Monday, June 18, 2018

Friday, June 8, 2018

Token of thanks

Flowers for my non-instructional retiree-friends who are being honored in the library this afternoon.

Monday, June 4, 2018

We are!

Our student team met for the first time on Friday to introduce ourselves, pick a team color and, well, a name.
Purple it is.

Friday, June 1, 2018

The reading-making connection

After seven great days of sustained reading in the library, these 7th graders are beginning their interpretive projects about their novels. The ACSLIB has been steaming laboratory of creativity and problems-solving!

Got the t-shirts goin'

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Adding on to ACS History

I had a message from the Afton Town Historian requesting senior class group-pictures for some of our recent graduating classes (she is doing a presentation at the upcoming alumni gathering). So I updated our library page of scanned class photographs with the last half-dozen years to supplement the archive I had provided her earlier.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Worth it

Our first Summer Loan this morning! To a Junior. Three books on programming. Wants to learn on his own over the Summer! Warm fuzzy feeling in old librarian's heart.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Bag some Summer books!

Made up some tote bags and a bulletin board to lead off our Summer book program.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Soaking it up

I admit it. It has been a long time since this library has had a roomful of students reading, enjoying it, and going at it for a sustained 40 minutes; let alone for days on end.

Seventh grade science students "finished" their year's agenda ahead of schedule, so their teacher is having them read for the remaining 10 days; novels focused on or loosely related to science. I racked up 50 books, set them out on the floor, and they are on it.
Kinda speechless about the whole thing.

Pound away all year working to utz teachers into the library, then boom - "Is it OK if I bring my two classes to the library each day for the rest of the year to read?"

Feel like Ulysses' dog when the guy finally shows up in Ithaca.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Original puzzle

 Amber S. / Class of 2018 / 18"x24"/ ink on paper
After enjoying the intricate artwork of one of our Senior Class artist, I asked if she would be interested in "illustrating" one of the blank puzzle-templates in our MakerSpace.

She shared it today. It's a beauty!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Vocab on the big screen

Always wanted to do this. Grabbed the vocabulary list for the MS American Revolution unit and made "study slides" (definitions are in gray smaller type on the slide) for my lobby flat screen (next to my resource display) so that students "bump into them" in a non-class setting. Always thought it would be neat also to forward vocab lists to the morning TV announcement crew and have them include one or two in the text of their news.

Load Up

Working on the roll-out of a first-time ACSLIB Summer Reading Program: LoadUp page & video I emailed to HS students.

Looking ahead to Summer

And I was wondering where to start on assembling my Summer Reading list. Thank for the nudge JM! #thegreatamericanread

THE GREAT AMERICAN READ is an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey).  It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience.  The television series features entertaining and informative documentary segments, with compelling testimonials from celebrities, authors, notable Americans and book lovers across the country. It is comprised of a two-hour launch episode in which the list of 100 books is revealed, five one-hour theme episodes that examine concepts common to groups of books on the list, and a finale, in which the results are announced of a nationwide vote to choose America’s best-loved book.  The series is the centerpiece of an ambitious multi-platform digital, educational and community outreach campaign, designed to get the country reading and passionately talking about books.”

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


Celebrated the perseverance of this young man with a poster. Really reworked the structure of his vehicle over several weeks; learning along with a fellow builder. I think he is a good example of the self-paced learning and growth that is the hallmark of a makerspace.

ACS support

My vicarious trip to Washington, D.C.;  burned 700+ photos of the Senior Trip onto DVDs for the class advisor. Did the cover and packaging, too.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Found poem

The promise of baseball in Springtime
is a modest one.
It speaks with a new green voice each year.
It says," Learn to play this game,
and it will not let you down."

And so the players pick up
where they left-off last season.
Each adds a measure of their grown bodies
to their expectations of each other
and they play the game. Practice it and play.

It is not hard to see the allure of the diamond.
It is a holiday without clocks.
The broad sweep of the infield
erases the school day. The deep roll
to the outfield corner
rolls over the rim of tomorrow.

It is a game of chance coaxed on by skill.
I think that's the hook, the challenge.
In a game (or a world)
fraught with a zillion variables that can go wrong,
can each player commit
to working towards controlling
what can be controlled by his own skills
and accept what is beyond them.

Play ball.

May 10, 2011

After-Prom Movie

Had fun this morning moving things around to make a set-up for the after-prom party folks to show videos in the library. ( If my experience with past after-prom parties serves me, they will most likely end up asleep on the carpet; hence, the "floor" screen.)


