Marisa Reichardt Author Visit

Marisa ReichardtThe library is delighted to be hosting author Marisa Reichardt on Wednesday, February 10. Ms. Reichardt, wife of Mira Costa Ceramics teacher and Water Polo coach Jon Reichardt, will be speaking about her first novel, Underwater, which was just published this month. Here is the publisher’s description of this YA realistic fiction book:

In the aftermath of a deadly high school shooting, seventeen-year-old Morgan is an agoraphobe trapped in the apartment she shares with her mother and brother. When surfer boy Evan moves in next door, she has to face the life she’s been missing.

Underwater

Ms. Reichardt will be speaking to students during both AM and PM Office Hours on February 10. Students can choose to attend either in the morning or the afternoon. Following each session, we will also have books for sale and she will be signing books.

Do purchase a copy of this engaging, thought-provoking book. We have arranged with {pages} bookstore, a local Manhattan Beach independent book vendor, to provide the books at the discounted price of $16. To order in advance online, go to bit.ly/orderunderwater and {pages} will deliver the book to our library for you. You will also be able to purchase books on the day of the visit at each of the presentation sessions and during lunch, but we encourage pre-orders to guarantee availability.

Here is a flyer about the visit.

Parents and members of the community are welcome. Be sure to sign in in the office.

January 4 – 15 at the Library – Lots of Making!

LittleBits & Robotics activities at the Maker Fair

While we have, of course, had a number of classes visit for research projects, lessons, and support, the theme for early January has definitely been on making with our 3D printer and other makerspace resources.

Maker Fair

On Thursday, January 14, we had a great maker fair after school, with activities from the Geeks Club, Library Club, Art Club, Robotics Club, and Girls Coding Club. Students got to experience a wide variety of activities, including:

  • designing in 3D using these “Sharpie Drawing to 3D Object” directions (bit.ly/2Dto3Dprint) and getting their projects printed with the help of the Geeks Club
  • experimenting with Google Cardboard virtual reality and littleBits electronics, also with the help of the Geeks Club
  • making pinwheels as a community service project in support of Syrian youth, organized by the Library Club (Get information on the community service project here.)
  • manipulating robots in a fun competition from the Robotics Club
  • making art from recycled books, organized by the Art Club
  • programming our Sphero and BB-8 robots with the help of the Girls Coding Club

Many thanks to all the clubs and students who participated.

Here’s a slideshow with photos of some of the activities and student creations:

Maker Fair - 1/14/16

Computer Science Class 3D Projects

Mr. Braskin and Mr. Brennen’s Computer Science classes visited the library to learn about 3D printing, then embarked on a project in which they:

  1. programmed a 2D geometric shape using Scratch, a programming language
  2. converted their file to .svg format, which is readable by 3D modeling software
  3. imported their files into Tinkecad.com, a 3D modeling app
  4. exported their files to .stl format for printing on the 3D printers

They all came up with amazing, unique designs. Here are just a few examples:

Computer class 2D geometric shapes to 3D printing

ComputerComputer class chess pieces class 2D geometric shapes to 3D printing

Computer class 2D geometric shapes to 3D printing

And, to follow up this first project, they are now working in teams to design chess pieces we will be printing.

Computer Class chess piece project

Stand by for some of these examples!

Malik’s iPhone Stand

In a recent posting, I wrote about how projects often require several design iterations and printer adjustments to make them work, representing an exercise in persistence. Here’s Malik’s Phone stand completed!

Malik's iPhone stand

More Photos

For more photos of our 3D printing activities, visit this Flickr album.

December 2015 at the Library

December was a challenging time at Mira Costa. We were closed on two different days and sheltered in place for an hour a third day, all due to bomb threats. I can’t pretend I wasn’t ready to have some time off for Winter Break. I believe we all were. Nevertheless, the library was busy with student and class visits our last three school weeks of 2015. Here are a few highlights.

Class Visits and Projects

Along with a number of other class visits, Mr. Zeoli’s Freshman English class spent several days in the library for a mythology project in which we helped the students learn about good sources, bibliography and note-taking with Easybib, and finding and crediting copyright-friendly images for their slideshows. They also learned about Twitter as a learning tool, as they set up accounts for their gods and heroes and tweeted in the role of each god or hero. Here’s a link to the site for their project, which was also used by Ms. Clarke’s students earlier in the fall. Students will be finishing the Twitter portion of their assignment after the break.

