Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Makerspace in the Spicer Elementary Classroom

Students at Spicer Elementary are extending reading activities to continue and enrich the research process. How are teachers connecting makerspace to the classroom? To begin, teachers frame a lesson to include a literacy component.

Connect Makerspace to a Reading Activity 

Makerspace environments are often in close proximity to a library or reading lab. This is not by accident as makerspace lends itself to the research process.  Prior to attending a makerspace lab, students can  utilize short passages of complex text including articles, original sources, and excerpts to identify main ideas. Using Google classroom, students develop, craft, share and peer review summaries. The peer review concept encourages community discourse in which a student can identify an area of interest to continue research.

Makerspace PBL Through 4 STEAM Career Lenses

Learning through the act of making reaches across the divide between formal and informal learning, integrating content areas toward a real world purpose for applying curriculum content. After students have a strong background of prior knowledge, students complete a project-based learning activity using a makerspace challenge card. Teachers and students are curating challenge cards to frame the makerspace activity integrating 4 STEAM career workstations: The Journalist, The Scientist, The Engineer, and The Artist. Examples of challenges that students are working on can be seen below.

Makerspace Project Based Learning Process.jpg

Connecting Making Through Community

Students use this opportunity to make an artifact and give back to a larger community. First grade students are enriching a living systems lesson to investigate life cycles using the community garden. Makerspace lends itself to service learning projects and provides an outlet in which students have the opportunity to connect as a larger community. It is important that during makerspace students have the ability to showcase their work to their peers and larger a community. The artifact itself does not need to be a grade, but the makerspace design process could be a assessed. Peer reviews can be an added component to the community showcase.

Writing To Refine 

After providing  a makerspace experience, encourage students to write a reflection. Students at Spicer Elementary teachers are utilizing both blogs and Google classroom to reflect. Artifacts with reflections could also be leveraged on a student blog or portfolio. 

Want to learn more? Check out Birdville ISD's Makerspace website.

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