Valentines’ Day Makerspace

I mentioned last time about how amazed I was by the Makerspace I saw at GCAA during EdCampSTL.  Well, as I have done in years’ past (mostly because of the timing), we took advantage of the need to create Valentines’ boxes and did so Makerspace style in Rm. 202!

First I had kiddos plan what they wanted their box (or container, since many where NOT shaped like boxes!) to look like.  Then they wrote down a list of materials they’d need (somethings came from home and many were materials we already had in our classroom).  We collected items for a couple of days, and then we were busy building!

It was fun, but BOY WAS IT MESSY!  But hey, learning is messy, right? Check it out!

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After built our creations, we spent some time on Thursday writing about some details about them.  Together we decided that our readers would need to know: 1) what is it (and what it’s called if it has a name), 2) how you thought of it, 3) how it works, 4) materials you used to make it, and 5) how you made it.  Kiddos used the Notability app on our iPads to work on their paragraphs, and uploaded a picture of their creation to add to their words.  We were able to use our chart from our punctuation study, as well as other writing pieces we’ve made together that are hanging around the room, to make sure we’d gotten our punctuation added correctly so our readers could understand our message.  Like with other things we do as first grade readers and writers, we used each other (as well as the word wall) as spelling resources, and reread our words often to make sure it sounded right.  Once kiddos were finished, they learned how to take a screen shot, then uploaded their paragraph to their blog to share with our blog readers.  Such hard, focused work happened in Rm. 202 on Thursday, friends!

We’re not all finished yet, but we’d love to have you visit our blogs to check out our final products! Leave a comment if you can. 🙂  You can find some Valentines’ Day posts here.  Thank you!

#edcampstl (2015)

This past Saturday I attended my 4th EdCamp.  It was, as expected, a great day of personalized, “me-led” learning.  I’ve written about EdCamp before, and this year was a similar experience.  The highlight for me this time around was getting to see the Makerspace that is present (and very well used!) in Grand Center Arts Academy.  At past Edcamps (last year even, I think), I learned more about how a Makerspace can be a great place for kids to problem-solve, challenge themselves and work on design thinking.  I have even tried it a little bit in my own classroom.  I took lots of pictures of the way GCAA used their space, as well as of the signage they have around their room.  Boring, I know, but this is a way for me to document their learning so that I can find a way to do the same in Rm. 202 (or maybe even some other place in Robinson School!).

I wish there was a way to explain EdCamp in writing.  I am sure there probably is, but for me the best way for you to learn about it is to see for yourself.  The day is what you make of it: the sessions you present, the sessions you participate in, the people you talk to, the connections you make.  And if you’re lucky like me, you can do it all with people you love:

Smile!  This is my amazing brother, Chuck Baker, who is a math teacher extraordinaire and now helps plan EdCampSTL, and my awesome hubby, Grant, who teaches 5th grade and encourages me to do new things with kids.  EdCamp is great, but it's even better with friends!

Smile! This is my amazing brother, Chuck Baker, who is a math teacher extraordinaire and now helps plan EdCampSTL, and my awesome hubby, Grant, who teaches 5th grade and encourages me to do new things with kids. EdCamp is great, but it’s even better with friends!