Makerspace activities in the Library

makerspace-3When my kids were at kindergarten, the most popular corner of the kinder room was the ‘tinkering’ corner. Anyone who had something that could be taken apart (bits of computers, old VCR players etc) would donate it to the kinder, where the kids would spend hours managing screwdrivers, pliers and nuts and bolts (just look at the tiny screws in something like your computer keyboard to know what removing them does for the fine motor skills of a four-year-old!).

For all sorts of reasons, when kids get to school, time for unstructured play and ‘tinkering’ is often reduced. Happily, KPS provides opportunities for kids who like to learn in this way – the Makerspace program and Play for Life are two examples. This week, Ruth Woolven tells us about Makerspace –

For your child, tinkering and making is a powerful and fun form of learning by doing. It provides an opportunity to explore and express creativity. Continue reading

Middle School Biologists @ Melbourne’s Beautiful Botanic Gardens

The Year 3/4 classes visited the Royal Botanic Gardens last week (thankfully it was the one gloriously sunny day in the middle of an otherwise wet, cold week). When I asked my Year 3 daughter what she thought they’d be doing on the excursion she went into great detail describing the scientific drawings they’d been practicing. And I had to say that I was a bit jealous because when I was at (high) school, one of my favourite things in biology were the species transects and quadrants we’d do on field-trips – in year 3/4 terms, it’s a ‘bug census’. However, whether you’re in Year 3/4 or 11/12, the principle is the same – a defined space, paper and pencil, magnifying glass and observant eyes!

I always enjoyed the exercise because I liked the sorting, taxonomy and list making. My daughter said that she was “…leaving the counting to someone else…” and instead was going to “…spend the day drawing bugs….”. Either way, it sounded like the best day.

Indi, Ishana and Emma from 3/4J tell us a bit more about the excursion –

bot-gardens-1On October 6th Year 3/4s went on an excursion to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Continue reading

First book, then movie

bookfiend-etsyAs is always the case during school holidays, a bunch of new movies were released. This year, the main offerings were Pete’s Dragon, The Secret Life of Pets and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. My kids, being a little older, were plugging for Miss Peregrine, until I said “But have you read the book?” Cue massive eye-rolls from children (because I always say ‘first book, then movie’).

I miss lots of new-release movies because I haven’t read the book. In fact, my chief-movie-going-pal often gives me advance warning of movies she wants to see with a simple “Read the book now because the movie is out in a month.” Considerate friend!

Although I usually prefer the book to the movie, it’s not always the case, particularly when it comes to kids books/ movies. In some cases, films are PERFECT translations of the book, the characters and scenes unfolding just as you imagined. And sometimes a movie not only does a book justice but makes it better. Yes, really.

So here are the books that I think rocketed into awesomeness thanks to a fabulous film – Continue reading

Our treasured library and our valuable librarian

library-6Many things come to mind when I think about my primary school librarian – she was the first port of call when we had a project to do; she was recommender of new books that I might like (hello Judy Blume); she was maker of amazing displays (I never knew I wanted to learn so much about the solar system until I saw her arrangement of books, foam balls hanging from the ceiling to represent the planets and a paper black hole); she was auditor of the MS Read-a-thon; she was driver of the microfiche; and she was also keeper of Where Did I Come From? (a book that only the grade six students were allowed free access to!). Continue reading