Welcome back to school virtually! I know that these are challenging times for all of us, but please know that as your 4-6 Library kumu , I am here to support all of you as continue learning from home. Please continue to check your HMC Google Classrooms for updated materials, lessons and resources. If you need any assistance, please reach out to me there.
In the meantime, I have gathered numerous eBook and information database sources you can use as you learn from home. Click on the picture of the HMC below and it will take you to a Wakelet with the direct links. You will need to login to some of the databases so please check your Google Classrooms for the access information.
Take care, stay safe and I will see you in person next year!
It is nearly Spring Break and the school year has been whizzing by! Our upper grade students have been busy this year. Right now, everyone is knee deep into research. Our 4th graders, newly returned from their Hawaiʻi Island huakaʻi, are finishing up their Hawaiian plant research project. Continuing where last year’s 4th graders left off, they are studying a variety of native and introduced plants to figure out what plants will grow well in our very own KES Hawaiian garden. Meanwhile. our 5th graders are immersed in everything Kapālama as they get ready for their 5th grade play. Here, the students focused on researching this very special place from ancient times to modern day. Finally, in the next building over, after numerous huaka’i to the Windward side of Oahu, our 6th graders are diving deep into their Aloha ‘Āina Projects as they look at the question of how they can address an important issue of their wahi.
In our era of fake news, here in the HMC, all students are working learning how to evaluate information sources to determine credibility, accuracy, bias and relevance. The current Coronavirus outbreak was the topic they were most interested in as they raced against each other to figure out fact from fiction and determine information authenticity. Along the way, they also learned some insider tricks to searching Google.
As we bring this month to a close, it is also Nene Award voting time! Yes, our students in grades 4-6 will be choosing their favorite books as they vote for the 2020 Nene Award. The Nene Award is the Hawaii state children’s book award. Open to students in grades 4-6 who have read at least one of the books on the recommended list, students vote online in early March. Votes are tabulated and submitted to the committee. The winner is announced in early May, usually during the annual Books and Music Festival. So, stay tuned to see if your favorite book has won!
We are now into our second month of school and boy is time flying!Here, in the HMC, our upper grade students have gone through their library orientation scavenger hunt, been learning how to be safe and effective digital citizens and getting excited about reading.
In December 2017, we introduced an online social networking site called Biblionasium to our 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students.This is a safe and restricted site that operates via our Destiny Online Catalog.It allows our KES students to log reading time, create reading goals, write book reviews and share recommendations with their classmates.Students can also participate in contests and earn badges for reading, which is something they totally love doing! Consider it the GoodReads for kids.
This year we have started using Biblionasium early!All of our 4th and 5th graders have been trained and are now using this resource weekly – logging, reading and recommending books. A new feature we are trying out this year is the reading challenges! Yes, being that most of our students are highly competitive by nature, they can now challenge each other to read a wider range and quantity of books! I, too, have joined in on the challenge.I created a challenging reading goal for myself:Read 200 books by the end of the school year and challenged the students, collectively as a class and individually, to beat me.Classes that do, will receive a special reward.Individual students who do will get their own special prize. So, now, the challenge is on and I am looking forward to getting my socks knocked off!
In addition to our regular classes, this year many of the specialist teachers in grades 4 and 6 are teaching elective courses as part of our La Noʻonoʻo rotational days.In the HMC, my 6th grade course is the KES Yearbook.Yes, this year our yearbook will be student created!Currently, 21 students are enrolled and learning all things Yearbook. They have started looking at previous yearbook editions and are interviewing students from across the different grade levels to get feedback on what they want their yearbook to look like.They have many new and creative ideas so get ready – a change is coming!
During the last few weeks of school, our fourth and fifth graders have been busy building and coding in our Media Center. We have been using some our La No’ono’o Days to have our students experiment with coding and building. We recently purchased large LEGO bricks and had the students use their imaginations and creativity by designing and building different types of mazes. Their classmates then took our KES Dot and Dash robots and coded them to race through the mazes. During both activities, the students had to put both their knowledge of science and math together and work to create mazes that their classmates could program in 20-30 minutes. Although it was a challenge, the days were boisterous and full of wonderful collaborations. Way to go fourth grade!
Our fifth graders also had a great opportunity to learn from a team of South Korean students who recently visited our middle school campus as part of a international student exchange. The South Korean students discussed and demonstrated how they used scale coding and artificial intelligence to program and control Altino cars. Our students then had a chance to jump in and try it for themselves. With some assistance from the visiting students, they were able to do some basic tricks. They were so excited and engaged that they were even willing to give up their recess! Great job fifth graders!
On the winter La Noʻonoʻo days, I am testing out a new game format with my 4th graders. It is based on the idea of the Breakout Room which has been around for a long time. The basic premise is students are given a group challenge in the form of a locked box. In order to open the box, students work in teams, use their critical thinking skills and apply their knowledge of the content area to complete a series of puzzles. When they solve a puzzle, they have to figure out how to use answer to the puzzle to open one of the locks on the box. The box contains a variety of locks and in order to open it, the students must open all of the locks.
Our first breakout game was entitled “Reindeer Games”. Students worked in teams of five to solve the five puzzles. While some of the puzzles were given out when the game started, others were strategically hidden around the room. The students had a blast and the first class to breakout was Room 18. Congratulations!
Fall Enrichment days arrived at KES in early October and here at the Hiʻilei Media Center, our 4th and 5th graders spent the time with us making new friends with books. Our library was transformed into a little bistro complete with red and white balloons, streamers, black tablecloths, rose filled vases and books – loads and loads of books. The tables were piled high with both traditional favorites as well as our new hotly requested titles – the latest installment of Harry Potter, Dork Diaries and Geronimo Stilton. A few weeks ago we received our order of new books and have been rushing to get them processed and into the hands of the students. Our Speed Dating Book Adventure was the perfect opportunty to do this.
After reviewing the criteria for selecting a great book, the music started and the students eagerly dived into the tables to make their choices. Using popular kids music as a timer, the students choose a book, read for 2-3 minutes then completed a quick evaluation of the book. At the end of the session, the students had gone through six rounds, examined lots of great books and wrote out a detailed recommendation for one of their books for other students to read. With nearly every student choosing to borrow a book, it was a great day for reading!
September 15 was International Dot Day! It is the day students, teachers and everyone who loves Peter Reynold’s book, The Dot, celebrate creativity, perseverance and courage. The book tells the story of Vashti, a young girl who is very frustrated because she doesn’t believe she can draw. But, with the encouragement of her teacher, she learns to make her mark, perseveres and becomes a great artist by simply using dots!
Here at the Hiiliei Media Center, our Dot Day adventure started bright and early with our morning classes and recess. Our students listened to the story on Tumblebooks, sang the Dot Day song written by Emily Arrow and then had a choice from two art activities. They could either create their own artistic mark using an augmented reality coloring page from Quivervision and watch it come alive using the free app on their iPads or they could decorate a Dot Day card with stickers, stamps and their own artistic style . Our older students designed their own 3D cards using the themes of I Mua, Lokomaikaʻi, Kulia and Hoʻomau.
As you can see, everyone involved had a blast – students and adults as well. By the end of the day, the students were teaching each other the Dot Day song and dance, could recite the story almost word for word and were proudly showing off their artistic creations. In fact, we all had so much fun we continued it well into September 16. After all, author Peter Reynolds always says, “Dot Day is on September 15ish”!