We had two classes attend the Star Lab. Then the main unit malfunctioned! We will be sending the unit back and have rescheduled the Star Lab for May 2nd through the 9th. The county provides these exceptional units for our schools to share and we are very fortunate to have the use of them.
In 25 days, from March 6th through the 10th, Clay will be having our Spring Book Fair. The theme of this fair is “Happy Camper Bookfair: s’more fun with books!” There will be a number of new publications as well as Clay reader favorites. Feel free to come in and shop with your students!
Next week Wednesday through Friday, students and teachers will have the opportunity to come to one of our school system’s Star Labs. These are portable planetariums. We last had one here a couple years ago and everyone learned a lot and enjoyed the experience. The star lab is huge and takes up most of the space in the Learning Commons. Students and staff enter a dark “room” by crawling through a tunnel. Stars, constellations, moon phases and planet orientation are some of the things that can be presented while inside.
I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving Break. We are now exploring non-fiction resources. The younger grades are learning and reviewing non-fiction text features and older students are learning and reviewing different types of print and non-print media commonly used for research.
We just got in some new K’nex for our younger students and will be putting these out in the Maker Space for experimentation. Next week is the start of the Scholastic Warehouse sale. We will be attending to purchase some new books for Book Club. These will be purchased with the profit we made from our last book fair.
This week we are working on a variety of library skills. For Kindergarten, we are working on the parts of a book and recognizing fiction books. First grade is working on listening for specific vocabulary related to their science standards. Learning the difference between fiction and non-fiction books is the focus for second grade. And third, fourth and fifth are being introduced to or reviewing the Dewey Decimal System. Ask your students about the “Dewey Rap”!
I can’t believe that it is already the second week of school! Some classes came in last week for orientation. Most are attending this week. We review the procedures of the LLC as well as care of books. Intermediate classes are also reviewing important information for checkout by playing the game “I have, Who has”. Papers are being given to all students in 1st -5th grade that must be taken home and signed by the parent and student. After these papers are returned to the LLC the student is allowed to check out books.
All our classroom orientations have been completed. Classes are now signing up for time to read, work on computer programs, collaborate on lessons and work in the learning commons for project based learning. Our learning commons and maker space are fully functional and beginning to be utilized as plans are made with teachers. This is a great place to be!
The Clay Library Media Center is almost ready for a dramatic transformation. We are changing to the Clay Learning Commons. Lessons, news broadcast, book clubs and checkout will still remain important to our space. However, we will have additional spaces for learning to happen. One area is the Production Area. Students will be able to create on one of our 15 iPads and up to four students can sit at our collaboration table and switch between creations on the 42″ TV screen attached. We will also have a drama/performance area to produce reader’s theatre and short plays, or interviews. Our Maker Space Area is really neat! We can work with science, engineering, technology, and art projects that relate to our standards. The 3D printer is also online. What a fantastic invention. Our first creation was a small dolphin. You’ll see it in one of the pictures almost done.
The Star Lab is in our Library Media Center from Friday, January 23rd through Wednesday, January 28th. Ms. Z will be showing us the wonders of the night sky and meeting common core standards in science. Student coming in for checkout are getting all excited! Be sure to talk with your student next week about what they learned in the Star Lab.
Our library media center is transitioning to a Learning Commons! This concept uses the idea that the library is an active place with lots of reading, media processing, experimenting, making things and of course, learning. One of the reasons we are able to make the changes necessary is due to being awarded a Promising Practices Grant from Cobb County Schools! Mrs. Reddish, our Gifted Education Teacher, and Mrs. Guile-Lange completed a lengthy application and waited anxiously to learn if we were given a grant or not.
We are now in the process of ordering materials for our production space and maker space, ordering a 3D printer, and moving shelves, tables and books to make room for all these exciting areas. We will still have lessons on research, information literacy, internet responsibility and safety, and academic standards. We will also continue to provide many ways for students to read and LOVE it!
This is an exciting time to be a member of our Clay community. If you would like more information about the Learning Commons concept or what we are doing here at Clay, contact me at the school at 770-819-2430 or email me at [email protected] We will be needing parent assistance and input, especially from techies and parents interested in hands on investigation/learning who would like to volunteer. Stay tuned as changes start to happen!