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Yes – exactly. I see them doing just that! I really love how I’ve found a way to use what is already laid out in the curriculum, and with past lessons, and incorporate design thinking and MakerEd.
I love the ambition of your idea. This could even be a “centers” idea too. I can picture that in my classroom as well. Secretly, I love taking pictures, laminating things, and having things well-organized! I might just do something similar!
Thanks for the idea!
I love this idea and will incorporate it into my classroom. We’ve done balloon challenges before where students have to build the tallest standing balloon structure used only tape balloons.
I’ve also done just mini-marshmallows and toothpicks. To build the strongest structure in 15 minutes that will hold up ___ (insert number) textbooks.
So many little things can happen in the classroom that inspire creative and critical thinking, and keep the kids engaged and enthusiastic!
Keep it up!
I have posted a task in the collaborative workspace section. I look forward to hearing some of your thoughts/ideas of how to improve the task!
I love the challenge presented to your class and your reflections on what to change next time.
I completely agree with over bearing students who can take over tasks like this. My suggestion would be for them to complete it individually but at times walk away from their work to “gallery walk” around what the others are doing to gain ideas. This would be an eyes-only task but students would greatly benefit from the creativity of others and how to apply some of the light-bulb moments to their own design.
I’ve noticed, too, that a model or exemplar is best revealed further on during the design phase as students latch onto that rather than think critically and creatively on their own.
Also just FYI: the grade 6 classes at my school hold a Greek Day. Students are put into small groups across the three grade 6 classes and they research a part of Ancient Greek Civilizations: warfare, food, fashion, language, money, etc. They dress in togas, order greek food, and the other grades come into to ask questions to the various groups/displays. Its a really fun time for everyone!
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.
Reflection of article: Five Ways to Ensure Real Learning Happens in Maker-Enhanced Projects
Here are some big take-aways from the article Five Ways to Ensure Real Learning in Maker-Enhanced Projects:
1. The success of the maker-project depends on the strength of the driving question.
2. Teacher must develop a question that relates to curriculum outcomes but that also weighs equally process and product
3. Process skills such as collaboration, communication, critical-thinking are always being assessed
4. The actual final product is irrelevant and could be different for each group
5. A partnership agreement is important to hold students accountable to each other, to the process, and to deepen their engagement with the process
6. The goal of maker-education and project-learning is to solve authentic problems and not to check a box
This article really connected with my current goals as a grade 5 teacher. With the rest of my team, we are diving into a UBD that includes a 3D design. This article helped me find a starting point: we need to develop an initial driving question ie: the students need to solve an authentic problem set before them.
So that led me here: Learners ask Deep Questions
We are hoping to link a 3D project to a unit in ELA: advertisements. In this unit, we explore slogans, catch-phrases, persuasive arguments, difference between fact and opinion, etc. So, what could our driving question be? How will it relate to a 3D design (3D printed)?
And this leads me even more down the rabbit hole that is research and trying to narrow a focus enough to pin down the ellusive Initial Driving Question.
Wish me luck!
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!
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.