Monday, December 14, 2015

Hour of Code Reflection

With our 3rd annual Hour of Code complete I must admit the event becomes more powerful with time.  We had over 50 students sign up to attend the event and about 10 student facilitators to coordinate the hour.  The facilitators consisted of members of the technology club, student library aides, and iSchool advocates.  It was agreed that the facilitators would concentrate on introducing the the Star Wars and Minecraft courses.  The hour went by rapidly resulting in some creative after thoughts from students.


What Worked:
  1. The student-led event was amazing with 10 student facilitators to help as students needed assistance.  Coders would raise their hands and a facilitator responded immediately.   This eliminated frustration from coders and gave the facilitators ownership for the event.
  2. Having the students sign-up before the event allowed me to enroll them in the class.  Students will then have the option to continue the courses after the event.  
  3. The event concluded with a feedback session.  It was plans were discussed to continue interest in coding beyond the Hour of Code. 
  1. The student facilitators have volunteered to attend the Minecraft club and introduce the Minecraft coding course at our next club meeting.
  2. A 6th grade group of students have met beyond the Hour of Code and want to start a 6th grade lunch coding club.  Students have plans to find a student leadership committee to launch the 6th grade lunch event.
The many resources made our Hour of Code an enjoyable and manageable event for students interested in coding.  I hope to continue to host coders during lunch, in our technology club, and beyond. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hour of Code

As we prepare for our Hour of Code, I am so proud that my student Technology Club is taking the lead in facilitating the event.  I have students who have prepared by finishing both the Star Wars and Mind Craft courses on the site.  I look forward to an awesome hour of coding.

Creating a Culture for Readers

As librarians we spend countless hours trying to think about programming to help integrate a quality literacy program into our schools.  We share ideas in PLCs, participate in Twitter chats, attend conferences, and go beyond the horizon to seek out the magic of enticing the school community to become life-long readers.  So when something as simple as obtaining new cafe tables from a PTA grant surprised me as one simple solution I had to share.

The very day that the tables were assembled and brought into the library students flocked to quietly sit and read.  An 8th grade lunch group began to grow and assemble.  Once I realized these new three tablets were a magnet I went in as the "Super Librarian".  Yes, I approached the students at the table with greetings, discussions about books, and built on the relationships.

Now I'm not saying these three tables will magically entice our students to read.  I am saying look at something as easy as new furniture, hosting clubs, opening for lunches or before school, to help build the trust and relationships that will be the foundation for creating a culture of readers. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Students Creating a Culture for Reading

Times have changed in the library since by first position in 1989. I began in a middle school of about 1,400 students with two paraprofessionals.  It was easy to manage the many tasks with the awesome adult help.  Now I find myself as the lone adult staff member in the library so how do I manage? I tap into the creativity of 20 incredible student library aides.

Right before Thanksgiving break I pulled out our holiday and winter decorations and stepped back giving my students full access to creating a culture for readers.  I am always amazed with their enthusiasm, willingness to participate, and creativity.

Part 2 in the process was to create some digital images of their hard work.  A few students confidently took pictures of the library with one student creating a flipagram.  Most of the pictures can be viewed in our Instagram account.

We have received so many compliments and students love the change in our library with the change in the seasons.  How does one create a culture for reading?  Ask for your students to help.

Planning the Hour of Code

It's been exciting to watch students get excited in planning a student driven Hour of Code. They chose to facilitate the Star Wars and Mind Craft lessons from

As students sign up to participate, I have entered them into an Hour of Code class on the website.  Our goal is to entice students to continue the coding courses even after the event concludes.  This will provide feedback for both the student facilitators and myself if the event was successful. 

If you have not planned an event during the week of December 7-11 you can always start a coding group and follow the lessons at your own pace. 

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