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Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)
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  • in reply to: Community Contributions #595
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    Hi ksgadbois!

    This is excellent! It sounds like you have really thought this through and are facilitating a rich experience through design with your students.

    As for your Define stage, this is often the time where you synthesize the work you have done in the Empathize stage and create a well-defined “meaningful and actionable problem statement” (Dam & Siang, 2017). You have already done a lot of work in your Empathize stage to identify the needs of your users/stakeholders and the Define stage is where you put together a focused question or problem that you are using to frame your work in the subsequent phases. Take a look at this article: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/stage-2-in-the-design-thinking-process-define-the-problem-and-interpret-the-results

    It gives a great breakdown of the process and might help you delineate what happens when.

    Good luck!

    The Maker Team

    in reply to: Task Reflections #591
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    Leah, thanks for sharing your reflection. It sounds like you are on your way to building maker principles into your geometry project. If you aren’t quite at an expert level of confidence, consider some of the theory pieces listed on this site as grounding principles you can use to test your designs. For example, in your next iteration of the geometry project (very STEAM-y by the way), one thing you could consider in your design is using the design principles described on the “going for a swim” theory page as a place to start. This project might also be designed using the Kindergarten way of thinking model described by Resnick (wading in theory page).

    A huge part of Maker Ed and design is iteration, sometimes things won’t work out the way you hope, but these are learning opportunities, and a commitment to reflection and iteration is a sure way to move forward as well as build personal confidence. As mentioned on your goal page, finding a collaborative partner in some of your endeavors, whether this is just someone to bounce ideas off of, or someone to design with, is another way to start. If you have a math team, share your ideas with them. Perhaps they will be on board to help you with the next form of this design. As you mention, student learning doesn’t happen in isolation, teacher growth and learning doesn’t need to happen in isolation either.

    Looking forward to any further thoughts you might have!

    The Maker Ed Team

    in reply to: Week 1 Goal Sharing #590
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    Hi Leah,

    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!

    https://www.edutopia.org/discussion/arts-tech-integration-how-collaborate-and-have-fun-doing-it

    This article is a short list of one teacher’s interaction with infusing art into curriculum.

    https://www.edutopia.org/blog/arts-are-essential-in-stem-mary-beth-hertz

    This article is a great start to exploring STEAM, and the reasons why it is so important to have the A in STEM!

    https://www.edutopia.org/blog/pbl-and-steam-natural-fit-andrew-miller

    This article provides some great thinking questions for teachers as they integrate maker principles into their practice.

    The Maker Ed Team

    in reply to: Potent Potions in Classroom Chemistry #585
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    Hi Kristen,

    Students are definitely going to get creative with their mixtures once they begin to ideate and refine their ideas, especially if they know other students are going to be testing their potions!

    I see this as a potential series of maker challenges, where once students uncover what these mixtures are, you can then give them a follow up challenge where they have to come up with devices that separate out these types of mixtures into their component parts using a set of material that you give them. They will need to do some investigating to find out how to recrystallize some of the solutes from the solvent, but ultimately will gain sincerely deep knowledge by doing so!

    -The Maker Ed Team

    in reply to: Task Reflections #584
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    Kristen,

    Your idea of a gallery walk is a great one because students need to be exposed to many different ideas so that they don’t get too attached to the first iteration of their design.

    Earlier this year, I had grade 8 students design complex machines capable of producing a work of art, and in order to promote crazy innovative ideas, I had students individually come up with two separate drawings before moving on to the group collaborative phase. Once in the group phase, the notion was not to pick the best idea, but to try and combine some elements from each group members’ sketches. I had to scaffold a mini-lesson on how to be assertive in a group, and showed my students the Creative Confidence IDEO video (http://www.designkit.org/mindsets) in order to get them to understand that everyone’s contribution is valuable.

    Once each group had completed a draft collaborative design, it was then peer assessed before moving on to the construction phase of the project. Through the multiple iterations and eyes on the project, students gained a better understanding of working within the constraints set while also keeping an eye on the prize which was that the art piece needed to be something unique and appealing. Though it took a number of classes to work through this process, the construction phase took much less time than I had anticipated because the students knew what they needed to build and totally understood why it was so important to test their prototype and iterate based on the art that was produced.

    There is no right way to have students work through ideation, but exposing them to different/divergent ideas is definitely an important theme!

    -The Maker Ed Team

    in reply to: Week 1 Goal Sharing #583
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    Kristen,

    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.

    Great thoughts!

    The Maker Ed Team

    in reply to: Community Contributions #573
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    Hi ksgadbois,
    That is a great challenge! Promotes creativity, ingenuity and collaboration in a highly engaging way. I love the way you are redefining your unstructured time in the classroom and making use of it through this interactive activities.

