Week 6 in the Media Center with FIRST and SECOND graders

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Global Read Aloud

Today we completed week 4 of our Global Read Aloud.  We have loved studying Lauren Castillo's books.  We have completed lots of projects and have collaborated with many people.  Look at this snapshot of our GRA experiences.

Image result for nana in the city Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo
After reading this book we added our thoughts to a Padlet in response to the question "If I had a red cape to make me brave I could face....." We collaborated with a school in Massachusetts on this.  Here is a look at our responses:

One of my classes used the Green Screen to record what they could face if they had a brave cape.  Here is our final video.

Mrs. Dunning's class collaborated with a school in Elgrin, Illinois.  We made postcards of landmarks and items that represent Cincinnati.  Students were matched up with kids at our partnering school and we drew pictures of these items and then wrote a quick message or question to our partner.  Students were so excited to read their partner's cards.  We will continue to collaborate with them this year. 
 Here were our post cards waiting to be mailed out.
This is where they were going...

We also made collaborative cities, which are displayed in the hall.  My 1st and 2nd graders added to the cities all week long.

The next book we read was 

 The Troublemaker by Lauren Castillo.  

 We collaborated with Wilson Elementary, another school in our district, by playing a Kahoot.  It took me and the other Media Specialist, Mrs. Garber, some time to get the kinks worked out but we hung in there and figured it out.  We realized that only one of us could start the Kahoot game.  We used Google Hangouts for our students to view each other and then Mrs. Garber shared her screen with us so we could all see the same questions.  The students loved this!!!

We worked with other schools to share our favorite place to read and what book is our favorite.  We used Padlet to share these thoughts.  My second grade students learned how to save a picture from Google Images and upload it to Padlet.  This was a huge task for them but we loved the way it looked.  

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Why Libraries MATTER!!

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A.J. Juliani, a well respected educator, that I follow closely, just posted this article on why LIBRARIES matter.  I loved it and had to share it on my blog.  He stated exactly what I feel and touched on some of the things I struggle with in my position.  

OVERALL, the main point is LIBRARIES matter.  There is a strong correlation in our NATION'S literacy rates and the number of schools with CERTIFIED librarians on staff.  

This validates why I do what I do.  LOVE how libraries CAN take kids AWAY from their problems and noise of their lives for a little while.  THEY GET TO BE KIDS!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My Media Center Makeover!!!

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Sorry for the late update on how my Media Center is being made into a new space.  It has been a work in progress.....


 I am trying to make my blog a bit more modern feeling this year.   As my Media Center is drastically changing with the movement of Makerspace I feel I need to revise my mission a bit.  As I was exploring other blogs and websites I came across this mission statement from Colleen Graves, Librarian/Maker at Ryan Library.  Her mission statement was exactly what I have been wanting and striving for.  Here it is:

The main goal of my library makerspace is to support and promote literacy. Those literacies include traditional literacies like reading, writing, and research. But also include supporting students in digital literacy, coding literacy, and invention literacy.  However, our main goal is still to get kids to love books and reading. I see the makerspace as an extension of that.

I love this quote about libraries and Makerspaces:

Making is crucial for happiness, health, and mind expansion. By providing maker spaces, librarians can empower people and communities. By helping patrons dig in and get immersed, by providing projects as well as books, librarians boost moods as well as minds. As Willa Cather wrote, “That is happiness, to be absorbed in something complete and great.”  (Carrie Barron, MD and Alton Barron, MD are co-authors of The Creativity Cure: How to Build Happiness with Your Own Two Hands).  

We are a work in progress.  My Media Center underwent some major changes this summer.  Some of which I knew were happening and some of which I didn't.  When my principal called me a week and a half before school started and said "the shelves didn't get ordered" I freaked out.  I immediately went in and this is what I saw:Now don't get me wrong the Maker tables are great but I lost lots of shelves because of them.  I had a new wall that I still am not sure what the purpose is, and I have lost lots of shelving space due to a much larger air conditioner and heater unit.  I immediately went into survival mode.  What would I need to do in the next five days to make this place ready for kids? 

Didn't know I was getting this maker tables...sort of like them...but stressing because I lost some shelving space.
Can this be ready in a week?

My sink used to be here!

More wall space gone due to larger air conditioner unit.

Selfie with Mrs. Sulfsted (our principal) and myself in our new space.  I am trying to contain my stress!

 We gathered up some old shelving to get us by until the new shelving comes in, which will hopefully be by December.  Here is what things look like as of now.  People say it looks great but it isn't as "welcoming" as I would like with the concrete floors, old shelving, and exposed pipes on the walls.  I know in the end it will be wonderful but it sure has been a challenging start.  

"Our Everybody section"

This is our "comfy" working area.

Our carpet/meeting area

The view from our check-out area

Our Green Screen area (ignore the boxes of nonfiction books hid behind the screen due to not enough shelving....hopefully these will be out soon)

I have created a contest with my 6th graders, since this is their last year in our building, to design a sign for our Makerspace area.  It will be fun to see what they come up with.  

Makerspace items (thanks to my PTA) are ordered!  I am excited and nervous.  I will have lots to learn as my role is changing so much.  I am learning how to code, invent, engineer, create, and the list goes on and on daily with my students.  I never took 3D printing or coding courses in college but here I am learning how to do these things.  I love it but don't get me wrong it scares me to death.  Stayed tuned for our work this year.  My goal is to balance my time between literacy and Makerspace activities while connecting the two anytime that I can.