Innovation Center

April 2019

Connecting with Authors

For the past couple of months, eighth graders from Ms. McKenzie's advanced ELA class received enrichment through a second book club. Some students read Dusti Bowling's adventurous 24 Hours in Nowhere about a band of misfit kids who search for gold in an abandoned mine over the course of 24 hours in Nowhere, Arizona. The other students read Dusti Bowling's The Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus about eighth grader Aven Green who has recently moved from Kansas to Arizona and must face the challenges of starting a new school where no one is accustomed to her birth defect of having no arms. On Friday, we had book-themed treats and Skyped with the author. Students enjoyed meeting the author and asking her questions about her books.

A Culture of Listening

Eighth graders Adia Payne, Caleb Bland, Kellee Nguyen, and Nicholas Bowers have spent 2019 creating a culture of learning through our StoryCorps project. To date, they have interviewed six faculty members from Warrington Middle (Mr. Brummet, Mr. Thomas, Ms. L. Coleman, Ms. Loerch, Ms. Tibbs, & Ms. McKenzie) and have a few more planned this school year (Ms. B. Coleman & Deputy Taylor). We are beginning the final installment of the StoryCorps grant project this year, which is to interview people outside of the school. The first community interview will be with a current Warrington volunteer and former Warrington student. Stay tuned to hear their conversations with a variety of community members.

Read & Ride

Do your students need to burn some energy and refocus? Send them to the innovation center to read & ride! There are currently 2 stationary bikse available for 15-minute sessions to pedal through the pages. Students must have a pass from a teacher that states "Read & Ride" in order to participate. Students must be reading or listening to an audiobook while on the bike. We have recently purchased new audiobooks thanks to a grant from the Hill Kelly Dodge Pay It Forward program. This activity will release stress as the testing season is upon us! WEAR Channel 3 recently featured our Read & Ride program on a news segment. Savannah Gant and Braxton Boykin demonstrated how the Read & Ride program works, and the video can be viewed here: https://weartv.com/features/pay-it-forward/read-ride-program-at-warrington-middle-gives-boost-to-brains-bodies

New Technology

After a successful Scholastic Book Fair in February, we were able to add many new books to the innovation center as well as the addition of more robotics in the makerspace. Students can now play with Cubelets and a Sphero, which students can program to use with a launcher and a ramp. With a $5,000 Krystal grant, VR and AR devices will also soon be added to the innovation center. Come check out our makerspace today!

Shelf Awareness

What's new on the shelves?
  • 126 new books were added to the library collection this semester. New books are still being processed. The reference section was recently weeded, and books from that section will be interfiled into nonfiction. All the makerspace supplies are now housed on the former reference shelves. If you have any requests for book titles to add to the collection, please let Ms. Ratliff know or fill out the wish list: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSehUJgfd_HONkKNFlAcv_yd6LpQcmxa-dfLPRaunWURULomeA/viewform.
  • Genre Spotlight: There will be a display each month highlighting a different genre in the innovation center. April's spotlight is poetry and includes novels in verse as well as collections of poems.
  • Do your students love audiobooks? Through the Pay It Forward program, we recently added 5 new Playaways to the Read & Ride program. Students can now pedal while listening to modern titles, including Jason Reynolds' Long Way Down, Angie Thomas' The Hate U Give, Renee Watson's Piecing Me Together, Rita Williams-Garcia's One Crazy Summer, and the classic S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders.

Future Launches

  • April 10th (3rd-5th periods): The Escambia County Supervisor of Elections is helping us with our SSYRA voting event in the innovation center again this year. Ms. Loerch will assign times for your book club to attend. Students must have read 3 of the SSYRA titles to vote. We will submit our votes to the state this week, and the state winner will be announced on April 18th along with the new SSYRA lists for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • April 11th (1st-2nd periods): Ms. Loerch's class recently read K.A. Holt's novel in verse Rhyme Schemer and will be skyping with the author in celebration of poetry month.
  • April 12th (6th-8th periods:) The Warrington Middle Battle of the Books will be held in the cafeteria, and students will battle it out with their knowledge from this year's SSYRA books. Prizes will be awarded to the top students in each grade.
  • April 26th will be the last day for students to check out books as all books will be due back to the innovation center by Friday, May 10th for inventory.
  • May 4th (8:00 AM-10:00 AM): The Escambia County Battle of the Books at Washington High School. We hope to send three teams from Warrington this year!
  • May 10th (1st-2nd periods): The West Florida Public Library STEAM librarians will be visiting the innovation center and letting kids explore some of the STEAM activities that they have at the local libraries. Ms. Loerch's class will be using the Oculus Go, Cubelets, and LEGO robotics kits.
Innovation Center Student Sign In/Out List

New electronic sign in/out method for students: Check to see if your students signed in & out of the innovation center!