This month, in Scarfe 155 in the Education Library, the Scarfe Digital Sandbox presents “Making Literacy” – a centers based approach to integrating Applied Design Skills and Technologies and Making in K-12 classrooms. During the month of September, every teacher candidate in the Bed program (elementary, middle and secondary) will have the opportunity to participate in some ‘Makerspace’ stations as part of your orientation to Library and Information Literacy with your LLED 350 and LLED 360 course.
In Scarfe 155 (through the ed lib), we’ll begin with a brief overview and discussion about ‘maker ed’ and how this fits with the revised BC Curriculum including integration with the Core Competencies and the BC Applied Design Skills and Technologies Curriculum (ADST).
Following this brief overview, it’s all hands on, minds-on exploration. You will have the opportunity to play and learn at several different stations. You are also invited to return to play during some time on your own as the stations will be set up all month. In addition, on September 25th and 26th, Janis Sawatzky, our brand new technology integration mentor seconded from the Langley School District will host ‘Take a break and Make’ for TCs who would like to delve deeper in a self-directed but facilitated environment.
Here is a copy of our slides: LLED Maker Space Slides_Sept 2018
During your orientation, you will also participate in an Augmented Reality exploration of the library. There are a number of applications that teachers can use to create their own AR experiences – HP Reveal (used in the library session), Zappar, Augment, Layar are only a few.
Our stations are organized under 4 main themes:
Storytelling (Storytelling Makerspace Sign_Sept 2018)
- Green Screen – Tell your story as an image or video. Grab a puppet and play… select a fanciful background and transport yourself in space and time or check out the Postcards Canada project from a couple of years ago as inspiration. Remember, no fancy green screen required… use any plain wall or roll of paper as a backdrop.
- Blackout Poetry – repurpose a library discard to create your own unique poem!
- Button Maker (when available)– procedural knowledge is important to literacy! Creatively design your own unique visual micro-story and learn to follow the steps to create a button… ok, this one isn’t so much about the valuable learning opportunity as the sheer fun of creating a unique button! Add a little ‘flare’ to your wardrobe!
Design Challenges (Challenges Makerspace Sign_Sept 2018)
- Keva Contraptions (Bricks or Planks) – explore concepts including force and motion as you create a course or even a Rube Goldberg machine! The Keva website has some design challenge ideas and lesson plans to get you thinking. Check out ‘Audri’s Monster Trap’ video to see the engagement that might occur when a child designs and tests their own machine!
Programming (Programming Makerspace Sign_Sept 2018)
- Makey Makey – create your own game controller using any conductive material. I’ve even seen interactive posters created using Makey Makey kits! The Makey website has some lesson plans you can adapt for your own use.
Computational Thinking (Computational Thinking Makerspace Sign_Sept 2018)
- Unplugged Coding – Help students build their computational thinking skills without the need for digital devices! There are many examples of unplugged coding activities you might engage in with your students. We might try ‘binary bracelets‘ or Paper Airplane Algorithms. Visit Code.org for many plugged and unplugged coding ideas and resources. Check out ‘hour of code’ for some one hour lesson plans from K – 12.
- Weaving – an age old maker tradition with links to cross-cultural and indigenous knowledge including math, science, design, coding. The cardboard templates we used for weaving (along with associated info and lesson plan) can be found here – courtesy of the Aboriginal Math Network. I’ve also found some excellent ideas on this teacher blog for creativity in the Math class. Secondary Math TCs might also be interested in integrating graphing using the Desmos graphing app (lesson from Burnaby School District)
- Little Codr – Using these directional symbol cards and associated games & activities, all learners can write a line of code and watch as their friends try to follow it!
Also on the Maker Kit Shelf in Scarfe 155 – feel free to explore!:
Squishy Circuits – explore conductivity, circuitry and electricity as you problem solve and persevere to make a buzzer buzz, an LED light shine or a motor spin. Visit the University of St. Thomas Squishy Circuit website for recipes and lessons ideas.
Magnet Play – what can you learn when you simply play with various types of magnets? K-7 Science curriculum includes properties of matter at most every grade level… allowing children the opportunity to free play and explore the properties of magnets helps to naturally scaffold their learning. Students will learn about polarity, attraction, repulsion and more and may even invent a new toy or device as they play!
If you didn’t get a chance to play with one of the above and would like to try it out, check out the kits available on the shelf in Scarfe 155 – (available for loan beginning September 25th with more to come – Use them in Scarfe 155 anytime or sign them out at the circulation desk)