Full STEAM Ahead-Little Bits: 2nd-4th Grade Weeks One-Three

For this session program Little Bits was the focus and I had five weeks of activities planned but it depended on how much the students got through that helped me decide when to go forward.  Here are the details for the first – third weeks.

Discovery and Play


Students will have the chance to discover, play, and inquire with all of the Little Bits.  Using the Little Bits cards students will learn what each piece does and then make projects with them later on.  They will use my checklist to keep track of what they have accomplished.

Little Bits Cards came with the kits that I had purchased a while back but you can download the cards as well from their website.

What is needed?

*Little Bits Checklist (Made by me in Canva)

*Little Bits Note Sheet (Made by me in Canva)

Little Bits Project Check List

*Little Bits Cards

*Little Bits

Here is another great resource to give you project ideas: Click Here!

How did it go?

We have eleven children grades 2-4th that are participating in this event.  Discuss more to them about how to be careful with the Little Bits.  Keep encouraging them to use themselves and their partners to ask questions.  Perseverance is something that I pushed during this program because a lot of them are quick to give up if they don’t know how something works right away.


This checklist took a lot longer than expected but I was happy that they were taking their time and learning how to use each one of the Little Bits.  We ended up doing this checklist for three weeks all at an hour a week.  We were going to make our own projects for the next two weeks but we had a snow day that made it so we only had the fifth week instead of both.  Stay tuned to see what we did for this week next!


Full STEAM Ahead-Lego STEAM K-1st: 3rd Week

During this week the students had a fun activity that they worked through called Disaster Island!! Here are the details 🙂


Students will build an island and then be given a situation that they will have to manipulate their island to whatever situation is given.  Students will work individually on their islands.

What is needed?

-Build Plates


Disaster Island Worksheet (Printed prior to event)

-Storybuilder Kits

How did it go?

The kids loved this! Having their own time to create was perfect for them.  The challenges added just the right amount of challenge to the activity! Make them think in addition to playing!

Full STEAM Ahead-Lego STEAM for K-1st Graders: 2nd Week

This week during our Lego STEAM we worked on building again but in a different way than last week.


Here is what our description was for the day:

Students will work individually and get a set of instructions of what they should be building.  Every student will have a build plate in front of them and legos to share on table.  Students will have five minutes for each ‘Lets Build It’ Cards.


-Let’s Build Cards


-Build Plate for each student

-Set of legos at each table, I use Lego Storybuilders kits

How did it go?

Having quick activities that ran for about five minutes each worked well because it kept them engaged and interested! We used the storybuilder kits which rocked! They had to share kits with one other person.


Full STEAM Ahead-Lego STEAM for K-1st Graders: 1st week

Legos are an amazing toy that can bring so much more than play to your library or school programs.  I have planned out five weeks of programs for grades k-1st through our Full STEAM Ahead Enrichment program here at our library.  Every week is a different activity and the session ends at 5 weeks.  Due to days off, snow days, and all other holidays that affects how many times we get to meet.  This group met for four weeks instead of five.  The program is run and planned by me but I have a helper that helps me set up and walk the kids from the school over to the library.


Here’s what we did for the first week of our Lego STEAM program 🙂

Description: Students will learn about famous landmarks and then we will build their own landmarks using legos.  Students will be partnered in pairs with one K and one 1st.  Students will use cards to build their own lego masterpieces.  Show on map where each landmark is.  Discuss what a landmark is to the students.



Taking a photo that is 2D and make it into a 3D model (in future).

Learning what the word landmark means.

What is needed:


-Famous Landmark Cards purchased from TPT here

How did it go?

Some of the partnerships had difficulty working together and twelve is a very high number in our sized room for this age and energy level.  We did get through it successfully.  Photos were taken of each masterpiece.  Next time I think individual work is best with only sharing of lego pieces going on and not project sharing.

FREE Author Visits-How To!


