Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Two Ways We Brought Music Into The Library During Lunch

The Lakeside High School Jazz Band performs in the library during lunch
I love trying new things in the library as we approach the end of the school year. Students and teachers are weary of the normal "grind" with end of year activities and testing. I was so glad to get a text message from one of our band directors asking me to check dates in the library for the jazz band to perform during lunch! We jumped at this opportunity to have live music in the library! The jazz band could only perform during our grades 10-12 lunch period, but that was fine. We knew we could come up with something else for the grades 8 and 9 lunch period.

The jazz band performed big band classics along with more modern, popular tunes. Our student patrons certainly enjoyed this change of pace! They also invited me to play a solo with them (I was a band director for 12 years, and I still enjoy playing the saxophone!).

Students have enjoyed "Vintage Vinyl Cafe" for 3 years now!
During the 8th and 9th grade lunch period, we decided to bring back a program we have done many times. We play records for the students during lunch and call the program "Vintage Vinyl Cafe"! I brought an assortment of records including Stan Getz (jazz), Maynard Ferguson (jazz), The Beatles (rock), and Elvis Presley (rock).

We projected the record on a big screen for the turntable spin effect!
During lunch I showed them how records worked on the turntable. I also took a document camera and projected the video of the turntable moving on our big projection screen (so the students could experience the effect of the record spinning). It was a great success! One student even got up and danced like Elvis Presley during the playing of Jailhouse Rock!

I encourage you to reach out to your music groups on campus to arrange for library performances. Many directors will jump at the opportunity to have an extra run through before their spring concerts. I encourage you to think about playing records, too! It is a great way to talk about vintage technology and history in the library! We have also invited community guests to come in and play their records.

If you are looking for other ways to bring music into the library, click here to look at our Holiday Hangout with a school in north Arkansas via Google Hangouts.

Please Subscribe if you are enjoying this blog. Please, put your email address in the box on the right side of the page. You will receive notifications when I post new blog entries!
Contact Us/ Follow Us

Are you on Twitter?
Follow me : @stony12270

Follow our library (LHS_Library): @LHS_Library1

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Our First Makerspace Day In The Library

I was greatly inspired by a TL Virtual Cafe session I attended online a few weeks ago (thanks to the Twitter PD community at #tlchat). After hearing so many great ideas from library media specialists/ teacher librarians from all over the country, I decided to give it a try in our own school library. We have been slowly assembling all the needed pieces to start a Makerspace this year! We had planned to have this program during our two lunch sessions (1st lunch- grades 10-12 and 2nd lunch grades 8 and 9). A last minute schedule change kept us from having the program for grades 10-12 this time.

We decided to have 5 Makerspace stations in the library. They were all very successful, and the students that participated were very engaged.

We had a 3D printer station led by two of our students from EAST. They had designed a replica of the Willis Tower (formally the Sears Tower) using Google Sketch Up Make and Netfabb. We decided to print several of these, and we gave them away at the end of the session in a drawing. The student leaders explained how the printer worked to those that visited them.

Willis Tower Replica
We had a student that brought his Lego collection to share. Several students visited the Lego station and had fun building quick projects.

We set up a table with Jenga for another fun Makerspace station. Several students enjoyed playing this building game.

We also have a Sphero in the library. We had that available for students experimentation. It was a very popular station.

The most popular station was the "deconstruction" station. Our technology department donated some non-functional computer and networking components for our students to take apart. The kids loved taking the computer apart most of all.

It was a great first Makerspace program for our students! We cannot wait to try this during our grade 10-12 lunch period! I encourage you to try a Makerspace in your school library. It's a great place for students to connect, hack, and create in the library!

Before you go, check out our student led 3D printing lunch library program here.

Please Subscribe if you are enjoying this blog. Please, put your email address in the box on the right side of the page. You will receive notifications when I post new blog entries!
Contact Us/ Follow Us

Are you on Twitter?
Follow me : @stony12270

Follow our library (LHS_Library): @LHS_Library1

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Our First Mystery Skype! (#mysteryskype)

I have heard of Mystery Skype sessions and Mystery Hangouts for many months while trolling social media. A few weeks ago, Heidi Harris (@heidibobeidi), a teacher in Lincoln, Maine contacted me on Twitter to see if we were available for a Mystery Skype session. I checked with our 8th grade social studies teacher, Mr. Brooks Lee, to see if he would be interested in allowing one of his classes to participate in the event. He was very intrigued by the idea, so I set out to investigate exactly how one of these sessions needed to work. Mrs. Harris was very helpful and sent me a link to a blog that contained a video showing how to set up the library/ classroom (go here for that link). I shared this video with Mr. Lee, so he could show it to his students.

