Start date: September 16th, 2019
End: September 20th, 2019
The idea for this display started during library read-aloud time, when I read the picture book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind to the intermediate classes (this was a parting suggestion from Ms Higgins who was inspired by the newly-released NetFlix movie). It is the true story of William Kamkwamba, who, when he was just 14 years old, figured out how to bring water to his family’s drought-stricken fields in Malawi by using a windmill to power an electric pump. His family couldn’t afford to send him to school so he sneaked into the library and taught himself basic electrical engineering with the help of the local librarian, and using scavenged materials.
Hearing this story inspired Ms Wheatley, an Education Assistant in our school, who is originally from South Africa, to bring a toy windmill similar to the ones we thought William may have practiced making. As we talked, Ms Wheatley told me about other objects she had collected in her visits to South Africa over the years, which were also made from recycled trash. And this conversation seemed to touch on so many ideas that we have been talking about in the school and in the library: ideas about creativity, about recycling, about thinking globally, and also about the new Applied Design, Skills and Technology curriculum, where students are encouraged to learn practical, hands-on skills through design and creation. And so . . .
To learn more about this display, click ‘Continue reading”
Thanks to a grant from the Burnaby School District, Seaforth was recently able to purchase several kits to support the new Applied Design, Skills, and Technology (ADST) curriculum, which has been extended to all levels from Kindergarten on up. School libraries intend to support all kinds of literacy development: digital literacy just as much as print literacy, information literacy, and critical literacy, and so we have been running sessions in the library to help students learn to use the kits.
Grade 6 and 7 students from Mr. Hodges’, Mr. Aujla’s, and Mr. Brockerville’s classes volunteered their time and expertise to act as tutors for the younger students (and as furniture movers to clear the floor for the activities), and for their reward, only a handful of gold chocolate coins (a legacy from Ms Higgins).
This was a learning experience for the older students as well as the younger ones: learning the skills needed to lead a group of younger students through the mysteries of programming is not just a walk in the park! The photos below tell only part of the story. I chose these photos because they are representative of the work/play we did in the library, but virtually every photograph I took would have demonstrated this, and I took dozens! I just didn’t have room to display all of them. Thank you to every one of the peer tutors who donated their time, energy, and expertise with such kindness and generosity.
And in case you’re wondering if students who are having this much fun could also be learning, the answer is “Yes,” for the reasons outlined in the BC Ministry of Education curriculum guidelines for ADST:
In the early years, students delve into the ADST curriculum through exploratory and purposeful play. As they get older and both broaden and deepen their interests and passions, they have opportunities to develop foundational skills that have a practical, creative, and real-life focus.
(from BC Ministry of Education ADST Introduction).
This is a science unit I collaborated on in various versions with three different classes ranging from Grades 1 to 3. The idea was to get the students, working independently or in small groups, to start making connections between information they learn from books and what they experience in the real world, with the aim of helping them to understand research as a recurring cycle of activities–talking and asking questions, reading and doing research, looking at the actual world, and communicating what they’ve learned.
The project was about investigating five types of bugs—spiders, ants, beetles, wood bugs and centipedes—and learning about their roles in local ecosystems.
Below are several slides describing the research process as we used it: Talking, Reading, Looking, and Writing. There is also information about the different levels of support provided in inquiry based projects, and about the roles of the classroom teacher and the teacher-librarian. Continue reading “Inquiry-Based/Self-Directed Learning”
Even though the school library is closing for the summer holiday, the Burnaby Public Library runs several programs during the summer. Click ‘Continue reading’ to learn more about three that might be of interest to Seaforth students (including links to the BPL site and registration dates).
Here is a link to the books and kits that Jen Bradley shared with us during her visit here on Monday June 17, including a link to the Sphero kits (you have to scroll down to the very bottom of her list to find the Sphero information, and she calls it SPRK+): Cameron Children’s Librarian Summer Reading Picks
- The last day to borrow books is Thursday, June 6.
- All books need to be returned to the library by Friday, June 14.
- Any book not returned by June 21 will be marked ‘lost,’ the borrower is responsible to pay for it, and notices will be sent out requesting payment.
- If you pay for a lost book, and then later on it turns up, your payment will be refunded.
Burnaby School district has now made TumbleBooks available to all students. You can get to their site through Seaforth Library’s home page. Click LIBRARY on the horizontal bar and then click CATALOGUE on the vertical bar. For students using the website at home, the log-in is sd41 and the password is login.
Students in grades 2 and up are allowed to take books out over the Christmas holidays with the understanding they do not take them on vacation with them. However, if they are going to be vacationing or visiting relatives for the whole two weeks or more, they are not allowed to take library books out. Kindergarten and grade 1 students will not be taking books out over the holidays. Their books are due on Thursday, December 15th. Happy Reading!