Christina M Howard
“Making” Persistence and Creativity Everyday Learning
National Library Standards released by the American Association of School Libraries in 2017 are based on the students’ ability to think, create, share, and grow. This being my first year as Library Media Specialist at Pikeville Elementary, I am setting goals to equip our library and train our students to rise to these innovative standards. Does the use of computational thinking learning stations improve a student’s mindset regarding his/her personal learning? Students do not typically develop computational thinking without specific instruction. They are quick to give up when the material becomes difficult and don’t realize the importance of task commitment. A much broader problem is the need for a better-prepared workforce in Eastern Ky. By creating a Makerspace in our library, students will be exposed to the basics that will better prepare them for tech jobs in the future. This problem is evidenced by frequent student comments such as, “This is too hard,” “I can’t do it,” I’m not smart.” Students are not currently learning high-level computer science skills that will prepare them for Computer Science careers. Then I plan to create a mobile Makerspace in our school library that will allow students to practice computational thinking strategies and exercise the 16 Habits of Mind and Growth Mindset Principles.
Introducing Computer Science beginning in Kindergarten and progressing to a higher-level skill each year will put us on a trajectory for successful careers. Materials for implementing the learning stations in the Makerspace will be needed as well as printed resources to create displays around the library of the 16 Habits of Mind and Growth Mindset concepts. Kits such as Makey Makey, Little Bits and Squishy Circuits will give students an opportunity to learn block coding in an easy, stress-free environment. The ability to make prototypes will motivate students to be creative and have fun while learning. This project will prove sustainable as we reuse materials each year. The items used for this project will serve as a foundation to build upon for our Pikeville Panthers innovative future.