Friday, January 30, 2015

Makerspace OR Hackerspace?

New IMac

In the eight years that I have been in the The Webb School Library, all of our computers have been PCs built by students under the tutelage of Mr. Pryor.  Recently we have had quite the need for a user-friendly video editing computer.  Today Mr. Pryor and a student installed the first Mac ever.  

This will be another way to support the Junior Class "Makers".

This week the Makers included:
Making Money [stock trading]
Making Music [learning a new instrument]
Making Chickens [Incubator]
Making Magic
Making Energy [Tesla Coil]
Making Flight [learning to be a pilot]
Making a Refrigerator
Making Video Games

The Makerspace trend has become popular among progressive librarians. A number of libraries have created spaces with everything from knitting to 3-D printers.  The goal is to become a place of creation, collaboration and communication.  I wholeheartedly believe in these concepts, however at Webb we have other areas on campus where some of these projects like 3D printing are a better fit such as our art and science labs.

I have really embraced a specific library related trend.  That trend is the learning and information commons idea.  I suppose the two trends are similar.  We also like the idea of a "Hackerspace".  The library is the home to coding, video production, and video editing.  Also, it is the home of several unusual clubs like Dungeons & Dragons and MineCraft.

Checkout this article from The School Library Journal
Makerspaces need not be one-size-fits-all kind of spaces

The Junior Project
The Junior class level was given the task of crafting a public performance which would allow students to express their individual creativity, to improve on skills they already knew or to learn a new creative endeavor and to share that creativity via a public presentation to include not only their creative project, but also to emphasize the public presentation of that project through effective public speaking.  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Throwback to Hogwarts

I was so happy that the student body voted to have a "Hogwarts Day" during spirit week this Spring!

We decorated the library with Hogwarts posters and book displays and quite a few students and faculty dressed in Hogwarts costumes.  Mr. Rodriguez, took the opportunity to announce a new elective for next fall "Harry Potter, Magic and Morality."

In Focus 6 we experimented with the Green Screen.
We are using a Kindle Android App for Green Screen editing.
This app is very easy to use.  There are a number of free apps on the market.  If you want more professional results you will need a program that is more robust.

Green Screen Apps 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Senior Project crunch time

Tireless Work

Seniors are working on their Introduction and Background/ Lit Review over the weekend.

My Advice:

Write your paper with the presentation in mind.  
  • Think about the following questions:
    • How will you introduce the topic to the audience?  
    • How will you tell them about the research you have found?
Don't forget to introduce the source/s and cite throughout the paper
  • When to cite
    • a direct quote [also add quotation marks]
    • a paraphrase
    • ideas from your sources

Click here for online journals

Writers block?? -

The paper Introduction and the Background-Literature Review [should be easy if you completed a well written annotated bib] 
  • The Introduction is 1 page double spaced.
  • The Background-Literature Review is 3 to 4 pages of research writing. This includes your sources cited at the end and throughout with parenthetical citations.
    • Think of the background section as the place where you identify and discuss the most important books, articles, or any other kind of source materials for your project. If you wanted to bring another student up to date on what you're doing, what would be the most important thing to read? A well written review will provide a sense of critical issues and debates which form the background for your own original work.

Celebrating Diversity all year round

Holiday Series

at The Webb School Library
A series of holiday celebrations that represent the diversity of the students at The Webb School began in December. Our committee has organized the series as an alternative to just a one day "Diversity Day" event.
  • Hanukkah 
  • Christmas 
  • Kwanzaa 
  • Mawlid al-Nabi 
  • Junkanoo, Mardi Gras and Carnival
  • Korean New Year
  • Chinese Lantern Festival
  • Holi


On Dec. 10, Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of rededication also known as the festival of lights, will be the first holiday celebration.


On Dec. 11, Webb hosted the annual Christmas celebrationLessons and Carols
Santa made his annual visit to Webb before the Service of Lessons and Carols on Dec. 11. Children visited with Santa and also received gifts from him following dinner in the Grace Follin Dining Hall.

Mawlid al-Nabi 

Jan. 7 -- Mawlid al-Nabi This holiday celebrates the birthday of Muhammad, the founder of Islam. It is fixed as the 12th day of the month of Rabi I in the Islamic calendar.


Jan. 8 -- Kwanzaa and Gospel Music (the 48th annual Kwanzaa, the African American holiday celebrated from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1)


Jan. 23 -- Mardi Gras and Junkanoo (held on various Caribbean islands, the John Canoe Festival represents a combination of Mardi Gras (CARNIVAL), mummers’ parades, and ancient African tribal rituals);

Korean New Year 

Feb. 18 -- Korean New Year or Seollal (on this day, people have a bowl of tteokguk -- rice cake soup--, ages are calculated according to the lunar calendar, and it is believed that each person becomes a year older after eating tteokguk); 

Chinese Lantern Festival 

Feb. 23 -- Chinese Lantern Festival (Chinese Lantern Festival also known as Yuan-Xiao Festival is on the 15th day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar)

Holi Festival 

March 6 -- Holi Festival (a festival of colors that welcomes the spring and celebrates the new life and energy of the season is celebrated in India, Nepal, and other regions of the world

27th annual National Geographic Bee

This year's winners Kaleb King '20, first place;
Gabe Nafrada, second place

with Larry Nichols, faculty member and contest coordinator
For years we have assisted Professor Nichols' geography class with maps, transparencies and overhead projectors.  The collaboration and efforts include keeping the maps up-to-date and making sure we can find them with a moments notice as well as keeping equipment in good shape.

