Happy Holidays! Enjoy Winter Break!
December 3 Robotics 5-7 pm
December 7-11 Hour of Code participation through Guided Studies
December 10 Genius Hour -- Quilling and other gift making crafts 3-4 pm Library open for Genius hour participants only
Robotics 5 -7 pm
December 11 Johnson County Library book talks 6th & 7th grades
December 17 TAG during all lunches PLEASE bring a wrapped book to exchange!
Robotics 5-7 pm
Please return all library books not needed for winter break
December 18 Library closed after school for winter break
January 5 classes resume
January 6 Winter Break Reading Challenge due to library
January 7 Geography Bee 8 am library
January 12 library closed after school early dismissal
January 14th Spelling Bee 8 am library
National History Bee 3-4 pm library
library closed after school
January 15 library closed after school MLK weekend
January 21 TAG during all lunches
Genius Hour 3-5 pm library open for participants only
January 25 Creative Writing Club Kick off all grades 3-4 pm
January 26 Library closed after school early dismissal
January 28 Genius Hour 3-5 pm library open for participants only
JANUARY Robotics schedule to be determined! Competition January 16th @ Union Station
Winter Break Reading Challenge!
It's important to maintain good reading habits even during winter break! Choose at least 10 different marshmallow reading challenges. When you complete the challenge, glue it to your mug. The length of time for each challenge is 30 minutes. When you're all finished, decorate your mug creatively and return it to the library by January 6th. Tweet your favorite marshmallow activity with the #bvlibrary #psmsbv
Download the mug and marshmallows here!
*idea attributed to Sarah Wiggins (c) 2013
GIFT SELECTIONS FOR THE YA READER IN YOUR LIFE!
Creative Writing Club
Geography Bee January 7th
Time to brush up on your geography knowledge! The library has a selection of resources sure to inspire and enlighten you on display! Social Studies classrooms will hold the preliminary round before winter break to select finalists and alternates. The school-wide bee will take place January 7th beginning at 8:00 am in the library. Finalists and alternates will attend. Guests are allowed to watch.
National Geographic Study Corner
Geography Bee resources
Introduction: Study geography with the goal to be a good geography guesser. Listen for clues in the questions in order to make your best educated guess. For example, you will not be asked to cite the exact elevation of a mountain, but you might be asked which of three mountain ranges has the highest average elevation, or which of three cities is near a specific mountain range. You might be asked to name the continent where a mountain range is found. Which continent might you guess if the name sounds like it is in Spanish? Probably not Asia! Using logic to reason out the answer will help you more than lots of memorized facts.
Step 1: Learn about the National Geographic Bee: Are you trying to convince your parents to give you more computer time? Show them this bee info page and ask for permission to play geography games! Every day you can take a new geobee quiz for practice. Studying geography for 20 minutes a day is better than studying just before the bee.
Step 2: Surround yourself with maps: Look for U.S. maps at the dollar store, or print them off the internet. Print blank maps off the National Geographic website and practice pointing and naming the state or country. Look at a map or atlas while you are playing geography games.
Step 3: Check out the National Geographic Study Corner: Ignore the stuff for teachers on the top left, but try ALL of the links on the bottom left of the page.
Step 4: Start with U.S. Geography: Develop a good mental map (a map in your head) of the United States by playing geospy. For example, if you are asked about a fruit that you know only grows in a very warm climate, you probably won’t guess North Dakota. Once you know the 50 states, learn the 13 provinces of Canada.
Step 5: More U.S. Geography: Play more U.S. geography games to learn lakes, rivers, mountains, port cities and state capitals. Learn about agriculture, natural vegetation, major industries, tourist and historical sites, national parks and population trends. Connect what you learn to your mental map. As you learn about the Mississippi River, for example, look at an atlas to think about which states and major cities are near. Can you close your eyes and picture the Mississippi River on your mental map of the United States?