Mr. Brown’s English Language Learners class visited to “speed date” biographies. We planned three rounds of visiting tables with different categories of biographies to sample. Every student in the class selected a book by the end of the second round!

Speed dating biographies

3D Printing

The two 3D printers were busy all month printing cookie cutters inspired by our December challenge and other student projects. Ms. Arazi’s DHH class took up the challenge in their classroom as a group, and sent us a cookie cutter to be printed. While the design was lovely, it was too complex to print well on the printer. The class came to visit and we talked about how the printer works, then some of the students made new designs. Here’s a photo of the original design they drew and of the cookie cutter made from it:

DHH class 3D printing visit

Here’s a photo of us watching the printer in action and discussing how it works:

DHH class 3D printing visit

And, here is one of the students’ new designs:

3D cookie cutter design

3D cookie cutter

We are learning that mastering 3D design and printing is an iterative process. We often need to tweak both designs and printer settings a number of times to make things work. Perhaps perseverance will prove to be one of the most important skills learned by all of us making use of our printers. Malik, one of our students, has been working on a stand he designed for his iPhone. He has tweaked the design a number of times to get it small enough to print on our printers, to make the printing time more efficient, and to ensure adequate support for the portion that doesn’t lie flat at the bottom. The Thursday morning before the break, we loaded his design, which the Cura software told us would take  8 hours, and let it run all day:

malik design

It was going really well before we left at 3pm:

iPhone stand printing

Unfortunately, something went wrong after we left. This is what I found in the morning:

iPhone stand printing

Malik plans to keep working on the design, and I am confident we will get it to work. Here he is with a smile and the completed portion:

Malik's iPhone stand design in process

If you haven’t seen a 3D printer in action, you need to come by to watch it running. It’s fascinating to watch each layer being laid. This film will give you an idea, in – at 10x the actual speed – of the process:

Hour of Code

The library served as one of the sites for Mira Costa’s Hour of Code on December 9 during morning and afternoon office hours, coordinated by Mr. Braskin’s computer science class students. Ever computer was taken in both the morning and afternoon, and we were standing room only in the morning.

Hour of Code

Hour of Code

Office Hours

The library is also always standing room only during Office Hours!

standing room only during Office Hours

Standing room only during Office Hours

Alexander Street Video Streaming

We were very fortunate in December to add Alexander Street Publishing’s Academic Video Online Premium video streaming for both teacher and student use. It offers an amazing selection of over 48,000 titles from producers such as 60 Minutes, PBS, BBC, NBC, and many more, spanning every discipline. Here is an overview of the collection. Here is the login portal link. Check with me by email or at the library for login information.

 

December 3D Printing Challenge

Peace sign

Take the MCHS Library December 3D Printing Challenge:

Make a Holiday Season Cookie Cutter!

3D design and printing has so many applications for both practical and creative items. Here’s a fun chance to get going with 3D printing. Design a cookie cutter and get it 3D-printed at the library. Just follow these super easy directions to draw a shape you want to emboss in your cookies, upload it to 3D design software, and create a 3D cookie cutter we’ll print on the library 3D printers. Your reward: your very own cookie cutter to take home and use for baking. And, of course, we’ll post a photo of your creation on the library website.

If you have trouble reading these directions embedded here, here’s a linkbit.ly/holidaycookiecutters.

So, get started designing now. :-)

November 9 – 20 at the Library

Research

The library was busy with research visits the last two weeks. Mr. Holland’s Freshman English classes visited for a mythology project and learned about good resources, bibliography, and note taking, while Ms. Vaughan’s Freshman English classes learned similar skills while doing research on topics related to Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. I also taught her class a lesson on being “Quotation Savvy.

Digital Citizenship

The last two days before Thanksgiving Break, I taught a two-day digital citizenship lesson to Mr. Davidson’s Health classes. On Day 1, we talked about online safety, etiquette, digital footprint, and respecting intellectual property, roughly following these slides:

Here are some of the thoughts the students shared about what digital citizenship is in Period 0:

Here’s what Period 1 students shared:

For homework, students completed this short activity, which had them searching for themselves on Google, learning about modifying Facebook settings, and sharing something they leaned so far. Here were a few of the comments students shared of what they learned:

“I learned that it is very important to never put anything bad up online because in the future it could possibly be used against you or haunt you. I learned that getting involved in positive online use can benefit your skills and interests on certain topics (ex: blogs). Lastly, I learned that the Internet is very helpful, but should not be taken for granted because anything and everything you use it for can be traced.”

