ALS Mini Grant Round-Up

Here’s another round-up of Arrowhead Library System Mini Grants that were completed in 2018 at International Falls Public Library, Nelle Shean/Junior High Media Center, Fond du Lac Ojibwe School Library, Lowell Elementary School and Bovey Public Library:

Project: STEALTH Programming

Feedback from Beth Nelson, International Falls Public Library

It is increasingly difficult to get patrons in the library for events, so we have chosen to “stealthily” program the junior room for our STEM activities. Because we have older patrons who use the tables for research, we need something portable. The goal of this project was to enable us to set up and run a portable station that allowed preschool and young elementary age children to explore STEM activities and clean up quickly or move to another location when necessary.  The usage was measured by observing patrons at work. We have seen older patrons who can use the area without waiting for children or staff to clean up displays. We have seen children take the activities to space that is available and be flexible in where they choose to use them.

Project: MakerSpace Updates!

Feedback from Leigh Zika, Nelle Shean/Junior High School Media Specialist

MakerSpace Update! We have a small makerspace in our school library that is in need of some new things for students to do. We would like to add some new opportunities for our students, but struggle to find the funding to try new things out. The Phoenix Kit, assembled by Maker Maven, has a variety of new STEAM-related items for students to explore. Each one comes with task cards and suggestions for teachers on how it might be used in the classroom as well. I feel that these items would provide our 5th and 6th grade students with some fresh variety that is well within their abilities to handle.  We only recently received our grant materials, so we haven’t had all of the activities out for students yet. As we finish the school year, we’ll work through the Strawbees, Google Cardboard and the Cardboard Connectors. We’re planning on using the classroom conductive tape kit between now and Christmas to make light-up holiday cards. To date, we’ve had the Ozobot and Buddha board out. Both items consistently get enthusiastic and amazed responses. Virtually every student who walks past the Buddha Board picks up the brush and tries it out. We’ll gather student feedback with an online survey, included in our Media Center newsletter, toward the end of the school year!

Project: Integration of Ojibwe Teachings During Storytelling

Feedback from Christine Skalko, Fond du Lac Ojibwe School Library 

The grant project to help fund the “Spirit of Truth” rug benefits the students/patrons by integrating the Ojibwe culture and seven teachings during storytelling. This could be measured by the number of student responses to staff led questions on how do the character(s) or legend relate to one or more of the seven Ojibwe teachings as well as the meaning and legends of the clans. For example: First grade students stood around the “Spirit of Truth” rug, identified their clan in both English and Ojibwe. 100% of the students responded to telling the meaning of at least one of the of the seven Ojibwe teachings. Among student responses were: “Respect” is being kind to others, “Courage” means to be brave,” Honesty” is telling the truth.” Following the legend, “Nanabosho and the Woodpecker,” 100% of students responded that Nanabosho was not wise when he pretended to be a woodpecker. Discussion followed on the Ojibwe teaching of wisdom and making good choices. This project inspires students to read more about their Ojibwe culture and history.

Project: 2018 ITEM Fall Conference Registration

Feedback from Sheryl Van Scoy, Lowell Elementary School Media Specialist

The ALS mini-grant was used to pay the registration fee for the Information and Technology Educators of Minnesota (ITEM) 2018 Fall Conference to gather information and resources that will expand the library media program at Lowell Elementary School in Duluth, MN.  Students and staff at Lowell Elementary benefited through the increase in high quality print resources as evidenced by materials added to the collection and increased circulation. In addition, the conference sessions on Makerspaces were influential in our school’s decision to successfully incorporate coding Sphero robots into the library media program. We measured this success by holding a Sphero robot coding clinic in collaboration with the College of St. Scholastica’s Computer Science (CS) department during CS in Education Week, December 3-7, 2018.

Project: New Computer Stations

Feedback from Tara DeGuiseppi, Bovey Public Library

Low income area with students and adults that do not have computers in their homes. Our current computers will remain as is and these would be in addition to what we already have. Currently, there is a sign up list with kids waiting to use computers. We have limited them to 30 minutes if they are not working on homework.  Students now trying to complete homework do not have to wait for computers to become available with the new computers. The programs such as Word and PowerPoint are available as well as Internet access for research.

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