by Lara Neel, Trade Marketing Manager
Jenny Lussier is a PreK-4 Library Media Specialist at Brewster Elementary School in Connecticut.
The Lerner who nominated her wrote: We love Jenny because she says she has the best job in the world! She’s passionate about integrating technology—including robotics!—and research into her library. She’s also excited that her kids are interested in STEM books about solving problems.
Jenny generously gave us a few details on how she integrates technology into her school.
One thing I love about being a school librarian is creating opportunities for students to integrate learning. Last school year, my first and second graders have been exploring Traditional Literature, supporting a priority standard for English/Language Arts which focuses on story elements, including characters, setting, problem/solution, and resolution. With this focus on Traditional Literature, I wanted to add robotics and coding. We have had so much fun! We read tales that were unfamiliar to them, such as Borreguita and the Coyote and Rumplestiltskin. We also read a number of fractured fairy tales (we especially love Corey Rosen Schwartz’s ninja series). Using storyboards to guide our understanding of the story elements was a fun way to organize our ideas.
Beebots were introduced to the students, who absolutely fell in love with them. Their first challenge was to work in a group to move the Beebot on its mat from one shape to another. Students used the 4Cs, communication, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity, to create the algorithms needed. Over the next few weeks, we added pictures of events from stories we were reading and the students retold the story by programming the Beebot.
To complete the project, students used pictures, words or a combination of the two to create . They selected a story that they love and then created a storyboard for it. Their storyboards were cut up into the various events and placed onto the Beebot mats. Students then took turns coding the Beebots for their stories.
My students and I learned so much together as we read Traditional literature and coded our Beebots. Engaging learners while meeting a variety of standards creates an exceptional library program!