We had a bunch of fun letting the kids create with K'Nex. I put out a booklet with ideas if they wanted, or they could explore with the different pieces. This particular picture is a student who began to build with the book, but then added his own flair to it!
December is a time for giving back to our community. This month, the students tied fleece blankets to donate to Project Linus. Project Linus is a non-profit organization that gives sick children in our local hospitals blankets to take home. It was a good project for the younger students to learn how to tie knots - the first step to tying shoes. We made a total of 37 blankets of all sizes!
The end result was a lovely bow-tie or hair bow for our Kinders and 1st graders. The older kids got to make bows and flowers. Would I do it again? Not willingly! The duct tape is really difficult to work with - very unforgiving. We ended up doing most of the work for our younger students and they just sat and watched. I didn't find this to be a meaningful, learning experience for those children. The older kids had more freedoms - definitely a project for 3rd grade and up!
We wanted a project that was student driven, less teacher-centered. We found marble runs on many websites, including Pinterest and Make It @ Your Library. We sliced up some pool noodles and pipe insulation, bought marbles, laid out the blue tape and paper rolls - and let them create!
The second session of Maker Space - we attempted Origami. Having very limited skills myself, I found this hard to teach! I mastered a paper airplane and the fortune teller but not much else. My assistant became quite handy at making tiny stars! I'm not real jazzed about doing this again, to be honest.
My principal had purchased Snap Circuits kits the year before for teachers to use in their classrooms. They sat untouched in my back room so I brought them out for Maker Space. We used Snap Circuits Junior for Kinder through 2nd grades. We added Snap Circuits Light and Green for the older students in 3rd - 5th. I have 5th grade helpers who come in the afternoon to assist with Kinder and 1st grade students.
I'm the librarian at Fern Bluff Elementary. We're piloting a Maker Space in the library this year. Maker Spaces, STEAM labs and fab labs are popping up in schools across the country. Maker Spaces provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering and tinkering.I'm going to share what works and what doesn't.