One of the happiest moments is putting a quarter in the toy vending machine at the grocery store and the excitement of what you might get. This year the 4th graders are bringing back that joy and making it better with book recommendations!
Fourth graders started the project by thinking about books they loved to read in 3rd grade and thought our current 3rd graders would like, too. They each wrote a description of the book and crafted a two- to three-sentence teaser—like a short commercial—about the story to get a 3rd grader excited to read the book.
Next came the challenge! Fourth graders needed to design an object connected to the book. They sketched their ideas and planned their designs. Then we held a refresher tutorial on using Tinkercad, our online 3D design software. Students worked on using the shapes and items in the software to build and make their designs. We also focused on measurements. Students measured their designs using the tools in the software and the acorn containers their objects would need to fit into. Then, 4th graders started designing and working on their 3D objects. They were creative using the shapes in the Kovler Family Library and adjusting and readjusting their objects to make sure their measurements were correct. After completing their designs, students uploaded their files to the library website for 3D printing. Then came the test: Did their prints come out the way they wanted, and would they fit into the vending machine acorns? Some prints worked, some were too small, and some were too big. Others had to make adjustments to the parts or pieces of their designs. Then, returning to the design process and another iteration of their 3D prints, students made adjustments to their 3D files, resubmitted them and printed the designs. Once the prints were the size and design the 4th graders wanted, they added color details with markers, printed out their book commercial slips and assembled their vending machine acorns.
The book recommendations and 3D printed objects are in the library book recommendation machine, ready to spread the word about some awesome books for 3rd graders!