Independence, Frustration, Etc.

I was greeted this morning by this lady on the library door.

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I thought she was a he, but a student corrected me and told me that the presence of wings means she’s female. Another student added that female praying mantises (manti?) bite the heads off males. Amusing start to the day!

Last night’s #makered chat on Twitter was about frustration, so I had that topic on my mind today.

It’s interesting how some kids want a lot of help, and others clearly want to be left alone to just explore on their own and only seek me out to share their successes. I am trying hard to build a culture where, when they do want help, they can ask each other instead of me or another adult. It takes some time to get this going, especially at the start of the year with a whole new batch of 5th graders. Today I caught myself falling into the old habit of doing something for a kid because the bell is about to ring and they want to be finished and they say, “Will you please help me do this last part?” Once I recognized it, I stopped, but it’s funny how easy it is to go into that “fix it” mode when you have a kid who has been working hard on something and just desperately wants to see the finished product. But it won’t kill them to either wrestle with it themselves after school or come back tomorrow! I know this! D’oh!

What they wanted help with: origami.  I made a variety of little origami things the other day when I was waiting in the library for my daughter to finish sports practice, and I have them out on the circulation desk. So today I had kids wanting to make cubes and ninja stars.

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Meanwhile, the Raspberry Pi crew continues their work–I have no idea what they are doing exactly, but they are focused and happy. The Flying Box boys are really progressing with each new iteration of their project–as I told them today, whether or not their creation flies, they have really impressed me with how each new version is clearly a thoughtful attempt to fix a problem discovered in the previous version. The box itself was actually gone today, replaced by much lighter “legs.” (Wish I’d snapped a pic, but I was pulled into origami world before I got a chance!)  These kids are really a model for perseverance and analysis of problems. I want to bottle what they bring to the Makerspace!

Another great day in the library!

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