Step 6: World Geography: Play world geography games to develop a good mental map of the continents and familiar countries of the world. Learn about landforms, climate, crops and natural vegetation, bodies of water, important cities, culture and religion, general latitude and longitude, and tourist and historical sites. Donate rice to countries in need with each correct answer at this site that focuses on world geography. Check out the library to find books about different countries around the world.
Step 7: Current Events: Read up on current events that relate to geography. This is especially important for you if your goal is to win the Anwatin geography bee and qualify for state competition. Reading a weekly news magazine is a good way to learn about current events.
Get the Necessary Tools: A good, up-to-date world map, atlas, and geography reference book are your best study tools, along with blank outline maps with which to practice locating places.
• Learn Map Terminology: Understanding what you're looking at and correctly reading labels and coordinates on a map are essential.
• Understand the Interconnectedness of Geography: Subdivisions of geography, such as physical features, climate, and culture, are all influenced by each other. Once you understand this, it will be easier to categorize and remember information about countries and regions.
• Follow Current Events: News items regarding political upheavals, international agreements, and discoveries are fair game for Bee questions, so make sure you are an informed citizen of the world. See our National Geographic News site for recent stories.
• Analyze the Questions: Visit our Sample Questions page to see the types of questions asked in the Bee and to learn how you can look for clues within the questions to help you figure out the right answers.
Spelling Bee January 14th
Felix exitus! That's Latin for success or happy outcome! Students will have the chance to compete in classroom bees for a chance to participate in the school-wide spelling bee on January 14th at 8:00 am in the library. Classroom bees will determine finalists and alternates for the school bee. Guests are invited to watch. Study Packets are available for download on the library website.
What is the origin of s-u-c-c-e-s-s?
You can find it by following these 11 tips along your way to spelling superstardom:
For inspiration, watch the documentary Spellbound on family movie night.
Keep a "great words" journal for every new and interesting word that you find.
Designate a spelling wall in your home. Post new words to the wall each day.
For family game night, conduct an impromptu themed spelling bee. Use a newspaper for a current events bee or a cookbook for a cuisine bee.
Do like Akeelah did. Spell and jump rope!
Ask friends and neighbors to challenge you with great spelling words.
Find a good luck charm—perhaps shoelaces with a bumblebee design or a special coin.
Read great books. You'll be entertained while you effortlessly improve your spelling and increase your vocabulary.
Scour the dictionary in search of words to stump your parents and teachers.
Have a parent sign you up for a Word Club season pass. Word Club is a fun new way to study official Scripps National Spelling Bee study words online, with tests on both spelling and vocabulary! Click here to learn more.
http://www.learner.org/interactives/spelling/spelling.html Contestants -- that's you! -- in grades 1-8 will listen to three stories, one at a time, and then spell words from each story. Students in high school will listen to separate sentences and then spell the words from each sentence.
http://www.arcademics.com/games/spelling-bees/spelling-bees.html play against other spellers simple but fun to practice common words. Works on your typing skills too!
http://www.spellingbeethegame.com/ Hard words! Based off the musical The Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
National History Bee January 14th
The National History Bee is an exciting social studies competition for students who love learning, competing, and having fun! Participating students progress from the school level to the regional level and finally to the National Finals where one student is crowned the National History Bee Champion! Students who are interested in competing may participate by taking the online qualifying exam on January 14th from 3-4 pm in the library. Students in all grades may compete.
The Official Study Guide can be found here.
The Study Guide is broken into different chapters for different portions of history. Each chapter is broken into sections based on what happened in those sections of history and what are the most important “themes” of that time period.
Reading about these themes should allow you to think of history not just as a set of facts to memorize, but will give you a greater understanding of historical progress and the truly BIG concepts that tie those facts together.
Remember—while this Study Guide should get you started, there is so much more to history than what is in those ten pages. The Study Guide is a compass, pointing each National History Bee student in the right direction on their quest for history knowledge!
Practice exams can be found here.
