Sunday, November 24, 2019

5 Ways We Have Used Legos in Curriculum-Connected Makerspace

There is a misconception that Legos are only for small children, but there are many possibilities for Legos at the secondary level as well.  Here are 5 ways we have used Legos in the Makerspace to support curriculum.

1. Math- Create a Scale Factor Bedroom. Students had to graph their bedroom to include a minimum of a bed, a nightstand, and a dresser. They then had to create their bedroom using Legos. There was a scale factor of 1 to 3. I found the idea for this makerspace in this book!  

2. Social Studies- Create a historical building or landmark. We created Spanish Missions to support  Texas History TEKS. Students had to create a mission with at least eight different aspects common to a mission and explain their choices in a Flipgrid video.

3. Spanish- Pratice Spanish vocabulary. Create a room in a house with at least three objects that the room would have, and explain them in Spanish in a Flipgrid video.

4. Science- Create a marble run when the marble travels for eight seconds. Then, measure the distance, and figure out the speed.

5. ELA- Create a Lego Stop Motion Video to show an important scene from your self choice novel. We use a Hue Animation Studio stop motion camera, but there are many free options as well.

I hope you find these ideas helpful. What are some ways that you use Legos in your Makerspaces? Please share in the comments below.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

10 Ways to use the Library Makerspace Green Screen

The green screen is one of the most diverse tools we have obtained for the library's makerspace this year.  It can be used to support all content areas and just for fun!  Thank you DonorsChoose.

We use the DoInk app when creating green screen videos.  You can create images or videos using DoInk.  This app does cost $3 and is only available through iTunes, but it is super user friendly, and I highly recommend it.

Here are 10 ways we have used it or are planning on using it.

1.  Book Snaps- See this post to learn how to do this.

2.  Top 10 Letterman Style- We loaded these videos into Flipgrid.  This is a great way to appsmash and easily share out your green screen videos.  
Appsmash with Flipgrid and DoInk

3.  Weather Videos

4.  Meteorologist Videos

5.  Ecosystems

6.  Book Review- Place the students on the cover of their book to review it.

7.  US History Historical Events- Signing of the Declaration of Independence at  Independance Hall

8.  Talk Show

9.  Breaking News Story

10.For fun on whatever background a student chooses

The possibilities with the green screen are only limited by your imagination!  Happy making!  

Saturday, December 9, 2017

A different way to do #BookSnaps

Last week, I had the opportunity to collaborate with my co-worker, Mrs. Gretchen Meyer, an ELA teacher.  She wanted her students to learn a series of Makerspace activities to support the deep thinking involved in Readers/Writers Workshop.  She decided that these activities would be an option for students on a menu as a way of deep thinking about what they were reading.  In today's post, I am going to describe how we used the green screen with the DoInk app to create a different way to do #BookSnaps.

I wanted to do an activity with the green screen where a class of students would be engaged and be able to use it in a 45 minute period.

1. Students read for a period of time from their self chosen books to find a significant quote.

2. They then had to use their deep thinking to explain why this quote was significant.  Mrs. Meyer provided them an anchor chart with sentence stems as a guide.

3. Students wrote briefly about their thinking and when approved by Mrs. Meyer or me, they could take a picture of the page of the book that the quote was on using an iPad and then use the markup in the iPad photo app to underline the quote.

4. I recorded them on the green screen discussing their thinking and their significant quote.

5. Finally, I used the DoInk app to create a video of them on their book page discussing their quote.

See the example attached below.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Teacher Makerspace Playground

According to the very inspirational George Couros, part of growing professionally is taking risks and trying new things.  This year, before Hurricane Harvey, I decided that I wanted to host a makerspace playground for teachers that would show them not only what we had to offer in the library, but also how makerspace supports curriculum.  Although my playground was delayed due to Harvey, we did still host it, and actually had people beyond our campus attend it!

What is a Makerspace Playground? A makerspace playground is a setting where you showcase different makerspace tools at stations for an audience to play with.

How can you set up a Makerspace Playground?  Here are some tips:

1. Find some co-hosts.  My academic coaches and my Learning Technology Coach, Doris Herrmann,, @dorish planned this with me.

2. Make a list of stations that you want to showcase.

3.  Make sure your principal promotes it.  Twitter, Facebook, and phone and email blasts are great ways to do this.

4.  Send out emails to invite other interested parties.

5. Create a passport for each content area that lists the items showcased and what they could be used for in their content areas. This is also a great place for teachers to take notes on what they are learning about.

Here is one my math coach, Sara Bordelon, created.

6. Provide refreshments

7. Have students present to demonstrate how to use different items.

Here is one of my students explaining how to use Bloxels.

8. Make signs to let teachers know what they are playing with and some ideas for use in the classroom.

In a couple of weeks, I will be hosting a Makerspace Playground for students that teachers can sign their classes up for. At this event, I plan to create challenges for the students to complete at the different stations.

Here are some ways that I plan on sharing new makerspace items that the library acquires throughout the year?

  • I will create flipped videos 
  • Twitter @BIS_library
  • This blog
What are some ways you share makerspace with teachers?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Collaborating with Math in the Library

How do math and library go together?  This is a question I hear all of the time.  I think this is a content that librarians really struggle with working with.  Librarians and math teachers have a hard time seeing where they meet and can collaborate together.  I have been very fortunate in that I have a math coach at my campus that loves the library and encourages her teachers to work with me.  We do have a whole section in the library of books that deal with math; however, the most valuable way that I have been able to support my math teachers is through makerspace.

One of the curriculum topics that students struggle with is circumference.   Based on a lesson that was done on another campus, I decided to work with 7th grade math to have students create hula hoops in a makerspace activity.  Students actually took irrigation tubing that we pre-cut using a PVC cutter, connectors, and duck tape to make their own hula hoops.  They then used string to see the relationship between circumference and diameter, which is Pi!

You will need the following supplies to recreate this math makerspace:
  1. Irrigation tubing
  2. PVC Cutter
  3. Connectors
  4. 150 grit sandpaper
  5. Blow dryer
  6. Duct tape
  7. Twine for circumference
  1. Pre-cut the tubing into pieces that will close into a circle.
  2. Sand down the connector so that it will fit into the tubing.
  3. Use the hair dryer to help completely close the tubing onto the connector.  The heat helps mold it on.
  4. Use Duct tape to seal the seam and decorate your Hula Hoop.
Here is a link to the directions and activity provided by my awesome math coach, Sara Bordelon!

There you have it, makerspace that supports curriculum!

What kinds of activities have you done with math?

5 Ways We Have Used Legos in Curriculum-Connected Makerspace

There is a misconception that Legos are only for small children, but there are many possibilities for Legos at the secondary level as well....