We use National Geographic's MapMaker to make our transparencies

Read more on the school's webpage

Maps made by students

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Changing fast, and Adapting

Learning about learning 

The week before last I gave a pre-reading assignment to my 6th graders.
We are reading "Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--The World's Most Dangerous Weapon" by Steve Sheinkin and before reading I gave students a vocabulary list to write down definitions in their own words.  I told students that they could use their devices, and computers to look up words.  I was expecting to see Google,, Wikipedia, etc.

What surprised me, was when fourteen of the twenty-five students pulled out their phones and said... "Siri what is -- theoretical physics?"

Needless to say, I learned how quickly technology changes, and about how readily my students adapt to the changes.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Celebrating MLK Day

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Curtis Jenkins
We have a special guest on campus who gave a tribute to Dr. King during our daily chapel program." 
I have a dream with paintings by Kadir Nelson

Curtis Jenkins, a 1992 Webb graduate and pastor of a Nashville church, was the special guest speaker in chapel. 

Stop by the library to see displays about
leadership, innovation and creativity.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

"Throwback" Research Paper

English IV

"Throwback" Research Paper  Circa 1970   --

After seeing our "banned books week" post on Facebook, The Follin Chair of English,  Mr. Ron Smith, is revisiting a 1970 English Research Paper that we found in the Archives.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Research Projects for the New Year

English III Research with Professor Camp 

"This paper blends your own analysis of primary works of literature with the scholarly thoughts and writings about that primary source by another person who shares an interest in your selected topic" (Camp)

Online Resources for your paper

To look through nonfiction eBooks and eJournals 
Electronic Books available through Project Gutenberg
Poetry Website All Poetry

An Author Study
Search our Catalog for books by the author
Search our Catalog for books about the author
Search the GALE Literature Resource Center
  • Contemporary Authors Online
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography Online
  • American Writers, Volumes 1-4, and Supplements 1-21
  • British Writers, Volumes 1-7 and Supplements 1-17
Search the GALE Virtual Reference Library [GVRL] for 
  • Twayne's Authors Series

A Time Period
Search our Catalog for books

Search the GALE Virtual Reference Library [GVRL] for
  • 10-volumes World Eras
Search the Library of Congress American Memory Collection

Thematic study

Common Themes in Literature

Search our Catalog for books
Search the GALE Virtual Reference Library [GVRL] for
  • Browse the Literature tab
Influential person in American history

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

General Charles C. Krulak

What a "COOL" guy!

General Charles C. Krulak, former Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and current president of Birmingham-Southern College visited the library.

What a "COOL" guy!  He greeted me with a double high-five!
We had meetings in the library with a group of 9th graders participating in the Fostering Student Initiatives Program [FSIP] and then he will speak to the entire student body in the afternoon.
General "K" has lots of energy and he connected so well with our kids!

The General with the
student body president Nick Tilton
honor council president Mckenna Hoover
and Alexander Weitzman [FSIP representative]

Updated Library Scavenger Hunt

Challenge NO ... Opportunity

Today, we had an activity in the library classroom, and I was displaced along with a group of 25 sixth-graders.  Have you ever tried to keep a group of 25 sixth-graders engaged and some what "quiet" for 90 minutes?  Well we updated our library scavenger hunt to include technology that our young ones are very comfortable with and I think they learned quite a bit.  They worked in pairs and since we are a BYOD school, we incorporated phones and tablets to take digital photos.

Here is a link to the Scavenger Hunt

Here are some photos of the activities
Find the magazine section and look through one magazine –
Write the name of it here: ________________________
Take a picture of the magazine section

Find a dictionary and look up the word quintessence
Take a picture of the word in the dictionary

 Look up a book by "AUTHOR" in the computer
Click details and Take a picture of the computer catalog 
Write the call numbers here______________________

Monday, January 05, 2015

Nonfiction from the VSBA list

First read of the new year with the 6th grade
Reading Nonfiction from the VSBA list

Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--The World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin


For Teachers

Teaching Books
Steve Sheinkin's website 
Teacher's guide

Other books and the fiction/nonfiction connection

Hiroshima : a novella / by Laurence Yep
The Bomb / by Theodore Taylor
The Ultimate weapon : the race to develop the atomic bomb / by Edward T. Sullivan
One thousand paper cranes : the story of Sadako and the Children's Peace Statue / by Takayuki Ishii.

Tennessee Connection

TN History for kids
Secret Atomic City