My BreakoutEDU boxes

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Image from BreakoutEDU.com

So I have done BreakoutEDU boxes a couple times.  At edcamps, as well as during a half-day PD where a colleague brought in her set.  I love them.  If you have no idea about BreakoutEDU boxes, check out this video to get you started.

Anyhow, I love the boxes as I said, but I could not figure out how to justify paying $125 per box.  Sorry BreakoutEDU people, that’s a toughy for me.  Apparently they used to have an open source list to build your own, but it has since gone away (see link at the end).  So, in true Jennifer Lagarde style (who unbeknownst to me literally just wrote a blog post about this exact thing!) and  #MacGyverLibrarianship, I searched online, sourced different blogs, and made my own.


My BreakoutEDU Box.png

So, I should mention some things.  First, I love Menards.  Obviously.  Second, I bought several things on sale or for different prices that what I have found as of today.  That will definitely change prices if you choose to go a similar way to me.  Third, my goal was to create 5 boxes.  I have almost 4 sets (reason is because of that one darn 4 digit lock that has failed.)  I have a few things I need to add to make the 5th set, which may or may not cost a bit more overall.  But, I think I did well in doing a little bit of #MacGyverLibrarianship! I’m really looking forward to using these with my students, as soon as I get them to school.

What have your experiences with these boxes been like?  How about when students open them?  Did you add a treat or something other than just the sign?  I’d love to hear what you did!

Other blogs sourced (link goes directly to the post):

Mirror Into Teaching

Hey Mr. Stern

 

Book Review – Zeroboxer

zeroboxer

Image from Goodreads.com

Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee actually surprised me.  I wasn’t quite sure I would enjoy this book, but I really did.  I should mention, it is a Missouri Gateway Nominee from MASL for 2017-2108.

The story begins with the introduction of the main character, Carr ‘the raptor’ Luka.  Carr is a Zeroboxer.  This seems to be similar to our MMA, but done in Zero Gravity.  Carr is a rising star in the Zeroboxing world.  Young and talented.  He lives on Mars, which has been colonized, though he started out on Earth.  After an impressive fight, Carr is officially signed by the Zero Gravity Fighting Association, which assigns him his own “brandhelm,” Risha, a Martian colonist.  Brandhelms manage the brand and the marketing.  Risha helps to increase Carr’s popularity.  But, like many sports, there is a criminal element that the fighters don’t always know about.  Carr gets wrapped up in it unwittingly.  He has to decide if he wants to be the champ, or will be put ethics first.

This book is one I can highly recommend.  It definitely lends itself to the boy reader, but girls won’t be disappointed, even if they are not much of a sports person.  There is everything from sports to science and genetics, and even some romance.  It is a great book overall.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

There have been a lot of changes for me in the month of March. First is that I got great news for my future. However, that I cannot announce just yet until a few more things get into place.  I promise a major reveal later. After the high came the low – I lost my 93-year-old grandpa. I miss him dearly, but grateful for the time I had with him, and of course the fact he got to hear my happiness. Then came the last- surgery.

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Nurse Brid taking care of me

Now this was a very needed surgery for my ankle, removing a accessory bone in my foot and fixing my tendon.  So now I’m in a lovely boot wrap thingy and off school for several weeks.

Ok, Jamie, so what is your point?  I guess my point is that we deal with changes no matter what. We have gone through immense changes in education and in the library field.  My focus, of course is library.  When my older family look at me, they don’t get how my tech knowledge serves me well as a librarian.  They don’t realize that gone are the days where the librarian sits behind the desk, shushing students who are being even the least bit noisy.  Those libraries don’t get used.  Change is necessary

I’m proud to say that this year at my school I’ve managed to have open library time.  Now, I’m an elementary librarian on a fixed schedule.  I see 20 one-hour classes a week.  I also have several times a week where I’m at the cafe for duty.  This leaves not a ton of open library time.  So, I open my plan time to allow students, classes, and whomever wants into the library during that time.  I have seen a definite increase in usage of the library since I’ve opened it.  A lot seems to just want a bit of an escape for 5 min while checking out a new book, but if I’m that place to take a quick breath, I’m ok with it.  It’s a change I was willing to make and have seen some success.

I’ve also changed many staff opinions of a librarian.  They see me as a tech person, someone to help them when they have a question, no matter how small.  I love that.  They have really embraced me as their tech leader this year.   Sometimes I know their annoyed if I have to close the library to run and do something, but I have no choice without an aide.  But I want to help everyone, and if that means I have to step away from the library, so be it.  Most have come to understand this, luckily.  But, again, a change.

My point is that change is hard.  Changes are hard.  But with a little willingness, great things can happen with change.  Even if change isn’t what you want.

SlidesCarnival

So, I wanted to do a quick review of my favorite slides template site, slidescarnival.com. Fun out about this site during a GAFE camp, if I’m not mistaken (all these PDs start to blend together after a while…lol).

I am very grateful to the person who showed me SlidesCarnival.  Full disclosure – I stink at creativity.  Seriously. But that’s a fight for another post.  Anyhow, I really like that SlidesCarnival takes the creativity aspect out of trying to get the best looking slides for presentations, as they have already created a bunch! They are really fun, easy to copy and use, and heck, the word free really helps!  (They license their stuff Creative Commons License Attribution 4.0 .  You can share and adapt, but have to give credit, and you can’t sell it as your own). Definitely recommend these to those of us who are not creative enough (or simply just don’t have the time) to make a pretty presentation slide!  Thank you SlidesCarnival for being out there!!!

Examples of presentations I’ve created using SlidesCarnival.

Level 2 Certification Obtained

imageI don’t know how this slipped by me, but I forgot to announce that I am a Level 2 Certified Google Edicator!!! I’m quite excited. I really had to work hard for this level, but I’m so excited that I was successful!  I have been sharing this with my colleagues, trying to get them to look into this as well, at least the Level.  With so many schools now being GAFE schools, it just makes sense that they should go out and work on ways to increase their usage of GAFE at school.  I know that many don’t utilize it as best as they could, so I’m trying to be the role model for my building.

Ive been using more GAFE in my library lessons, as well as using Slides specifically in combination with Nearpod.  But, I’ll leave my quest for that certification for another post.  Until later…

Personal Announcement / Accomplishments

So, to end 2016, I’d like to share some exciting things that have just occurred.

gce_badges_01First off, I passed my Google Certified Educator Level 1 Certification.  I’m really excited about that.  And I get to use this nifty badge!  It has been a long time coming.  I meant to work on it this summer, but life got ahead of me, but I decided this winter break I would accomplish it.  I’m currently studying for my Level 2 Certification, which I have heard is more difficult, and so I hope sometime this week or next I will be able to take that test and hopefully be certified in that as well.

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Image from ala.org

The second is that I was awarded a Student Bridge Scholarship from the American Association of School Librarians (AASL)/American Library Association (ALA)!  This scholarship will help me with the increased dues for the next 3 years as I start my career fully.  I’m really proud and excited that I received this!   With it comes the expectation that I serve on a committee with the chair of that committee as my mentor.  I have been assigned to the Best Apps for Teaching & Learning Committee this year!  I am really really excited about being a part of a national committee!  I was a co-chair for a committee for Kappa Delta Pi back in 2012-2013, and so it has been a while since I have done anything on a national level that hasn’t involved Sigma Alpha Iota (the music fraternity that I am a member of and a Province Officer (national officer) of).  So, this is really exciting for me.  I cannot wait to work and learn from those on the committee!

2017 is looking great so far with these two things starting off my year!