|Our "Maker Space" at the start of school!|
|Now Making...the tallest tower!|
That's when Tara and I decided to devote our Wednesdays to bringing the 4C's to life in our learning studios. I reflected back to a conversation I had had a few months prior in my Foundations of Innovation course. The teachers in that course and myself had this vibrant discussion about how we need to explicit teach and provide opportunities for students to practice creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. That's when the light bulb went off, we needed to explicitly offer these opportunities to our students and our Maker Space was one way we could do this.
|Now Making...a Musical Instrument|
That's one reason we've switched up our schedule this year. Every Wednesday, Tara and I start our day with Genius Hour (I'll do a future post about what that looks like). In the afternoon we are doing something we've been calling "Code Academy" (I'll do a future post about this as well). During Code Academy, the students rotate through 6 stations. One of the stations is at our Maker Space. We give them a challenge and they have to use the materials in this space to create a solution. We started with, "Now Making...the tallest tower". We always use the phrase "Now Making" to help them focus their thoughts and actions on the idea that they have to make something during their time at that station. Below are some videos of "Now Making...a musical instrument".
Our Vine Rock Videos
Our Vine Rock Videos
We've also introduced the concept of refining and improving prototypes. For example, the musical instruments was a three week build. We asked them to create, then reflect and improve their designs. We take photographs of each student with their prototype and then send their work home. We plan to designated a wall in the room to hanging their photos so that by the end of the year the students will have made several prototypes and we hope to compare and contrast their early designs to the work done at the end of the year.
Since we have a better idea of how this is going, we will also be opening our Maker Space during our daily brain break time, allowing students to have more free choice in what they are making. For now, we'll keep the weekly challenge because there is beauty is seeing how students create the sameconcept but in such unique ways. We are loving the addition of a Maker Space and are very proud of ourselves for taking this risk. Feel free to contact either of us to share ideas or ask questions. Until then..."Now Making...Creative Geniuses"!
Classroom Twitter: @NAlightbulbs
Classroom Website: https://sites.google.com/a/napls.us/thelightbulblabs/