A list of suggested internet resources can be accessed here. Good luck!
Genius Hour & MakerSpace Thursdays in the library beginning in January
Daniel Pink asks what drives us. Sir Ken Robinson asks us to inspire creativity in our students. The latest in education is asking us to teach our students to create their own questions, do their own research, and form their own conclusions with their learning. Why? The world is a collaborative, communicative place and it is the world of online tools that has made it this way. Our students' workplaces will be places with teams at tables, not individuals in cubicles. They will be asked to be innovative and create the next tool, not to push bureaucratic paper. We must teach them how to think on their own without being told what to do. We need to teach them to be autonomous learners. Only one who can guide his own learning can effectively contribute to a team.
Beginning in mid-January the library will be offer "The Genius Hour" every Thursday from 3-5 pm. The Genius hour, inspired by Google's 20% time which offers time to its employees to work on a pet project...a project that their job description doesn't cover, is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity. It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time. Our Genius hour is a hybrid of sorts. It's two hours rather than one for starters. Students can stay some or all of the time. Our sessions will give students makerspace opportunities to pursue hands-on learning, exploration, and creativity. A makerspace is a place where students can come together to explore science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics, reading, writing, or anything else that they find interesting. It is a place where students think outside of the box to develop new ideas and self-direct learning.
What it is not: It is not a place where someone is going to give a lecture, provide examples, and direct how to get from point A to B. Students are going to jump in and get messy, figuring things out and learning as they go. Genius hour is a privilege and, with privilege, there is responsibility. I want genius hour to be a fun time, but if I have to warn a student more than twice about behavior, being off task, or for a lack of appropriateness, then genius hour is over for that student for the day and the student will be asked to call home for a ride. Students must not interfere with the learning of other students. Students will keep learning logs to track their progress and their learning. With genius hour, failure is an acceptable result and the emphasis is in learning from failure. This allows student to push themselves and take risks.
We hope to have some sessions will have guest speakers or adult facilitators. Sessions will offer opportunities for hands-on "crafting," building and programming a robot, building and computing with raspberry pis, arduinos, makey makeys, and 3D printing.
We are very interested in inviting guest speakers who can provide a hands-on, interactive experience for students from a variety of careers, especially with an eye towards how technology impacts/enables their work. Any engaging speaker from any walk of life will be considered! If you are crafty and would like to share an activity (from knitting to power tools!) or if you would be interested in presenting or know someone who would be great, please email Lisa Nocita with information firstname.lastname@example.org
World of 7 Billion Student Video Contest
The World of 7 Billion is a video contest designed to get students to think about issues related to population growth. The contest asks middle school and high school students to produce sixty second videos about how population growth impacts one of the following three issues; deforestation, public health, or water scarcity. Students' videos must also propose a sustainable solution to the issues that they choose to highlight in their videos. Submissions are due by February 25, 2016.
Creating a video for the World of 7 Billion contest could be a good opportunity for students to incorporate and demonstrate their understanding of topics that they have studied in science and in geography. The 60 second limit on the videos will force students to be concise.
Emporia State University Stem-All
6th grade science teacher Ms. Michelle Nixon and I applied and were accepted into an all-expenses paid new program that will allow us to earn a prestigious certificate in Information, Technology, and Scientific Literacy from Emporia State University. We will gain expertise from National Science Foundation recognized STEM fields and the American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association standards for best information and technology practices. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education. STEM is an interdisciplinary and applied approach that is coupled with hands-on, problem-based learning. Educators focus on these areas together not only because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success but also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the real world and in how students learn most effectively. Together we will learn techniques for collaboration as instructional partners between Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) teachers and professional librarians. We are very excited to see what we can bring back to PSMS! Classes begin with the spring 2016 semester. Wish us luck! It's a two year program!
Prairie Star Middle School Library
Meryl Mayer, library paraprofessional extraordinaire
Kristin Brzon, library paraprofessional extraordinaire