February 10, 2018 at 10:13 am #534
After reading some of the information on the site, you might have started to identify your current Maker Ed practices with one section more than another (For example: Going for a Swim more than Wading in). Maybe you feel that your students are only ready for Wading In activities, while making use of Resnick’s (2009) model of learning. Perhaps your inspired to get your students to use empathy in project design?
We want to mobilize the collective knowledge of all the teachers in this small community as we work towards different goals for our individual contexts. Maybe you want to see how one of the activities we’ve described on the site works in practice by trying it, or a modification of it, in your own practice. Perhaps you want to generate multiple possible ideas for different maker activities students could take on within a specific unit you will be working on next. You also could have an idea that you want to develop further by tapping into the community for help!
Whatever your goal is, reply to this tread and share it so that we can reply and help each other with our goals!February 10, 2018 at 10:13 am #535
Maker Eds’ Goal: Help a group of dedicated, forward thinking educators feel more comfortable and supported in the process of learning about and enacting MakerEd in their practice.February 11, 2018 at 9:06 am #536
I enjoyed looking at ThinkerMakerEd and perusing the different sections. In reflecting on these different sections, it gave me an idea of where I am at in understanding and facilitating Maker Ed. I will find this site valuable to enable me to look for and share different MakerEd challenges with my students. I eagerly wait to bring the first challenge to my classroom.February 11, 2018 at 10:59 am #537
Thank you for sharing! Your goal of bringing challenges to your classroom is really interesting. If you have any thoughts on particular areas of curriculum you are looking to start with, please feel free to share, perhaps the community has some ideas for you.February 11, 2018 at 1:56 pm #538
After exploring the website I feel like I am currently at the Wading In stage. I feel comfortable engaging in Maker activities by myself, and have experience in the Design Thinking Process but feel less confident teaching this concept to my students. I am excited to engage my students in this Empathy Model of thinking as they are encouraged to become Makers. My goal for this experience is to engage my students in a Rube Goldberg inspired challenge.February 12, 2018 at 10:02 am #539
After reading through the definitions of each stage, I feel I am “Wading In.” I have tried to provide opportunities for students to develop their skills and competency in MakerEd, but these have not allowed for deep engagement Design Thinking Process. I would like to develop greater confidence in how to lead students through this process, in challenges that align with curricular outcomes at the grade six level. While I understand some of the benefits associated with MakerEd, my hope is to develop a more comprehensive understanding of “Why” I should embed this work into my daily practice.
I acknowledge that my biggest roadblocks are:
1) Time: With the intense pressure to complete curriculum in preparation for the P.A.T.s, how do I build in time for Maker challenges? How do I ensure that this does not become a “waste of time”?
2) My confidence level: How do I help students navigate frustration?
3) Ideas: What resources can help me in developing ideas for Maker challenges that align with concepts at my grade level?
My instructional goal over the next five weeks is to “rip the Band-Aid off” and set aside time for Maker challenges each week. I keep putting this off, and I know I just need to do it in order to develop my confidence. I hope to engage my students in some discussion about how we can connect this work to our units of study.
My professional goal over the next five weeks is to complete some reading on MakerEd. I know I need to get more “on board” with this focus; connecting with literature and studies might support me in understanding the “Why.” If I can be totally honest, I am hesitant to engage in this fully, as I feel this focus might come and go with the traditional swing of the pendulum. I hope that going through this process will help me realize the true potential of MakerEd, wherein I will incorporate this into my classroom regardless of what the “new” focus in education is.February 12, 2018 at 12:36 pm #540
Thanks for your thoughtful reply. Your goals seem to be well-thought out and a product of some in-depth reflection. If you are looking for a good place to start reading, here is a good article. I took the title from our resources page and you can find it through a University Library if you have access to one. If not, let me know and I can send you a PDF.
Quigley, C.F. & Herro, D. (2016). “Finding the joy in the unknown”: Implementation of STEAM teaching practices in middle school science and math classrooms. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 25(3), 410-426. doi:10.1007/s10956-016-9602-z
I agree that you just need to “rip the bandaid off”! As you try these things, you will see how you can adapt and modify things to suit you and your students’ needs. There are some great task ideas in each section of the website but if there is a particular curricular connection you are hoping to make, let us all know here and the community will undoubtedly have some ideas.
Looking forward to hearing about how your built in time is working and if immersing yourself in the practice helps your feelings of readiness.
As far as time goes, these tasks can be as small or large as you want. You control that aspect for the most part. Start small and see where it takes you!
