Our 7th graders were having a difficult time with the editing process so we decided to enlist our 8th graders to help! One of our 8th graders needed a Year 3 project so she decided to take it on. We decided to model our writing center after writing centers you would see at college.
We started by asking our 8th teachers to recommend students they believe would be able to help the 7th graders. As they had just assigned an essay, they were able to choose some great kids! We tried to get four to five 8th graders per 7th grade class. This required e-mailing teachers and asking permission for the 8th graders to miss class. I was pleasantly surprised by how many were willing. The 8th grade teachers in particular were helpful because they saw it as investing since they would have the 7th graders next year.
I had our student leader create a list of norms with our 7th grade ELA teachers so that she could train the other 8th graders. We placed tables and chairs outside so that students could meet with 8th graders one on one and have their paper edited by a peer.
Overall, I believe the collaboration was a success. Eighth graders were able to demonstrate their learning and leadership skills, while 7th graders got some much needed one on one attention!
For our bulletin board display for Valentine's Day, our 8th graders got a little sassy and put this up:
Underneath the display, we decided to put out some "blind date" books. Each book are personally favorites that don't check out a lot due to having a worn/outdated cover. We were hoping to get them some attention by wrapping them in paper and writing teasers on each one. For instance, below is one of my favorite books "Final Shot" by Paul Feinstein:
So far we have had a lot of luck getting this "forgotten" books checked out!
We've decided to make this the year of MakerSpace in the Media Center as our first project was to create Brush Bots. We got the idea from a MakerSpace book that I highly recommend:
All of the projects are cost effective with most materials available at the dollar store. I had no clue how to create a brush bot but what was wonderful was how the students worked together to figure it out. I set up the materials on a long table next to wear I was doing work and as students came in for lunch/activity time, they would come over and start tinkering.
It was amazing to see how creative their inventions turned out to be! At first they made the brush bots as instructed in the book, but they quickly moved to adding the motors and battery packs to other items in the media center. My favorite was a 7th grader named Grace adding multiple motors to one of our rolling chairs to create a massage chair.
Some students decided to create their own race track/arena and have the bots compete. All in all, BrushBot week was a success!
As an International Baccalaureate Magnet, we try to encourage to think outside of Garner, NC and look at the wide world. When I was younger, I loved looking at maps and have always been disappointed by how few students visit our map section in the media center. I decided to have my 8th graders create a display that illustrates Wanderlust and creativity. Here is what they came up with:
Believe it or not, the project took quite a bit of trial and error. We made it out of scrapbook paper and a basic butterfly template we found online. When the students put it up, they felt it didn't "pop" enough, so they added butterflies on top of the existing butterflies to create a 3D aspect. Also, we decided to have students write their answers for where they would like to go on sticky notes and will be adding them on the door frames as the year goes on. My favorite response so far has been from a 6th grader who decided to go to Outback Restaurant in Australia!
*Big shoutout to Mr. Morgan, our 8th grade counselor, who stopped by and quickly became our creative consultant.
This post is EXTREMELY overdue but we celebrated Banned Books Month back in November with our 8th graders. One way to drum up interest was by hiding banned books underneath paper bags and "daring" our students to check them out. Students were shocked that books like Captain Underpants and Harry Potter were banned in some parts of the country!
We decided to start the new school year by updating our displays. Part of our library mission statement is "to explore," so we wanted a display to reflect that. After searching the internet, our library helpers decided on a beautiful, multicolor sign that will great students as they walk into the media center. To make:
1. Cut out letters from cardboard
2. Wrap the letters in scrapbook paper
3. Hang up letters with velcro tape
4. Add a clock for the "O"
Our fabulous art teacher, Ms. Dunbar, made a global contexts display for our entryway. East Garner is an IB school and we wanted to showcase the global contexts that our students are expected during their time at East Garner. The books are paint and our library helpers decoupaged the top part with ripped out pages from old library books.
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