Are your students using your Makerspace and now you want to show off their hard work? Host a Maker Walk. Picture a science fair, but so much cooler because it’s filled with the creations your students made in your Makerspace!
If you’ve ever run a science fair, you know the basics of organizing the event. Pick a date, time, place and then ask students to bring in their projects. They are judged and winners are announced. The difference is very small, but the object of a Maker Walk is to let the makers talk to each other, share their creations and inspire each other, so instead of judging, look to let the makers give each other feedback.
Encourage others to come see the creations. Invite classmates, teachers and local community members. The first even will always be a little smaller but as it catches fire, the word will spread and you’ll have more makers that you can handle. The event can be mandatory, but we’ve had better results just asking for participants. We don’t usually have prizes, but they love to talk about what they’ve created and share it with others.
We created an organization product to help you sort out all the details. It includes examples of some of our events, pictures, possible themes and materials to get your inspired. You can find it in our store.
We hope your students enjoy the Maker Walk as much as ours have. Be sure to tag us in any photos as our students would love to see the creations around the world!
Mother’s Day tends to sneak up on us every year, so this year we’ve made an effort to show some of the best projects we’ve done over the years. It’ s funny how we always know when Mother’s Day will be, but it’s in that rush near the end of the school year, so it’s tends to be something we can do quickly and fairly inexpensively. Continue Reading
Let’s be honest. Teaching lands somewhere between collecting and hoarding. Mr. Ninja once had to bring a giant rock on a 1400 km trip because there was a possibility it might come in handy for a science lesson. It’s lived in our garden for twelve years. So why do we do it?
Well, a big part of it is money. If we can get something for free, we’ll take it. We all know our classrooms are underfunded and so when interesting items come along (whether we actually need them or not) we tend to take them. What is wrong with us? Continue Reading
The most natural place to connect subject areas is by incorporating art into the lessons. It’s easy to think a little colouring will be enough art each week, but it’s important to create art projects that teach actual art skills. We created several lessons around the landscapes and geography we were studying about Canada while building art skills such as drawing, sculpting, painting and printmaking. Want to try it? Read on.
We’re hosting a “Poem in Your Pocket” day as a celebration upon completing our poetry unit in Language Arts. It coincides with the National Poem In Your Pocket Day. This year’s event is being held April 26. It’s coming up soon! You can join us this year even if you haven’t taught poetry in your classroom yet! Continue Reading
The Canadian news is flooded with discussions about pipelines and where they should or shouldn’t be built. So, how do we address these issues in the classrooms? Many of our students have family members who work in the oil industry and many have parents who work closely with Indigenous people and environmentalists. So when these issues are so hotly contested in the media, how do we teach students to listen to all perspectives and form opinions based on facts (especially in light of how many people are unable to look past bias)?
We created a product that introduces all sides of the pipeline issue. It’s not meant to have students create an opinion, but to learn to listen to a variety of perspectives. Sometimes when we feel passionately about an issue, it’s difficult to hear the other side. Even as teachers, we have to be careful to not influence the opinions of our students. We need to teach students to listen and evaluate multiple perspectives, disagree respectfully and back up their opinions with facts rather than other people’s opinions.
You can find in our store here.
We’d love to hear about your experiences discussing polarizing issues with your students. How are you managing the current culture of differing sides? How do you keep your personal opinion out of the classroom? Please share with us in the comments below.
Do you like a lighthearted and fun prank? Do you have students that enjoy a good laugh? Are you looking for a way to celebrate April Fool’s Day? Were were always struggling with ways to prank our students in a fun and caring way, and we’ve come up with a few great ones over the past few years. Continue Reading
How would you feel if you knew you were a wonderful writer but the only way you could express yourself was through modern dance? What would you do if you have to recite your report card comments by memory to each and every parent? How would you feel if you were given the choice to write your report cards any way YOU want? (Ours would be invisible!)
Wouldn’t that be amazing? Wouldn’t that make you want to write the best report cards the world has ever seen?
So why are we so determined as teachers that there’s only one way to assess our students? Why can’t they have choices too? Continue Reading
Pink Shirt Day is coming up. In Canada, the movement of wearing pinks shirts to bring awareness to bullying has begun to spread worldwide. Do you need an activity to do? Continue Reading
Here’s a quick lesson you can do with your students to learn how to use your Makerspace while teaching students to enjoy the process.
Give your students a selection of pieces. These can be any material you have available. We used bottle caps, straws, tape, index cards and string. We also had scissors available. You can use these materials or use what you have in your Makerspace. The items should be flexible enough to let students explore. Continue Reading