We decided to set up these station areas in the library: Inquirers/ Responders (all at the webcam), Atlas Checkers, Google Map Checkers (both iPads and laptops), Logic Reasoners (these individuals decide which questions to ask next), Photographers, Video Camera Operators, Question Keepers, and Runners (to relay information).

Atlas Checkers

Google Map Checkers

Mr. Lee's class met in the library the day before for about 20 minutes, so we could go over the different jobs in the library. He had students submit their requests for which jobs they wanted. It ended up with this breakdown for personnel in each position:

Inquirers/ Responders- 4
Atlas Checkers- 3
Google Map Checkers- 5
Logic Reasoners- 3
Photographers- 2
Video Camera Operators- 2
Question Keepers- 2
Runners- 4

The goal was to discover the other school's location by using questioning techniques with yes or no answers.

The day of the session arrived, and everything fell right into place. The students seemed to know exactly what to do! We started the session, and you could feel the excitement in the room as questions were answered. The question keepers typed the answers on a computer connected to a projector displaying for all to see. It took about 30 minutes for both schools to complete discovering each others' location.

Question Keeper Screen

At the end of the session, most of our students rushed the screen to communicate with the classroom in Maine. They asked questions about their state, and Mrs.Harris did a great job of reaching out to our students! She shared information about their town and school. Our students shared about our location in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Mr. Lee and I just stepped back and let the kids take the conversation with Mrs. Harris. It was so exciting to see them completely engaged in this new activity. The picture below captured the moment perfectly. I have shown this picture to countless teachers and students over the past few days.
This picture represents why I continue teaching! Engagement and inspiration!

Mr. Lee had the students share their reflections after the session. Here are some of the highlights:

"I liked the Mystery Skype. It helped us learn about the country and more about Maine. The Mystery Skype was interesting and unique. I enjoyed using deductive reasoning to narrow out the state, city, and school."

"The Mystery Skype today was so cool!!! I never knew it even existed before today. I enjoyed watching our class problem solve to try to figure out where they lived."

"I very much liked this experience! I got to meet new people from a different state and learn what they eat and do there! I would love to do Mystery Skype again! Thank you for letting me experience this wonderful activity!"

"Very interesting Skyping a school from another state. It became very exciting when we would get close to their general area. We would love to do this assignment again. Google mapping was fun."

We need more engaging learning activities like this to allow students to problem solve and work as a team. It was a great day that reminded me why I teach... to help engage and inspire young minds in the library media center!

We cannot wait for the next Mystery Skype session in the Lakeside High School library!

Click here to see how we used Google Hangouts to collaborate with a school across town for a 9/11 program!

Please Subscribe if you are enjoying this blog. Please, put your email address in the box on the right side of the page. You will receive notifications when I post new blog entries!

Contact Us/ Follow Us

Are you on Twitter?

Follow me : @stony12270

Follow our library (LHS_Library): @LHS_Library1

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tweet Us Some #Inspiration Part 2

A few weeks ago, I shared about our inspirational quotes Twitter program. Go here if you didn't get to read it! Since that time, I have continued to Tweet successful people and celebrities for inspirational quotes to share with our learning community. Others on our faculty have even joined in this activity! Our high school principal and two other teachers have Tweeted out to get inspirational Tweets from successful people in their networks. In addition, we have started receiving positive Tweets from recent Lakeside High School alumni.

To show off these Tweets, one of our library assistants (Mrs. Peggy Schaeffer) came up with a great iPhone display to hang on the library walls and doors!

Mrs. Schaeffer put small text balloons in the messages to identify the name and position of the people that sent the Tweets.

She used the #inspiration hashtag on signs to attract attention.

Students have been stopping to read the Tweets ever since we posted them!

Our students have also enjoyed reading Tweets from recent alumni! Mrs. Schaeffer has made small Tweets to display on the library shelves. 

This has been a great way to model digital citizenship by sharing positive messages via social media. We will keep working for more ways to model these crucial skills that students will need as they prepare to enter the professional world of work and communication.

Please Subscribe if you are enjoying this blog. Please, put your email address in the box on the right side of the page. You will receive notifications when I post new blog entries!

Contact Us/ Follow Us

Are you on Twitter?

Follow me : @stony12270

Follow our library (LHS_Library): @LHS_Library1