The Maker TeamFebruary 12, 2018 at 12:38 pm #541
It sounds like you have something specific you are working on! Are you connecting your task to a particular set of outcomes in the program of studies?
Your connection to empathy through this process is powerful. Be sure to document your process and share here, so we can all benefit from your experience in your classroom!
Looking forward to hearing and seeing more as the weeks progress.
The Maker TeamFebruary 12, 2018 at 10:04 pm #543
I was really excited looking through the site and reading the various levels of MakerEd. I relate to others’ posts and feel that I, too, am in the Wading In level in regards to my familiarity with MakerEd and bringing it into the classroom.
I strive for really meaningful connection in the classroom and not knowing more than I do, I tend to stay away from the unknown, a little scared of jumping in and going for it. Unless I am completely comfortable with subject matter, I tend to hold back. That being said, it’s time to take more educational and non-catastrophic risks and try something out.
I was inspired by the OK, Go! video and it got me jazzed to try something like that. So, my professional goal for the next 5 weeks is to learn, read, and try some stuff out in the classroom and I see the unit on Classroom Chemistry as the perfect place to introduce some fun MakerEd concepts. I have lots of ideas floating around and I hope to make those into tangible and meaningful learning experiences for my students – while being on curriculum too.February 12, 2018 at 10:08 pm #544
I completely agree with much of what you wrote and I look forward to hearing about how you’re implemented MakerEd into your classroom – what you’ve tried and the outcomes. I’m in the same boat!
KristenFebruary 13, 2018 at 8:21 am #545
I am hoping to connect a Rube Goldberg inspired task to my Grade 4 Science: Simple Machines unit. Specifically focused on the Devices and Vehicles that move unit for students to have an opportunity to develop their understanding about how simple machines and different types of force can be used. As we are just beginning to delve into this unit I want to take the leap by starting the unit with a Maker Task instead of ending this unit with Making as a summative piece – which I find I am more drawn to do. I am excited to bring the empathy piece into the design process. My students will be required to document their process and reflect daily which I hope to be one way I can ensure we, as makers, continue to revisit the empathy stage of the process.February 13, 2018 at 5:21 pm #546
I think there will always be a certain level of apprehension when we try a project out for the first time, not knowing how it’s going to turn out or if the students will learn what we expected they would. Alison’s notion of ‘ripping the Band-Aid off’ is spot on; it isn’t totally a comfortable feeling!
If you have time, we would love to hear some of the ideas you have floating around about classroom chemistry and incorporating Maker Ed activities! Sounds like it could be a potentially messy, yet powerful learning experience for your students.
The Maker TeamFebruary 13, 2018 at 5:38 pm #547
Thanks for sharing your goal with the community! The Devices and Vehicles unit is a great place to start embedding Maker activities, both large and small.
One way to incorporate it in smaller doses is as mini-challenges as your students learn about a new concept. The time commitment doesn’t have to be long and could get students thinking about individual elements of a potentially larger design you want them to engage with later on in the unit:
If your ultimate goal is to have students incorporate what they have learned into a larger end of unit summative Rube Goldberg task, these mini-challenges will help students’ creativity and task initiation as well!
In terms of designing for empathy, perhaps your students could design/build a toy vehicle for students in a younger grade, or hypothetically for students in a different country?
Just some thoughts to get you started on your Maker Ed journey. Keep us updated on your progress!
The Maker TeamFebruary 18, 2018 at 3:41 pm #551
I was connecting with a colleague this week about potential ways I could incorporate more “Maker Challenges” into my classroom and was hoping this group could offer other suggestions for me. I’m trying to find relatively “simple” challenges for my students to take part in that will fit into a 1 hour time frame. I’ve explored ideas such as the “Tin Forest” or a “Materials Challenge” but I was wondering if anyone had other ideas? I want my students to have the opportunity to develop themselves as “Makers” in short tasks that don’t require a large amount of time or materials.February 19, 2018 at 8:26 am #553
I’m curious what type of technology you might have access to. I have found that sometimes giving students an hour to explore the different possibilities with tech can be empowering and idea generating for them. For example, a Makey Makey, pencil and paper can let students do a bunch of exploration, especially with additional probing questions about what else might work?
I’ve had the opportunity to watch grade 5 students experiment freely with Little Bits circuitry recently and watching what they come up with and their explanations for creation was eyeopening.
If you don’t have access to either of these pieces of tech, I wonder what else you might have that could give your students the same exploration experience.
