The first half of the school year was very busy for the Library. So busy, in fact, that we didn’t have time to update our news posts. We’re going to rectify that right now and tell you all about the cool projects and happenings from September to December!
The Glowforge laser cutter finally arrived in the TIDES Garage and many students have had a chance to try it out.
4th Graders connected it to their study of animals (State animals for 4B and 4P; literary animal main characters for 4C), using Google Drawings to design animals out of simple shapes and then assembling and decorating the wooden cut-outs.
3rd Grade worked in small teams to create icons that combined to illustrate certain aspects of tribal life for the Ojibwe. Those icons were engraved onto puzzle pieces to show how the ideas worked together to form Ojibwe life.
Several 5th Graders used the laser cutter to manufacture pieces for their Loredo Taft-inspired pinball machines, making everything from ramps to decorative signs. (They also made a lot of use of our good old 3D printers…)
The 6th Graders of Ms. Gibba’s advisory were able to engrave their own drawings and handwriting onto custom cut wooden key chains.
In Mr. Shaker’s History class, several 7th Graders created engraved cut-outs of famous structures from photo-tracings or hand-drawn versions.
Some of the students in Ms. Marker’s French class used the laser cutter to help create objet d’art representing ideas and/or images from French culture. All in all, our Glowforge has gotten quite the workout!
But it wasn’t all laser cutting projects during the first half go the year: After a study of the 50 states, 2nd Graders used all kids of soft and hard maker materials to create monuments celebrating the lives of important women and/or people of color from across the country.
Even SK got in on the fun! After reading Press Here, each class broke into small groups to use Little Bits and colorful circles of construction paper to build their own interactive "buttons."
On their Ex-Days, SK studied hurricanes and used materials from our TIDES Garage to build and test hurricane-proof house models.
It was a very busy Fall and is going to keep buzzing right through the Winter and Spring. Check back at the end of the month to see what we've been up to or feel free to stop by and take a look with your own eyes!
The library will be closing on June 7th. To carry you through to September when we'll return with all the books (and recommendations) you'll need, Ms. Coleman and Ms. Lesak have put together lists of suggested titles for all grades to check out at the public library this summer. Click through to be taken to our curated Goodreads lists!
Summer Reading List JK-5th Grade
Summer Reading List 6th-8th Grade
Summer Reading List 9th-12th Grade
SK Water Walker Project
April brought the culmination of the Senior Kindergarten "Water Walker" project, focusing on the roles of water in our lives, the importance of protecting our water, and the work of Nakomis Josephine Mandamin. You can watch a video presentation on the project below.
3rd Grade "L" Project
This month in the Library, third grade students studied the history and origins of the Chicago Elevated Train system and the public transportation system as a whole. This project continued the students’ year long study of innovation and “looking to the past to inspire the future.” In addition to the origin and history of the system, students learned why it is important for a community to be provided transportation and easy access to the system. The third graders looked at primary source documents, websites of the various transit systems, and information on the development of the train system in Chicago. Working in pairs, the students used TinkerCAD to design a 3d printable structure to hold elevated Lego train tracks. Once they were printed, the three classrooms used the structures to build representations of each major "L" line on top of a map of the city. They will go on to analyze and locate transportation "deserts" and propose solutions for the future of the city.
IS Maker Fridays
During March and April, students in the Intermediate School were invited to come into the Library's TIDES Garage and work on building an analog pinball machine. Using PinBox3000 kits, students utilized both soft and hard maker skills ranging from decorating with paint and glitter to designing and 3D printing components to create their own, personalized machines.
7th Grade Identity Project
This year, 7th grade students tackled the question “Who am I?” using an interdisciplinary approach—in both Science and History class. In Science, students explored the biological and genetic factors of their identity, such as cellular composition, traits, and gender. In History, students learned about the 8 cultural identifiers and considered the
non-genetic features of their identities, such as race, gender, and religion. The cross-curricular Identity unit culminated in a project where students explored their personal identity through both subjects’ lenses.
The library made the TIDES Garage and all of its Maker supplies available to the students during the culminating project. Pins were created, clothing were sown, Rube Goldberg machines were tinkered with, and interactive computer programs were coded and their interfaces built. It was interesting to see the students find novel ways to express what they had learned through making.
Middle School Passion Projects
Middle and Upper School Librarian Mrs. Lesak, along with 4-8 STEM teacher Mr. Colestock, spent February and March facilitating the Passion Project cycle, a learning experience for middle school students who are interested in diving into a question, curiosity, or passion of their choice. Students and facilitators met regularly as a group to ask questions, share their work, help each other, and talk about thier learning process. Students used design thinking strategies and makerspace tools—3D printers, sewing machines, robotics equipment, and more—to design, create, and build anything they could dream of. Students designed and produced jewelry, soaps, "squishies," and even engaged in the Japanese art of dorodango. Many students sold their final products to raise money for charities including Smile International, Lurie Children's Hospital Emergency Fund, Bookwallah, and the ASPCA.
