What Can You do With a Block of Ice?

2018-04-05T01:09:05-06:00

      It's beginning to show signs of spring.  Trees are budding.  Insects are beginning fly and buzz about.  I see turtles sunning at the edge of the lake.  But before that -- It was cold.  Really, really cold, for my part of the world.  In a part of the country where freezes usually last a day or two, we had weeks without the temperature getting above the freezing mark.  So what kind of programming do you do when there's lots of ice outside?  Programs about ice, of course. Everyone knows that you put salt on the walkways, steps, and [...]

What Can You do With a Block of Ice?2018-04-05T01:09:05-06:00

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

2018-01-02T23:04:09-07:00

This is the time of the year when children in most every part of the country look forward to awakening to a fluffy white blanket of snow in which to play, to sled, to scoop into a bowl for snowcream, and most importantly, to get them out of a day at school.  In my part of the country these days, snow is fairly rare, and pretty much everything comes to a grinding halt as soon as there are a few inches on the ground. When I was a child, it seemed like there was a lot more of the icy white [...]

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!2018-01-02T23:04:09-07:00

Science Kits for STREAM Educators

2017-09-22T17:32:29-06:00

I have recently discovered a great not-so-new resource for teachers and librarians - Biology in a Box! This program, now in it's 25th year, was created by University of Tennessee/Knoxville professor Dr. Susan Riechert to help science teachers in the Knox County, Tennessee, schools who were lacking a strong science background, or adequate resources to provide strong STEM programs in their schools.  Each of the soon to be 13 thematic boxes is chock full of cool, attention-grabbing manipulatives which inspire students/children to take a scientific interest in the world around them.  Each box also includes curriculum information for every grade, so that the [...]

Science Kits for STREAM Educators2017-09-22T17:32:29-06:00

Join the Rage! DIY Fidget Spinners

2017-06-24T13:01:08-06:00

      I came across an interesting new type of toy online a few months ago - fidget spinners.  They're advertised as good for nail chewers, autistic people, children and adults with OCD, ADHD, and a variety of other conditions and issues.  I don't know about all that, but I do know they are kinda fun to play with, and now I see them everywhere, including spinning up a storm in the hands of library customers. I've also discovered that people are designing new styles, shapes, and forms of fidget spinners all the time.  Being ever on the lookout for [...]

Join the Rage! DIY Fidget Spinners2017-06-24T13:01:08-06:00

Geology Rocks!

2017-06-23T22:03:57-06:00

This week, as part of my Summer Reading Depot Days programs in the park series, we addressed geology; and it rocked! As usual we began the program with some good books, including A Rock is Lively, by Dianna Hutts Aston, and Earthshake: Poems From The Ground Up, by Lisa Westberg Peters. A Rock is Lively gave us lots of good geology vocabulary, including discussion of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rock, and the rock cycle. It talked about minerals, fossils, and more. Poetry from Earthshake included such concepts as the layers found within the earth, and reiterated about fossils, minerals, and the rock cycle [...]

Geology Rocks!2017-06-23T22:03:57-06:00

Paper Engineering Workshop for Tweens

2017-05-03T19:35:56-06:00

During spring break this year, I tried a new program aimed specifically for 8-12 year olds.  We met each afternoon for two hours to work on creating paper automata.  I had a limit of 25 participants, and required pre-registration in order to attend.  Registration started out slow, and about the time I began to get concerned that I wouldn't have enough registrants, all my slots filled up.  The kids were as excited as I was to try out this new craft program. We started out with fairly simple mechanisms, which could be completed in the two hour time frame.  The first [...]

Paper Engineering Workshop for Tweens2017-05-03T19:35:56-06:00

Tree-mendous Mini Camp a tremendous success!

2017-05-01T08:00:28-06:00

Taking advantage of connections to the county parks department, spring weather, and spring break, we tried a new program idea this spring. A Tree-mendous Mini Camp was held on two days in a local county park; we did a variety of tree-related activities, learning games, reading, crafting, and more. For two and a half hours each day on a Tuesday and Wednesday, we hosted a total of nearly 125 students, teachers, and parents to celebrate trees. My library branch is in a community which includes two public school systems- a county system and a city system- as well as a number [...]

Tree-mendous Mini Camp a tremendous success!2017-05-01T08:00:28-06:00

Poly- What? Learning the language of 3D Geometry

2017-02-04T17:52:03-07:00

    Shapes, shapes, and more shapes.  Circle, triangle, square, rectangle - it all starts of easy enough.  Then it get a bit more complicated when you move from two dimensional to three dimensional - sphere, cylinder, pyramid, cube, prism.  Then, before you know it, your tongue is in a knot, and you're totally confused.  Just what does a decagonal gyroelongated bipyramid, compound of truncated icosahedron and pentakisdodecahedron, or a prolate hectohexecontadihedron look like?  It's all in the name.  The trick is understanding the language of shapes, and a little bit of Greek and Latin.  For help with the Greek and Latin, [...]

Poly- What? Learning the language of 3D Geometry2017-02-04T17:52:03-07:00

Edible Rocks??? Definitely!

2016-08-27T12:59:01-06:00

         The Lunar and Planetary Institute has done it again!  They have developed another delicious educational experience to share with libraries and educators - Edible Rocks. Who would want to try to eat a rock?  Just about everyone, when the "rocks" are chocolate bars, "Three Musketeers" (the candy, not the book or movie), "Nestle Crunch," and chocolate covered granola bars. In this activity, children learn and use terms that geologists use when studying and describing meteorites, except they will be using the terms to describe candy bars.  They also get the opportunity to draw their observations and write descriptions of [...]

Edible Rocks??? Definitely!2016-08-27T12:59:01-06:00

Carnivorous Plants and the magic of Plant Regeneration and Propagation

2016-08-19T11:43:05-06:00

               A few weeks ago,  I came across a very interesting online store, the Carnivorous Plant Nursery.   Their focus, shockingly, is on propagating and selling carnivorous plants from all over the world.  But they also believe in education and helping educators of all kinds.  To this end, they have a "Free Stuff" page on their website.  There I found a printable, color and cut flip book of a Venus flytrap eating a fly.  There are coloring pages of a Venus flytrap about to eat an insect, and a sundew with a trapped fly and spider. [...]

Carnivorous Plants and the magic of Plant Regeneration and Propagation2016-08-19T11:43:05-06:00
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