Regardless of choice of materials, the reflection questions you might ask your students to establish their maker mindset will pay off in spades!
The Maker Ed TeamMarch 4, 2018 at 6:13 pm #571
Thank you for your response! I think technology is a great idea for my students to begin to also “Wade In” to the idea of MakerEd at a very low-risk entry level. We have had time to dabble in Code.org this year and the students have responded very positively to that opportunity. Having the chance to work with exciting technology such as a Makey Makey or LittleBits might be a great next step for them, and myself! I’ll have to inquire with my school and school board as to what I have access to…
I also wonder how I could continue to use Scratch in the classroom with more of a “Maker” approach. I have assigned the students assignments through Scratch already this year but it might be exciting to pose questions/challenges for them to discover how to accomplish in Scratch. I wonder if this would be considered a Maker exercise?March 6, 2018 at 9:00 am #572
The ‘wondering’ about whether or not scratch/coding is a maker exercise is a great one. We, the Makers, have been doing some research into that recently and have read enough to be able to use terms like maker education, STEM and STEAM all somewhat interchangeably. Maker Education is a more hands-on, materials-based process, and STEM and STEAM are often thought of as more technology and transdisciplinary-based teaching tools. They are all related and all have elements of the design-thinking process involved. If children are engaged in a design thinking process, I think you can safely call it maker education. Maker is often thought of as having a product or a physical artifact as a result of the process, but you can ‘make’ ideas, solutions, innovate and refine processes and innumerable other things. Just some things to consider!
– The MakersMarch 6, 2018 at 5:11 pm #574
From my electricity unit supplies, and with shoe boxes, construction paper, plastic cups, stir sticks or popsicle sticks (everything I already had in the classroom), my grade 5 class constructed a battery-powered village. Though this was a multi-day task, they were completely and fully engaged.
Their task was to choose a building that served a function in a town or village. One student did a hotel, one a car dealership. Through this portal and experience learning about MakerEd, I have realized that this task was a design thinking task. They had to construct using “found and upcycled” materials, add circuitry with a minimum amount of supplies, problem-solve, iterate, design, re-think, adjust, etc. In speaking with a colleague, she mentioned that this was already a design-think task without really knowing that I was doing it purposefully. I have a new task that my class is up to this week that I’ll share in a different post.
KristenMarch 6, 2018 at 9:04 pm #583
Your battery-powered village is a perfect example of having students use the design thinking process to make a product which will definitely demonstrate their knowledge of simple circuits! Not only are they showing you that they understand how to connect the wiring, but by putting their buildings together as a community, they can see how everything fits together.
In order to highlight empathy in your design, you could always add a driving question which has students analyzing what they feel are necessary components of a community which are important when fostering positive community culture (or throw a wrench and have students design buildings for a community in a different city/country). Depending on grade level, this often can tie in with social studies outcomes. Students could interview each other in order to get a better understanding of different points of view before choosing a building.
The Maker Ed TeamMarch 10, 2018 at 12:30 pm #587
My biggest challenge is that I am not comfortable with integrating technology into the classroom, and as a result, I often avoid things that I am not comfortable with. I would like to bring some things into the classroom, but I also struggle with what is relevant and how it fits with curricular goals. I have been challenged in the past in this respect, and I am not very good at being able to articulate specific goals and outcomes as they relate to maker ed.
I am considering having some of my upper elementary students build some kind of draw bots, just to explore connectivity and how it can be used creatively, but I am not certain where to start.March 10, 2018 at 9:13 pm #590
Thanks for sharing your goal. Your willingness to share with the group is a good first step to tackling things that might be outside of your comfort zone. A great way to start might be to seek out ways to make connections across curricula. Teaming up with another teacher might help you reach additional outcomes, and give you a collaborator to bounce ideas off of and learn together. STEAM connections might be a great place to start. Here are a few articles that might help on your journey. Please reach out with some additional details and the community might be able to support your further!
This article is a short list of one teacher’s interaction with infusing art into curriculum.
This article is a great start to exploring STEAM, and the reasons why it is so important to have the A in STEM!
This article provides some great thinking questions for teachers as they integrate maker principles into their practice.
The Maker Ed TeamMarch 11, 2018 at 8:57 pm #592
Thanks for sharing this idea! I love it. I’m really interested in the fact that you gave the students the opportunity to create their village using limited re-purposed materials. I often find my students get wrapped up in the materials they want to use in their project and from reading through your experience I realized it may be more helpful for me to supply them with the materials and serve as a challenge for them to innovate how they can use those items.
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