Tuesday, January 28, 2014

And Just How Does Rainbow Loom Fit Into The Library And School?

Every day I add one of these fun, bright colored bracelets to my collection.  

They show up on my desk, get slipped into my hand when walking through the hallway, and are proudly shared and traded in the library throughout the day.

Each one is different.  Each one is unique and beautiful. And every single one was created by the hands of little people I care about within our school.  

One day, the third graders and I were talking about all of the different kinds.  They were all talking at once, showing off their creations, and catching a moment to tell me what they were best at creating.                                
I told them I wanted to learn. 

They asked if we could have a "Rainbow Loom Day".  I said, "Sure...that would be super fun! Bring your looms and supplies next week for library."  

That night as I planned, I thought about how I could incorporate this day into library and technology time.  How could I integrate this into the third graders curriculum?  How could I make this time as meaningful as possible?  How could we make this have meaning outside of our library and school?  

And with that.....I started creating our Rainbow Loom Research Project.  
The first day I introduced the third graders to the project by having a conversation about research and sharing a few resources I pulled together about Rainbow Loom.  
I put these on the 3rd Grade Symbaloo so they would be easy to share and get to anytime. 
The Official Rainbow Loom website was a great place for them to start and we especially loved seeing all of the....

instructional videos that the Rainbow Loom website contains.  These then take one to the....

Rainbow Loom YouTube page where one can find these videos and so many more by others around the world.  

In Pinterest, there are tons of walls that people have created featuring Rainbow Loom. I shared this one, Rainbow Loom Pinterest Wall, on their Symbaloo.

After I set the stage a bit and got them really excited about everything we could learn, I shared what I had put together so far. We talked about all of the different things they would be using and learning...

Word processing skills; Using technology tools with video and photography; Creating a multimedia presentation; Identifying the importance of search terms; Creating a citation using a digital tool such as EasyBib; and Conducting internet searching using educational search engines

I shared this Google Document, Third Grade Rainbow Loom Research Project, on their Symbaloo too.

You can also get to the Google Doc shown above to change, copy or print off to use.....just make a copy first and save that one as your own.
Since they were going to be working on this project for several weeks and there were questions about bringing the Rainbow Looms to school, we decided a parent note home would be awesome too.  
To start brainstorming about what their research project would focus on, I gave each group a yellow sheet with a few questions to get them started.  I wanted them to use this to help the beginning conversations and start to focus their interests.  
You can find that sheet here to use.  
After we got that beginning stuff out of the way, I let the third graders form their groups of two of three.  They were very happy when I told them it was time to start.  
This was something they had not only been creating and sharing, they were now going to be able to share their knowledge, talents, and passion for Rainbow Loom.

I was excited too!
As they brainstormed, some of them got out laptops and visited the websites we spoke about earlier.
Others used the knowledge that they had within their conversations.  
I loved seeing one of our secondary students, Luke, come in and talk to them about what he knew too. 
They started picking up a yellow sheet and filling it with questions which would drive their research.
As they finished their workshops, each group had a quick conference with me to make sure everyone was on the same page and that they had good driving questions which would focus their research project. 
I liked seeing that they had their own devices that they were using too.  Hagan had a video up on his iPad that they were using.....Then Luke pulled up the same thing on his iPhone.  
It was really fun watching them find a video of what they wanted to make and then watch it as they were creating the bracelet.

As this hour ended, I asked around the room what their research focus would be.  Some were able to really explain, but others seemed a little lost yet on what they were to be doing.

That told me that I had to take a step back time, just a little one, and introduce a model that would help all of the students be successful at this part of the project.  It would be a model that they will be able to use forever as learners.

The next time they come to the library, we will try out this new model and see what happens.
As we went home that night, Hagan, who is in the 3rd grade class at Van Meter, asked me to swing by Michael's to find him a Rainbow Loom and all of the awesome supplies that goes with it.

He started organizing everything, making it easy to create Rainbow Loom bracelets.
He watched videos on YouTube on all of the different designs he could create.  He asked me to help him and called a friend too.

He was hooked!  Hagan now wanted to create all of the different bracelets and designs of Rainbow Loom.

I love what he has been creating at home, now I cannot wait to see what he creates in the library!

I just know it will be terrific....Just like all of the other 3rd grade researchers too.

They are definitely going to show us how Rainbow Loom fits into the library and school.


  1. Awesome project. This is a beautiful way to combine popular culture, passion-driven research, and information seeking skills.

  2. Great way to bring the elements of good research to life in a fun and engaging way! I would love to hear about how you are tweaking your model.

  3. Very cool, Shannon. Talk about engagement!

  4. nice project. Could you also share the model that you introduced? thanks!

  5. They asked if we could have a "Rainbow Loom Day". I said, "Sure
    My Blog: 2rainbowloom.blogspot.com

  6. Wow! This is an awesome project for school! Children these days are more creative! Cool! :D

  7. Wow you are working in a great school. I am a 6th Grader student. My school takes away every Rainbow Loom-related stuff. They check our backpacks and lockers to see if there are any rubber bands. Cool idea! You look like a great teacher! :)