    I think that a section of small, mini-challenges is a great idea. This is something we have been batting around as well, and we think this Stack ‘Em Up challenge is a great one to include. Thanks for sharing it with us. Your reflection about the real fun is in finding out the HOW of a task is spot on. This type of discovery is why maker education is so valuable.

    Do any of the other makers out there have small, mini-challenges we could include?

    – The Makers

    in reply to: Week 1 Goal Sharing #572
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    Hi ksgadbois,
    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 Makers

    in reply to: Task Reflections #569
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    Alison,

    How great that you were able to link curriculum to a social studies class and hit a bunch of competency outcomes while you were at it! What a great project, and your design to allow for iteration allowed students to persevere and find success, even if encountering difficulty.

    The roadblocks you mention regarding some students are definitely real concerns when working on group projects. You mention a few ways you could differentiate for students such as allowing them to work alone, or assigning roles.

    Another idea might be to engage your class in some design thinking about mindsets and interaction. I’m sure you do a TON of character building with your students, but by using a set of norms that are revisited during this type of work throughout the school year, some of these challenges might start to subside if students practice their group work protocols.

    Thank you so much for sharing and your willingness to try something new with your class. Your reflection about what your next iteration might be is inspiring!

    -The Maker Ed Team

    in reply to: Community Contributions #568
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    HI Alison,
    Thank you for sharing with the community. You raise some great ideas of things we could look to include on the site. Challenge cards are a great entry point, and I love that you are motivated to create your own based on your context. Our dream would be to have community members contribute to the site as well, and maybe challenge cards are a great entry point for this collaboration – especially if they are linked to curriculum, as finding maker connections to curriculum continues to be a hot topic.

    Your commitment to design thinking is evident in the examples you shared. It is so great when, as teachers, we get a chances to engage with our students in prototyping and iteration.

    The Maker Ed Team

    in reply to: Resource Reflections #560
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    Alison,

    How cool is it that your students will diving into outcomes themselves as they design challenges this year!

    It will be interesting to hear what others in the community think about your next steps, but it sounds like you are already well on your way based on your Innovation Week project. As you mention, and as you are already doing, ties to curriculum are essential. Are there ways some of your small projects could be brought together to be parts of each other? Are there ways a larger project could connect cross-curricularly? Maybe it starts off small, but over the next few iterations of your own team’s design it becomes larger in subsequent years?

    Just like a design process that might start anywhere within the stages, I don’t there is one “correct” answer about how to transition to larger projects. It could be tech facilitated, as Kristen is looking to do with her ELA project, or might just get larger organically as more outcomes are able to be connected. The fact that you are reflecting on growing this area of pedagogy means you are already on your way.

    I appreciate the fact you bring up control as well in your post. Sometimes it is essential to support student skills and knowledge and discovery can occur in different ways. I wonder if this depends on the challenge presented to students. For example, if executing the classic spaghetti tower challenge, very little teacher control is needed, but if using tools with safety repercussions, teacher support on the front end is very important. Do you have any examples you might be able to share of activities where you have reflected on wishing to allow students more discovery? Maybe some of our other community members have some ideas for you as well.

    Looking forward to hearing more!

    The Maker Ed Team

    in reply to: Resource Reflections #555
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    Hi ksgadbois and Kristen,
    Your reflections on the article are interesting and really speak to the common struggles most teachers have when employing maker activities in their classrooms. Is it worth my time? Is it worth the students’ time? How deeply do connections to the Program of Studies have to be? Can I just be teaching design thinking principles, problem solving and collaboration? Whether your maker task is a small mini challenge or something big, there are many answers to these questions. You can be acting at all of those levels at any one time and they are all ok. It goes back to your own goals and your own ideas about how you want Maker Ed to look in your classrooms. If you want Maker Ed to be something that is connected to curriculum, you will find ways to do it. Ideally, it isn’t an add on or extra, it is a vehicle for teaching content, but it can also be a vehicle for teaching habits of mind.

    Here is a good article on coding which talks about ways to connect it to curriculum. Many of the ideas in the article can be applied to Maker Ed as well, but since STEM is a relative of Maker Ed, I thought I would share it here.

    http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/Computer_Coding_K8_en.pdf

    We hope you are enjoying your journey!

    The Maker Ed Team

    in reply to: Week 1 Goal Sharing #553
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    Hi ksgadbois,

    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 Team

    in reply to: Week 1 Goal Sharing #547
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    Hi Ksgadbois,

    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:
    https://thinkmakered.com/mini-challenges/

    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 Team

    in reply to: Week 1 Goal Sharing #546
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    Hi Kristen,

    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 Team

    in reply to: Week 1 Goal Sharing #541
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    Hi ksgadbois!

    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 Team

    in reply to: Week 1 Goal Sharing #540
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    Hi Alison,
    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 Team

    in reply to: Week 1 Goal Sharing #537
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    Ronald,
    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.

    in reply to: Week 1 Goal Sharing #535
    MakerEds
    Keymaster

    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.

Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)