One of my most successful and fun programs that I run is my ‘Meet the Author Book Club’.  This book club is for adults and started out as a club for adults who loved reading YA fiction.  We branch out a bit and read some adult books as well.  We read books all across the genres of YA and have really great conversations about the books! This group has really grown and I love that it has changed so many adult’s opinions about reading YA fiction.


The way that this group works is that we meet on the first Monday of every month for about an hour.  We talk about the book for the first half an hour and come up with questions together.  Then for the second half of the program we chat with the author!


I was using Skype but was having all kinds of trouble using it for some reason.  It would crash and the connection wouldn’t be great, so I needed to change how we were having the authors video call in.  I went with Facebook messenger and it works like a dream!!! Yay!! You don’t have to be friends with someone to use it so it is easy just to search for the author on the day of and call when needed and it works across all devices so the author can just use their phone if needed.



Now to the fun stuff 🙂 Here is my updated list of authors that are great to work with and will donate their time to do a book club video conference with you! Most of them are YA authors but there are a few that are adult authors as well.  I reach out to them and just ask whether they would like to video in for a book club for adults who love YA fiction or adult fiction.  The worst that they will say is no, so just reach out and ask 🙂 I’ve done that for authors I thought wouldn’t be able to do it at all and they have said YES! Yay!


Here’s the list of the authors I have worked with:
1.) Mike Mullin
2.) Ryan Graudin
3.) Todd Strasser
4.) Jim Hines
5.) Siobhan Vivian
6.) Andrea Cremer
7.) Julie Berry
8.) Katherine Arden
9.) Deanna Rayburn
10.) Tara Altebrando
11.) Mindy McGinnis
12.) Deborah Heiligman
13.) Brendan Reichs
14.) Melissa Keil
15.) Jennifer Donnelly
16.) Jenni Walsh
17.) Kathy MacMillian
18.) Brittany Cavallaro
19.) Kate Elliot
20.) Steve Sheinkin
21.) Kelley Armstrong
22.) Zoraida Cordova

23.) Leena Likitalo

24.) Rhiannon Navin

25.) Miranda James

I just search for their author website and there is ususally always a contact me button that you can click on.  The biggest issue I’ve had at this point in the process is that the contact me button opens up email on the computer such as outlook, or other mail apps.  If you hover over the contact me button in the bottom left of your browser it should show the exact email you need in order to contact the author.  Hope that makes sense! Let me know if you have questions! I’d love to help out! You can always email me @ m.a.lombardo@tullyfreelibrary.org

Full STEAM Ahead – Enrichment Programs @ the Library!

Copy of Full STEAM Ahead(without TREP logo).jpg

At my library I have been doing lots of after school enrichment programs that are in sessions for every grade from K-12th grade! My future blog posts will be focused on those programs that I am hosting! Every week will be a different session and I will be giving you all the details, resources, and pictures from these programs to help you bring these kind of enrichment programs to your students! Stay tuned and please share with others ❤ 🙂

Makerspaces are Key

I think that Makerspaces can mean a vast amount of different things but I think that Makerspaces are a key to introduce students to new technology that they wouldn’t normally get to play with in a classroom or at home. At our library we strive to provide new emerging technologies that help a range of ages. Our newest one that I LOVE is Osmo , that I have blogged about in the past, but I am now seeing the real results that it has on the right age groups. I am working with Pre-K-1st graders as they learn with Osmo. They are really getting the hang of it and learning key points to help them with coding in the future. For the Pre-K and Kindergarteners they are using Coding with Awbie and for my first graders they are using Coding Jam. They are going to be able to show how much of an expert they are during our open house in December. It took a few times for them to be comfortable with it but now they are professionals 🙂 I think that Makerspaces can be whatever you make them but I think it is so important to have things that students can be hands on with no matter if it is new technology, crafts, or something else. Giving them the time to be creative in their own way where they can fail and/or succeed and be in a safe environment while they explore is the real key.