Getting Started on Creativity Lab

Or is it really Genius Hour? Learn more about that here.

COMPONENTS OF OUR FRIDAY LAB

I am very excited about our new creativity lab, which will happen every Friday afternoon. Students will be involved in the following activities throughout the year:

  • Lego WeDo Robotics - courtesy the Seward Code Club
  • Code.org 15-hour Elementary Coding Curriculum
  • Electronic Snap Circuits - students can build more than 300 different working electric circuits, including buzzers, fans, and bells.
  • Kinect for the classroom - using the Kinect/X-Box set-up, students will be able to explore movement
  • Tessellations - students will create tessellations from scratch
  • Toothpick creations - students will build windmills, bridges, and other small architectural wonders
  • Programming - students will use simple software to create small programs on the computer that respond to the commands they've created.
  • Storytelling - students will meet in a circle and tell stories, following a unique format. Students will also create digital stories on Tikatok.
  • Explorations - this is an "experiment" station in which students become different types of scientists and experiment in the matching field of science. See list here.
  • Inspiration Station - students will add their own innovative ideas to the inspiration station that may be pursued in future creativity labs. They will have resources to use to spur their imaginations.

The motivation for our creativity lab: Brain Research & Other Interesting Approaches to Teaching

The Teacher Report: Joining the Maker Movement (from the We Are Teachers Blog)

Getting Hands-On With the Maker MovementHave you heard of the Maker movement? If not, imagine a classroom where students learn though hands-on experimentation, design and trial and error. Where they build rocket ships out of cardboard and dollhouses with working electricity. Where children’s natural instinct to explore their world and to solve problems is encouraged through invention and play.

Behind the Maker Movement

The Maker movement found its inspiration in MAKE Magazine’s annual Maker Faire, billed as the “world’s largest show and tell.” It has since spread through communities, industry and into education. In a pilot program in California, 10 high schools now have “makerspaces” that offer students the opportunity to try machining, welding, woodworking and robotics among other “Maker” skills.

The Maker movement is both low- and high-tech. It celebrates traditional arts and crafts like knitting, manufacturing trades such as steel fabrication, as well as cutting-edge technology like laser cutting and 3D printing. There is an obvious connection to STEM education, but the movement also incorporates the arts, which has led some to call for “STEAM” education in schools.

Just Another Buzzword?

Is the Maker movement just another trend or is it here to stay? It’s possible that the movement is simply a fancy label for what teachers already know—that kids learn best through hands-on, self-directed learning. Chances are, you are already using some “Maker” elements in your classroom, whether you have students build models of volcanoes or tell stories using handmade puppets.

The support for the Maker movement across industries, however, may lead to more support for hands-on learning from administrators and lawmakers. And in the era of the bubble test, that’s good news—especially if that support comes with increased funding for establishing a tricked-out “makerspace” in your own school.

In the meantime, we’ve listed some of our favorite “Maker” resources for education below.

The Maker Movement in Schools: Resources

  1. The Maker Faire Educational Outreach: Learn how to start a Maker Faire at your own school and connect with other educators interested in the movement.
  2. Maker Education: The Maker Education Initiative’s mission is to create more opportunities for all young people to develop confidence, creativity, and interest in science, technology, engineering, math, art, and learning as a whole through making.
  3. Maker Camp: This summer, high school students can try 30 Maker projects in 30 days using online tutorials and community on Google+.
  4. Makerspace: Discover how you can set up a “makerspace” in your own school.
  5. Makezine: A site dedicated to the maker movement.
  6. Sylvia Show: Sylvia's DIY webshow on everything cool and worth Making
  7. DIY.org: A website where young “Makers” can share what they’ve created and connect with other do-it-yourselfers.
  8. MakeyMakey.com: Billed as “an invention kit for everyone,” the MakeyMakey toolbox allows students to play video games using Play-Doh, make music with bananas and more. Kits are about $50.
  9. Arduino: Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for anyone making interactive projects.
  10. Sugru: What if you could fix, modify or make almost anything? That's why we invented sugru. 

    Apply it, shape it and watch it transform into a tough and flexible rubber overnight. More than 500,000 people in 155 countries later, sugru is turning into a movement! 
  11. QR Codes: Generate QR codes to use for all sorts of activities!
  12. Instructables: Share what you Make
  13. See MIT's list of Maker sites.

Toothpick Creations!

Please help my creativity lab become a reality and consider donating a few dollars!

 

 


Mrs. Ray's Classroom by Elly Ray of Seward, Alaska is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License Creative Commons License

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