“1) Blogging is a positive source to interact with others and to share your thoughts. 2) If you are not comfortable with the whole world seeing something, don’t post it or make it visible on the Internet. ”

“I learned how to find pictures labeled for reuse. I also learned about copyright and how not to infringe on the rules. I finally learned how to be respectful online.”

On Day 2, the students explored ways they could learn about and share online about topic they care about. They found blogs, Twitter feeds, and copyright-friendly images on their topics, and completed this form:

Books We’re Thankful For

During the week before the break, some of the visitors to the library shared books they are thankful they read:

Books We're Thankful For

International Gaming Day

We also participating in International Gaming Day last week, and a number of students enjoyed playing board games in the library:

Gaming Day

 

2015-11-19 13.06.04

 

Sharing with the Science Department

During our Office Hours/Collaboration Time on Wednesday, November 18, I visited with the Science Department faculty and shared some of the options available at the library, including our 3D printers, littleBits, and research databases. I also showed them the free Daqri Elements 4D augmented reality app for exploring chemical elements, which I learned about at the American Association of School Librarians conference. Look for it in the app store!

Here’s the ethanol molecule I printed on our 3D printer to share with the science teachers:

Ethanol Molecule

 

Maker Fair Featured in La Vista

I was pleased to see our Maker Fair featured in a La Vista article. Thank you, Ellie Shalvarjian! Here’s the link.

Great take-aways from the AASL Conference

My IdeaLab Presentation on Student BloggingFor a couple of years now, my “main” method of note-taking from conferences and other events has been tweeting and favoriting tweets by others attending the same event. Here’s my summary of my experiences and take-aways from last week’s amazing American Association of School Librarians’ conference, told through Twitter compiled with Storify, one of my favorite storytelling tools:

 

October 12 – 30 at the Library

Library Lessons

We had lots of classes in the library the last three weeks. Here are some of the lessons I taught during visits:

  • Ms. Cabrera’s Senior English Philosophy Seminar students, who started blogging a few weeks ago, came for a lesson on writing good comments for their blogs. Students who blog build skills in all aspects of digital citizenship, and the commenting part of blogging allows them to learn about and practice good online etiquette.
  • Mr. Westerberg’s Freshman English classes began a Mythology project, and learned about finding good sources, and citing sources and note taking using our Easybib subscription tool.
  • Ms. Sieker’s Senior English Literature of the 1980’s class also learned about good sources, citations, and note taking for their 1980’s research project.
  • Ms. Vaughan’s English/Social Studies block class visited for two days to work on a research project analyzing art related to the French Revolution period they are studying in Social Studies. She and I collaborated on lessons on good sources, citations, and note taking using Easybib and Google Classroom. I also visited her class one day to teach a lesson on how to incorporate quotations into papers.
  • Ms. Clarke’s Freshman English classes were in the library for five days this last week working on a mythology research project. She and I collaborated on lessons introducing the students to using Google Classroom, finding good sources, taking notes and citing sources with Easybib, finding copyright-friendly images for their Google Slides, and using Twitter as a vehicle for having their gods and heroes converse. You can read about the assignment on this webquest site.

Library Maker Fair

Halloween Maker Fair

On October 29, we had our first-ever maker fair in the library after school, sponsored by the Geeks Club with help from the Library Club. Everyone had a great time! Attendees got to: 

  Halloween 2015

Google for Education

On Saturday and Sunday, October 17 and 18, I traveled to San Diego to participate as a presenter at the EdTechTeam Google for Education Summit. I presented sessions on “Google Forms: You Can’t Live Without Them” and “Become a Google Images Ninja.” I learn so much while preparing such presentations and interacting with the attendees. I also was able to attend lots of inspiring sessions I can take advantage of at our library and share with our teachers and students.

Staff Collaboration and Professional Development

During our recent office hours/staff collaboration Wednesdays, I have been able to lead several workshops with our staff, including sessions on our new Learn360 streaming video, which is available to both staff and students; Google Classroom; and Google Forms.