Do you include Makerspace in your resource classroom?
I've been intrigued with the concept ever since I heard about it! I'm pretty sure every undergrad paper I ever wrote somehow included a quote from Howard Gardner #nerd
I kept the thought of offering Makerspace opportunities in my mind as a “someday” for quite awhile (too long!).
Why did I wait so long?
Number 1 – I'm not a Science teacher nor STEM-certified
Number 2 – I'm not a classroom teacher, either!
I am a special educator. I love my students, push them to do their best, and collect lots of data.
So I pushed the thoughts of using discovery learning and design to the back of my mind…for awhile.
Now may be reading along and wondering now:
“What is Makerspace anyway and why is she so interested in it?”
Makerspace involves hands-on learning (if you've been following me, you know that's my jam!) and student-led discovery. Activities include engineering, coding, technology…but not in these pre-packaged lesson-plans-with-a-rubric style. Makerspace involves using the enviroment around you – the possibilities are endless for the curious mind!
If my description still leaves you wanting more (I totally understand and not offended, lol), I recommend doing a quick search for Makerspace in Education and “classroom makerspace.”
Incorporating Makerspace in the Resource Room Setting
Last year my curiosity finally got the best of me and I decided to incorporate makerspace into my students' learning.
Specifically, I used the concept during our center rotations.
I tweaked a bit here and there to make sure we were still focusing on learning along with our goals and objectives, PLUS I came up with an idea to “keep it altogether” in the resource room:
I decided to take the same idea to store all the makerspace materials!
There are drawers with labels to store hands-on tools, like playdough, cubes, and nature materials. I also use about half of the drawers to include tasks (“build a log cabin” and “design a new cookie”) and my favorite, “Build a Game.”
These tasks provide a bit of structure which some students gravitate towards, while others are all fired up and ready to go!
I hope that using seasonal materials will help my students connect a bit more with the environment and see the possibility outside of the classroom walls!
Should I make an “all year” kit? I'm thinking…YES!
I'd love to hear how makerspace learning is going in your classroom!