Friday, September 25, 2015

Let the Battle begin!

Attention DPMS students: prepare to battle...with books.  We are currently taking sign-ups for this year's state Battle of the Books competition sponsored by the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association.  All participating students will form a team of two to four students and read all 20 books on this year's list before our February competition.  All teams will meet in February to compete in our DPMS school battle. The winning school team will move on to represent DPMS in the state Battle of the Books competition.  Here is this year's reading list:

  1. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (King award)
  2. Crash by Jerry Spinelli
  3. The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (GA nomination & Newbery)
  4. Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis
  5. Esperanza Rising by Pam M. Ryan
  6. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (GA nomination)
  7. The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm (GA nomination)
  8. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  9. Holes by Louis Sachar
  10. Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer
  11. Maze Runner by James Dashner
  12. Midnight for Charlie Bone (Children of the Red King, Book 1) by Jenny Nimmo
  13. Paper Boy by Vince Vawter
  14. Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
  15. Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
  16. Sisters by Raina Telgemeier (GA nomination)
  17. They Never Came Back by Caroline B. Cooney
  18. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  19. Ungifted by Gordon Korman (GA nomination)
  20. The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights by Russell Freedman

All of the listed books are on reserve in the DPMS library for all participating students. Several titles are also available through Overdrive and Follett Shelf.

What are you waiting for? Sign-up for the Battle of the Books in the library today and get ready to read, read, read!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Makerspace in Progress

In just three short weeks back at school, our makerspace has become one of the most happening places, especially with our seventh grade students.  Despite the fact that we still only have a few stations available for students, they have really embraced the makerspace concept, and I have been amazed at how quickly some of these students are innovating and creating all on their own.  To document our progress for students and the community, we created a separate makerspace blog where you will see student examples, successes, failures, new items, and personal thoughts on our journey as we transform our school culture and the physical library space.  Please follow us at to see our dynamic DPMS students in action.  We welcome your feedback!

Some of my favorite success stories from this past are posted in the videos below.  The first video showcases how a group of seventh grade boys was able to create a motorized Segway by connecting the littleBits.  In the second video, view the results of a seventh grade group's first attempt at making a stop motion animation film.

We look forward to sharing our makerspace journey with you as more and more tools get added during the upcoming weeks.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Creative Minds Shine in our New Makerspace

The school year is in full swing and the DPMS library has been bustling with activity since the launch of our new makerspace.  While this space is still waiting on a few key components, we were so excited about it that we opened up what we currently have right away to students.  Most popular are our littleBits, electronic snap circuits that allow students to build without limits.  Our seventh graders have been especially creative right off the bat in designing projects with these modular circuits.  Through trial, and a little error, a group of students quickly built this awesome mobile car.  

In addition to the littleBits, students have had a great time testing the Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Makey Makey, and Sphero.  

Can Sphero make it over the ramp?
Coding with Raspberry Pi
We are AMAZED at what these creative DPMS students have developed in less than two weeks! Stay tuned for more news about our future makerspace additions: an iMac and a 3D printer.