Exciting Little Free Library News

Kenny Sims, Operations Manager with Athens Home Depot, donates the 2 Little Free Libraries to Barrow

Kenny Sims, Operations Manager with Athens Home Depot, donates the 2 Little Free Libraries to Barrow

Two major things happened today with our Little Free Libraries.  I began talks with a possible location for our 2nd library and our 2 libraries were delivered by Home Depot!

I have to say again that we went into this project with a lot of faith in our community and amazing things are happening.  Here are a few recent things:

  • Several students from other grades have come to tell me that they are cleaning out their home libraries to bring us books that they no longer need.
  • Several people have brought in books to fill the libraries already.
  • People donated money during the book fair which was almost enough to register both of our libraries.  The 5th graders are about to each bring in $1, which will help us reach that goal.  Our library numbers will be 5559 and 5560
  • A student who wrote a persuasive letter was beaming when he found out that his letter had been received by the recipient.
  • Home Depot #0129 continues to be a very generous donor to this project.  They have built and donated both libraries and are now working with our art teacher to get supplies for painting the 2 libraries.  They will also help us with the final supplies for installing both libraries.  I can’t thank them enough for their generosity.  They definitely have my future home improvement business!

5th graders immediately came to see the 2 libraries

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iPad Photography

A group of 4th grade ELT students have been studying photography with their spectrum teacher, Mrs. Hunter.  They have also been working in the library to learn about digital photography and tips for taking great photos.  They collaborated on a Google doc to crowdsource a list of tips for taking digital photos, and they have explored many artistic ways to take photos around our school.

Over the past 2 days, these students have used our iPads to try even more ways of taking photographs.  Students explored the following apps:

  • Photobooth-Take a photo with many fun options.
  • Camera!-Take a photo and apply many options to edit it.
  • Pic Stitch-make collages and apply filters, stickers, and many other effects to each picture.
  • Panorama-take a panoramic photo and apply filters to it.
  • Pic Collage-Make a collage of photos from the camera roll, add text & stickers & backgrounds.
  • Tap FX-Take a photo or use the camera roll and apply effects & filters
  • PS Express-Use a picture from the camera roll and do basic to advanced photo editing.

The favorite by far was Tap FX because of the many explosions and fire effects you could add to a picture.

Once students tried several apps for taking photos and editing them, I asked them to select their favorite and email it to me.  They used their school Google accounts to attach their picture.  For many, email was still a new task, so this did slow us down a bit.  I loved seeing their creativity in taking photographs but also in using apps to apply filters and effects to their pictures.  I think their work has a lot of implications for future projects.  These students could become consultants that teach others how to use the various photography apps for projects.

Take a look at their favorites in this gallery:

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Becoming Blind

Students in Mrs. Slongo’s ELT class became blind last week, but not like you might think.  For the past two years, Mrs. Slongo has taken her 5th grade class on a journey of exploration and empathy through blind sculptor Michael Naranjo’s work.  Students watch a YouTube video about his work and philosophy.  Then, students are blindfolded and given a lump of clay to sculpt what they picture in their mind.  Last year students wrote letters to Naranjo and sent them to him, but this year Mrs. Slongo wanted the letters to be in a format that was more connected to Naranjo.  After students wrote letters about their experiences “being blind” and how they were inspired by his work, students came to the media center to record their letters using Audacity. Their work will be burned onto a CD and taken to one of Naranjo’s art exhibits that Mrs. Slongo’s sister will be attending.  It was so inspiring to listen to these 5th grade students share how they were inspired by Naranjo’s passion to keep doing what he loves even though he can’t “see” his work.

You can listen to each students’ letter here.

4th Grade Colonial Wax Museum

Each year, the entire 4th grade works on a huge project called the Colonial Wax Museum.  This project incorporates all of the social studies standards related to Colonial America.  Students spend many sessions in the media center and in their classroom researching one historic figure from the Colonial period.  Some of these people are well-known, but some are very obscure, so it makes for a very interesting search online for information that is reliable.  Students used many search engines found on our research tools pathfinder that was created by the great Joyce Valenza.

The culminating project is to host  a wax museum.  Students dress up in costume and pose around the media center and in classrooms.  They place a construction paper “push” button in front of them.  Teachers, students, and community members come and step on the push buttons and the characters come to life and recite a short speech about themselves that comes from their extensive research.  This is always a fun project to be a part of in the media center.  The 4th grade teachers and students did an outstanding job in this year’s museum.

Check out a glimpse of what the museum looked like here.