Monday, May 19, 2014

Kendamas and Frisbees and Hula Hoops, OH MY!

The school year started off with children being Kendama crazy! Everyone had them, they played with them constantly, taught each other tricks and were having fun watching me attempt (and fail) the simplest of catches. It was so insane that we had to make a special Kendama Parking Lot in the library, a place where they could keep them safely while they were in class. As the year went on though, I saw fewer and fewer Kendamas. What was on the rise? Rainbow Loom! Rainbow Loom bracelets were popping up on wrists all over from kindergarteners to the fourth graders. The wait list for the Rainbow Loom books has been insane. The enthusiasm behind both of these fads was huge, so I decided to jump on this.

Step One: Which fads should we learn more about? After talking to some 3rd graders about fads I created a list popular items. I then narrowed that long list down to just a handful, all of which I felt there would be ample interest and hopefully information on. What were those fads you ask? Kendamas, Rainbow Loom, Silly Bandz, Rubik's Cubes, Hula Hoops, Yo-Yo's and Frisbees.

Step Two: Groups were formed, topics were chosen, questions were asked. We talked a lot about the questions they had written and likened ourselves to archeologists. We knew that for some of our questions the answers would be easy to find, right there on the surface. Even though these questions were easy to answer, they were still vital to our research because they set the foundation. Others would take some digging while others we may have dig and dig and dig and may never find what we are looking for in the time that we have.

Step Three: Books solely on these topics are not easy to find so I turned to the internet to see what kind of information was out there for the children to use. I decided to create a Symbaloo, my first ever, to make access to the websites I had found simpler for the kids. The kids LOVED using the Symbaloo. It was incredibly easy for them to access and navigate through. I will definitely be using this tool again. Thank you Shannon Miller for introducing this tool to me.

Step Four: How are we going to share what we learned? Our students love Comic Life. It is a tool that is easy for them to use, has endless possibilities, allows them to be creative and is something that they are all very comfortable with. The sound effects are just amazing and tons of fun. There is nothing better than walking through the library and hearing the noises that goes along with the stretching feature or the spinning of a photo or text box. Love it!

Here is just a sample of the final product:

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