3/1 & 3/3 | Story Coders Grades K-1
To start the program, kindergartners, first graders, and parents worked together to solve the tangram challenges. Using the seven shapes, children and parents had to recreate the shapes shown on the challenge sheet.
For the next activity, the children practiced breaking down tasks into smaller steps. Joseph, pretending to be a robot, explained that there was a problem with the code, (directions he used to complete the “get ready for bed” activity) and he needed their help to rewrite it. The children had to use step-by-step directions to tell “Robot Joseph” how to use a brush, read a book, use toothbrush and toothpaste, and drink a glass of water. With guidance from parents, Amanda, and Joseph, the children learned that their directions to a robot needed to be more specific than when they give directions to another person.
The library’s new Code & Go Mouse Bot was also revealed, which was a hit with the kids. Amanda explained that the mouse bot needed to be given directions using different color directional arrows. The mouse bot could be directed to go forward, backward, turn left, and turn right. While reading the story “The Journey” by Arnold Lobel, Amanda helped the kids retell the story by directing the mouse to move from picture to picture in the maze, with each picture representing a different part of the story. The children planned out how the mouse should move using arrow cards for each part of the maze, then Joseph input the commands into the mouse bot. Just like the mouse in the story, the mouse bot navigated the maze to go home and have some cheese!
3/10 | Makers Day
Despite a recent snowstorm and trees down in the parking lot, the library’s third annual Makers Day was a huge success! Approximately 500 people participated in the event, making slime, drawing spin art using LEGO machines, viewing robotics demonstrations, looking through telescopes, and more.
The Library benefited from partnerships with the high school robotics team, Livingston Robotics Club, Morris Museum Astronomical Society, Montclair Learning Center, and Bricks 4 Kidz to make this the best attended Makers Day at Livingston.
3/11 | Eco Friendly Lawn Care
This was the second installment in our “Know Your Garden” series with presenter, Marc Zukovich, a professor of horticulture at County College of Morris and a storehouse of knowledge on all gardening and botanical matters.
He began by saying that the lawn is America’s contribution to landscape architecture and is a $40 billion industry in the USA. Marc’s talk focused on the cultural practices associated with lawn care and gave many useful tips on conscientious lawn care and maintenance.
Mowing, aeration, seeding and over seeding, watering, topdressing, dethatching and soil texture analysis, which are different elements in lawn care, were highlighted. Marc spoke of the importance of soil testing and advised all lawn owners to use the services of the Rutgers Soil Testing Laboratory. The lab will analyse the nutrients and PH levels of a sample of soil from your yard, which is extremely beneficial when creating your lawn care regimen.
The importance of nitrogen to plants, how to read fertilizer labels (numbers like 5-10-5), types of fertilizers (organic vs inorganic), and when and how to fertilize was discussed. Marc also recommended environmental friendly organic products, such as Epsoma fertilizers and using corn gluten as a weed killer. He spoke of the environmental dangers of using synthetic fertilizers, especially “weed and feed” brands.
Read more about lawn care in a Rodale’s Organic Life article that was distributed, titled The Dark Side of Lawns.
3/12 & 3/13 | Stuffed Animal Story Time & Craft
Children, ages two-years-old to seven-years-old, along with their stuffed animal friends, enjoyed a special Story Time with Miss Amanda. They listened to stories about a girl who learns to love a pink, stuffed armadillo that her grandmother knitted, and a story about a rescued dog who can’t sleep without her collection of stuffed toys. The children counted teddy bears that fell out of bed as Miss Amanda sang the song “Rollover” and named the colors of a teddy bear’s clothing as he got dressed.
For the craft, the children chose the colors they wanted to use. With help, they put together the bear ears and paper strips to construct their teddy bear headband. Teen volunteer Lizzi Tesoriero helped the children with the craft.
3/14 | Creativity Blooms: Making Book Page Blossoms
Artist and instructor Donna Drew led a workshop using sustainable design concepts and showed the audience how to turn discarded book pages into pretty paper flowers. Using pages from recycled books, a flower template, and materials like a thin wire hook, glue, brushes and pens, she instructed the eager participants in cutting, folding, gluing and shaping the pages into petaled blooms.