Thursday, March 22, 2018

Genius Hour

The 3rd and 4th grade are beginning Genius Hour this week. Genius Hour is a movement where students are given the opportunity to learn about something they are passionate about. They choose a topic and a guiding question and then begin to learn more about their passion. Some students may choose to learn about sign language or a county. Others may choose to invent something or learn how to code. Students can learn how to knit, sew or build something. Some of the benefits of Genius Hour is that it engages students, lets the student be creative and it encourages them to be lifelong learners.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Hamilton Wenham EdFund Grant

The three elementary schools in the district were awarded a generous grant by the Hamilton Wenham Edfund. The grant is to help supply the schools with more tools and materials for our makerspaces. Our goal is to create pop-up makerspaces that will be used by the regular classrooms throughout the year. Each school has received carts, sewing machines, a Cricut maker, a Rigamajig set, 3D Doodler pens, Ozobots, Cubelets, Spheros, small motors, LED's, conductive thread and so much more. We are so thankful to the Edfund for its generosity!

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Kindergarten has been doing an Author Study on Peter Reynolds this month. Together we read The Dot, Ish, and Sky Color.  Peter Reynolds wrote these books as a way for students, "—to explore, develop, and protect the bravery required to discover one’s voice and express it in a unique way." The students enjoyed drawing interesting dots, ish things and apples in their own unique way.

1st grade has been enjoying books by David McPhail. So far we have read Edward in the Jungle, Edward and the Pirates and Pigs Ahoy. The students have communicated their favorite parts of the stories, expressed their opinion about the books and compared the similarities and differences of the books.

2nd grade had been exploring Patricia Polacco's books. We have read Thank you, Mr. Falker, My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother and The Keeping Quilt. We found that we can learn a lot about the author through their books. We began listing Patria Polacco's character traits together and will be creating a Word Cloud about her next week.

The 3rd and 4th grade has been sharpening their Google apps skills. They have created and edited a Google doc and a Google sheet so far. Next, they will create a Google Slide presentation.

The 5th grade continues to work on the newscast, computer programming using Khan Academy and participating in Genius Hour. Each students spends about 10 weeks on each activity.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Last week the students learned about winter holidays during library/tech class.  We discussed many of the different symbols that we associate with holidays. The students were challenged to create these symbols out of Legos. They were so creative.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

What's Happening in the Library/iLab

The students in K-2 have been using Scratch Jr. to learn (more) about computer programming. Scratch Jr. is an iPad app that was created by MIT students. The students use coded blocks to make characters and things move. There are different categories of programming blocks. They categories are triggering, motion, looks, sound, control, and endings. The students are challenged to create a program that will drive a car down a road, have farm animals race and make the sunset and the moon rise. It's an engaging program that the students love to use.

The 3rd and 4th grade students have started exploring more difficult apps. One app we just used was called Cargo-Bot. This app challenges the students to program the robotic arm to move crates. They find this challenging but engaging enough that they keep on trying to get it right. Students learn a range of programming skills while having fun.

The 5th grade students are working in 3 different groups. One group is responsible for the newscast each week. They write the script, anchor, film and edit the newscast. Another group is participating in Genius Hour. Genius Hour is a time allowed to students to explore things that they are passionate about. They research their topic and then present their product or topic to others. The last group is learning more about computer programming. Khan Academy has a program for students. They actually learn how to use JavaScript to create drawings and animations. Each group will switch 3 times during the year so they will participate in each group.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Welcome Back!

Happy 2017 school year!

We're off to a great start so far. The students have started to visit the Media Center and iLab.  It's been great catching up with everyone and meeting our new students.

I wanted to share with you some of this year's library goals.

  • The library will be promoting the best of children's literature with your child.
  • I will be doing my best to get (or keep) your children "hooked on reading" by recommending specific reading materials to each student.
  • The library will add many new titles this year of the latest and most exciting new books, including quality non-fiction to help meet the Common Core requirements. 
  • At each grade level, students will be learning research and computer skills suited to their developmental needs. 
  • I will be working with classroom teachers to help them find materials especially suited to the individual interests and abilities of your child.
  • Library lessons will stress good Digital Citizenship, helping your child make safe and ethical decisions when using the internet.
  • Students will learn computer programming.
  • Every students will spend time in our makerspace where they will be encouraged to create, invent, tinker, explore and discover using a variety of tools and materials.
The Friends of Buker will be notifying parents soon about volunteering at the school. Please consider helping out in the media center and iLab.

Genius Hour

The 3rd and 4th grade are beginning Genius Hour this week. Genius Hour is a movement where students are given the opportunity to learn abo...