Lots has been happening in the library this month and we've got the pictures (and videos) to prove it!
JK began the project by reading the book The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles with Ms. Coleman. As they read the book, they discussed what was happening in the story, including segregation and why it was unfair that people were treated differently because of the color of their skin. Ms. Coleman shared details about Ruby Bridges’s life and highlighted the fact this is all a true story. They read the first half of the book and stopped on the page when Ruby was entering school for the first time, with white people lined up, yelling mean and ugly things. They talked about how US Marshals had to walk Ruby into school to protect her and shared photographs from the National Archives taken on Ruby’s first day of school.
Next, students broke up into small groups with a teacher. They were asked to share what they thought Ruby was feeling at the moment. Then they were asked to put themselves in Ruby’s shoes and think about how they would feel if they were Ruby. Students shared that they would feel sad, lonely, scared, or angry. Some shared that maybe Ruby was hoping that people would change their minds and hearts.
The following week, they finished the story and shared some of the historic details about Ruby’s life and what it was like after that first year of desegregation. They once again worked in small groups with teachers, thinking about what they would have done to stand up with Ruby Bridges. Students shared ideas such as walking into school with her, holding her hand, telling the people that were being mean and they were wrong, telling people that everyone should be treated nicely, and being Ruby’s friend.
In the final step of the project, the library’s green screen was used with a green screen App called "Do Ink" to take a picture of each student standing in the historic picture with Ruby. Students then attached their picture to a poster and shared how they would stand up with Ruby Bridges.
The Junior Kindergarten students are happy to share their thoughts and ideas on how they would have stood up for Ruby Bridges with the Francis W Parker Community. A gallery of all the JK students' pictures is currently on display in the hallway outside the library.
Why Am I Me?
Our SK classes spent January and February on their "Why Am I Me?" project. They spent time studying the various systems in the human body and, working with small groups, identified which systems helped them to do the things they most loved doing. They then focused on these things that made them who they are—the things they love to do, the particular things about the way they look, etc.—and recorded a short audio track about these special attributes. A picture was taken to accompany the track. Ms. Coleman and Mr. Bacon worked together to combine these audio tracks and pictures with some of our favorite tech tools, Scratch (a kids' coding program) and Makey-Makey (an alternated computer keyboard that allows for interesting interactivity) to create a "Why Am I Me?" board for each class. You can check out video of one of the boards in action below or stop by the library to play with the real thing.
On October 15th, the FWP Library hosted its first Global Cardboard Challenge! We had about ten families attend and create some amazing projects, including a cat entertainment center, ghost-catching unit, foosball table, dollhouse, Whack-a-Mole game, pet friends, and many more!
Saturday, October 15th, 2016
Based on the short documentary “Caine’s Arcade” about a young boy in East Los Angeles who builds an elaborate cardboard arcade in his free time, the Global Cardboard Challenge gives children an opportunity to collaborate, learn, and build the things they imagine through Creative Play. The Challenge lets children explore their interests and passions; teaches critical thinking, resourcefulness, perseverance, teamwork and other 21st century skills; and brings communities together to foster and celebrate child creativity!
What: Global Cardboard Challenge
Who: Parker students of all ages + their family members
When: Saturday, October 15th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: The Kovler Family Library
Why: To work together, get creative, and to play!
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, visit http://imagination.is/our-projects/cardboard-challenge/
To see the video that started the movement, go to: https://youtu.be/faIFNkdq96U
The badminton nets are gone, the mess hall is empty, and the tents are being taken down—Camp NaNoWriMo is closed for this year. The campers and counselors gave it their all, putting down an impressive 227,750 words in just 30 days. Of our 34 participants, nine met or exceed the 15,000 word individual goal:
In the next few weeks, you'll be able to check out (literally—they'll have barcodes and everything) books written during Camp NaNoWriMo, so make sure to stop by and page through the work of our soon-to-be-famous authors!
This month, the Library Team, led by Ms. Beebe and Ms. Coleman, set out to introduce our Junior Kindergarten students to the basic ideas of coding. Over a five week period we created lessons that combined an understanding of story structure with introducing coding and coding language using robots and accessible iPad apps.
Students used several coding robots including Ozobot, Cubetto, and BeeBot. They were also introduced to two iPads apps, Foos and Daisy the Dinosaur. Students worked in small groups, rotating through the different options so all students were able to experience each of the robots and apps.
NEW BOOKS IN APRIL
Camp NaNoWriMo comes to the library in April!
This April, the library is challenging Middle and Upper School students to write 15,000 words in 30 days as part of the worldwide Camp NaNoWriMo (www.campnanowrimo.org). An off-shoot of National Novel Writing Month, Camp NaNoWriMo aims to inspire would-be authors to write as fast as they can in order to outrun their inner editor. The library will be holding "write-in" events in April and will cap off the month with a celebration for all successful writers. Copies of all the completed books will live on the library shelves, so you'll be able to check them out and see what our writers are capable of.
If you're interested in joining the fun, stop by the library and let us know. The deadline for sign-up is Thursday, March 31st.