Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Creativity: Every Classroom a Maker Space

So very proud of students who joined me yesterday during the #2ndMentoringMondays focussing on #MakerSpace! It was so exciting to share and learn with many educators in TDSB who came out after school for PD! From Artful Mathematics to Computational Thinking to Interactive Literacy with Melissa Seco, Annika Pint, and my Grade 5 students!

First thing to ‘make’...Drawbots!!! Students provided a sample to guide teachers as they built their own
drawbot or jigglebot. Great discussions ensued as teachers played with balance of materials, creating
a circuit, the fun of having some time to decorate their drawbots and see them in action within the
cardboard stadium. With each fail of a running bot, teachers turned to students for guidance as they
offered “have you considered… in your design?”

As Melissa, Annika and I set up the sessions we briefly share the importance of curiosity and
opportunities for questioning to let teachers and students help themselves through a new challenge.
We highlight connections to the Global Competencies @tdsb_gc as well as promoting students voice
and content producers.

Just before we invited teachers to visit each station for exploration, we had them consider these
guiding questions to take with them and back to their school communities:
  • What curriculum connections can you make with your grade?
  • What does it mean to be a maker in this space?
  • How will you embed this within your classroom culture?

Teachers were able to visit with Annika as she shared wonderful engaging examples of robotics,

including various grade levels and including curriculum connections.
While exploring with Melissa, teachers discussed the importance of loose parts for ongoing building,
discovery and flexibility of designs for various purposes.
As teachers made their way around, with my students they were introduced to ways we promote a
flexible makerspace with connections to literacy as we create a staple-free mini graphic book
with a paper circuit (supplies purchased at Kidder Education); write and setup an eBook with
accompanying soundtrack using Booktrack and how we use Augmented Reality to bring our
display boards and pages to life using Aurasma.

Alright… now that’s a loaded after school session!

What did it leave us with?
….. More wonderings on how to bring our new learning back into our classrooms!
….. Discussions around how to extend what many of us are currently exploring in our class spaces
with students taking the lead.
….. Considering the value in providing students (and teachers) space to fail and problem solve
reaching their own success. Winnie Lau says it wonderfully, “Success… After failing. We create
opportunities for success when we fail!” Students need the space, a space, any space to explore
and be curious about ideas, creating and building through challenges that they struggle and persevere
on their own.

Thank you again to Melissa and Annika for inviting both myself and my students to join you in
sharing our maker space learning journey!

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