I really enjoyed Sylvia Martinez’ Maker Culture presentation last week on many levels. I am always intrigued to learn about ways to teach so that learning is fun and it has an impact. This is probably why I go on field trips regularly because my students look forward to them, they have a great time, they learn something (I hope) and they build memories. I often feel that if my students remember a lesson or out of school field trip then I did my job well!
Last year, I did a lot of hands on learning where the students were not given instructions but were asked to explain their findings to me. For one lesson we went outside to take pictures of shadows at different parts of the day, keeping in mind where the sun is. I asked the students about their size, how a shadow is made, etc. They had a lot of fun taking pictures of them and most of them figured out the answers we were looking for. I really liked that learning can be fun and memorable.
After hearing the many hands on activities students are experiencing in their schools, I was pretty surprised. I had really never heard of the makey makey website or invent to learn. I definitely didn’t think there are schools in Regina who have a 3D printer. Throughout the class and on line chatting I noticed that a lot of the questions were about how to get started, how to get teachers and administration on board, and where do we get the money? We all know that many teachers spend a lot of their own money on school supplies because we are not given a budget. I found an article where you can Create a school makerspace in 3 simple steps. Or some further explanation on how to start thinking about making the change in your own classroom, Designing Makerspaces for Transformative Learning. After searching and reading through a few websites, spending time reading through some of the links on blogs and watching many of the videos shared on google community I realized it is possible.
I know for myself that to make this kind of change it will take a lot of time and effort. My plan is to start small and simple. I found this creative activity on pinterest, Designing and Building Bridges Activity. I think it would be another fairly simple way to get started. I hope that those of you who are looking for a simple way to start (especially younger grades )can benefit from a few of the suggestions I found too!
My intern and I already have plans to start with the play doh, circuit board activity first! Has anyone tried this with their class yet?