Maker Spaces in the Classroom

January is all about new beginnings and new resolutions. As educators we all know the value of creative, active learning but it can be tricky to achieve all the time. Budget constraints, lack of resources, no extra time and no clue where to start are all real barriers to change.

A great place to begin this new year is by creating a Maker Station in your classroom.creative space by Foodoppi

 

S.T.E.M or S.T.E.A.M integration in a cross curricular way is a great easy introduction to getting students to think differently, out side the box even. By creating little projects or a space to “tinker” students can really develop their exploratory and critical thinking skills. When its comes to SSE and WSE from a SESE perspective having an emphasis on design thinking is becoming a priority. A small corner of the classroom dedicated to this can be a great way to reinforce these skills.

Here are our Foodoppi top tips for how to create new learning space in your classroom.

  1. Think about possible experiences the students can have first and foremost – not the furniture or the resources needed. Think about what the desired learning outcomes ? What other areas like this are there in the school ? Reading corner, library ? How do they work?  What is most successful about them ? How will you measure the success of the maker space? Is it possible to do this during Croke Park Hours? Should we do some CPD to really utilise the space ?
  2. Go Solo –  this is your classroom and your group of students. At this stage of the year no-one knows them better than you. Somethings that old adage “too many cooks…… ”can be true. You think,  assess and evaluate what is best for your group. Feedback will always be welcome after you have researched and planned.
  3. Collaboration  –  this seems to be created as a collaborative space where they students are in charge of their own learning. This is not a desk which you teach from  – your role here will purely be to facilitate the ideas and creativity of the students. This will empower them o take ownership of their own active learning and discovery.
  4. Lean and Clean  –  try not to have it overloaded with “stuff” like posters and handouts. It needs to be a working space but also a blank canvas where thoughts and ideas can develop. Bright colours can help evoke creativity ( green & orange) and some furniture to assist with organization of materials.
  5. Learn a new vocabulary  – when planning your maker space think concepts like agile, flexible, integrated, adaptive, design thinking, multiple intelligences, empowerment, success, failure, positivity, acceptance, differentiation, collaboration, team work.
  6. Have access to some technology  –  an iPad / tablet, makey makes kits etc
  7. Involve the students –  Never EVER underestimate their potential for brilliance !

 

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