These two students teamed up to investigate Tinkercad together. They configured a top design. Adding supports worked pretty good on the print job. They see that they have several modifications to make.

Nature App

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Steampunk Hat

Yesterday I watched a video about a library in Michigan that held a makerspace day for the arts. Creating costumes and garments was central to the activities.

And then this guy walks into MY library today!

Just sayin'

Saw this article in the current School Library Journal about a Short Story Dispenser gizmo being marketed to pacify line-waiters with a three-minute hard-copy story.

Just wanted to say that in January 2016 (on the 21st, to be exact) I printed this dispenser on our school 3D printer to accommodate a receipt-tape printed story; the technology for which had been recently explored by and then configured by a friend of the library ... ahead of the curve.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Makerspaces; getting it

Laura Fleming really nailed it about makerspaces in SLJ; that it's about the pedagogy, that a makerspace is not a STEM lab, that it is a chance for discovery and ownership of one's learning.

If time is short for you, here are the important sound-bites:
"A true makerspace offers student-driven opportunity for open-ended exploration for everyone. Makerspaces are a mind-set, a culture. It’s about the pedagogy. A great makerspace has seven key attributes: It is personalized, deep (allowing deeper learning), empowering, equitable, differentiated, intentional, and inspiring. If you have all of that, you can call your space a makerspace—maybe even a great makerspace."

"I think that’s probably been the most powerful question: What else can that be?"

"Makerspaces are not only for “gifted and talented” kids. They are not “rewards” for those who complete their academic work early. They are not meant to be a special club. An important aspect of the makerspace mind-set is opening up a world for kids who might not otherwise enjoy or excel in traditional academia. It’s about creating that chance for exploration and discovery for everyone."

"Makerspaces are not STEM labs. For some reason, STEM has become almost synonymous with makerspaces. That’s something that I fight against. People create a STEM lab and call it a makerspace, but they run it like a typical class with teacher-driven specific assignments. Students come in, sit and listen to directions, then create 30 identical little robots. That is not a makerspace, it’s a STEM lab. STEM labs are fantastic, but they should be called STEM labs."

Summer PD from Oneida-Madison

You have to love the selection of PD options available this Summer from the MOBOCES SLS/CIS team! Giant maps and Toy Takeaparts! (Nice poster-graphics, too.)

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Odyssey continues

I have borrowed Emily Wilson's new translation of Homer's "The Odyssey" from the Sidney Public Library. I am a long-time devotee of Homer.  Her book begins with a substantial foreword that really illustrates the breadth of her concern in translating from the Greek. It is filled with scholarship about the  hurdles of history and culture, and the overlaps in both that challenge her work. That she questions the some long-held assumptions about several characters' motivation and the general thrust of the story, really has my interest peaked as I move into the poem.

As a side note, I was listening to Radiolab as I was doing the dishes last night and they hooked me with a program investigating why Homer NEVER mentions the color blue in his work (always "the wine-dark sea"). It was fascinating. They spoke with an author who had investigated the advent of words for color in ancient writings. Some nifty similarities and theories!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

What self-directed discovery, research, and analysis looks like in the ACSLIB MakerSpace

It has been over two weeks now since a 7th grade student, infatuated with the electric fan in our littleBits kit, asked if he could make a fan-powered boat. That's a persistence factor of about 8 visits and counting. I offered foam core board.

His initial layout of materials was not to ... efficient. We then talked about and sketched out some alternative ideas which led us to alot of questions: how high should the sides be and why, do we need to use glue or can we use nails/pins ("that's easier to change our mind"). So he measured out some new pieces which I cut out.
During assembly he initiated several queries about the strongest way to join pieces together, then tried them out. We ended each period with a closing discussion: what to try next time, what I needed to do in the interim.
After about five sessions on his project, he accepted the help of another student; a collaborator. They tried different locations for the fan, they tried rubber bands and cut-outs for securing it. Then wondering about the balance, they added pieces for an out-rigger. Questions and option became exponential.
At this point they had really settled into raising and solving problems more than "let's get this done."
When the question of a rudder came up, available LEGO pieces did not offer a solution. I suggested that they design and print what they needed on the 3D printer. So during the next three visits they got themselves up to speed on Tinkercad skills (entirely on their own, at their own speed) and designed their first 3D piece.
This morning I printed it and on their next visit I suspect they will test it, suggest and make changes to their prototype and print it again.
 The discovery, research, analysis, and redesign continues.