Makerspaces. They seem to be all the buzz, but the concept that drives them isn’t new. For many years, we’ve been focused on directing every moment of our students’ lives. As parents, the lives of children are scheduled to the point they never have a moment to decide for themselves what to do. As teachers, if our students don’t look like they’re working, we worry that someone will think they aren’t learning. So when did we decide as adults that play is a bad thing?[Read more…] about Why Should You Build Makerspaces Immediately?
Multiple Means of Engagement
What do you do when you want to challenge students, but you also want them to learn? We give them critical thinking challenges. Critical thinking requires many skills-problem solving, collaboration, design thinking, and perseverance. When a critical thinking question is carefully crafted, you can get students to explore learning outcomes while having fun and being engaged in their learning at the same time.[Read more…] about How to Leverage Critical Thinking Challenges to Your Advantage
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!
This can be done with the school’s makerspace or you can just use the creations your students have created from your classroom’s makerspace (like us),[Read more…] about How to Host a Maker Walk
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 had 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!)
Imagine how different your life would be if you were given the choice to do or say certain things.[Read more…] about How to Differentiate Using Choices
Project based learning can be a challenge because it moves the control from the teacher to the student. When we began our teaching journey, controlling every aspect of student work from beginning to end seemed like the right thing to do. As we’ve evolved as teachers, we learned that loosening the reigns has many benefits. Check out some of the best reasons we use project based learning in our classroom.[Read more…] about The Reasons For Project Based Learning
Imagine a classroom where the students monitored themselves-and, not in that “hall pass police officer” type of way. Imagine a classroom where students encouraged each other to keep the room tidy, put things away and treat each other with respect. We call this a sense of agency.
It’s possible because each year we turn out a classroom full of polite and respectful students, but it takes work. Students need to be taught how to make decisions that are positive and what to do when they make a mistake. Creating a sense of agency is just as important as all the math and reading skills. It’s the key to classroom management. Want to know how?[Read more…] about How to Create a Sense of Agency in the Classroom