Maker space, Kindergarten and problem solving – oh my!

Last year in March, I took a leap, and invited all classrooms in my school to attempt Makerspaces (you can read the reflections about that experience here).

This year, while adjusting to the new time constraints of my role, I was trying to determine how to continue with Makerspaces in our school.  Last year, it engaged so many students there was no way I was willing to let it go.

The first place I saw an ‘easy fit’ was with Kindergarten and they have done so well with the challenges!  In planning for these activities, I was able to create a literacy connection with stories and themes.

The literacy focus helped to address the problem that I had with Makerspaces previously, and I was able to maintain a theme for longer, therefore (I think) giving the students time to discover multiple solutions to a challenge.

I feel as though we have had a lot of success with this Makerspace integration – and with the help of Twitter, I was able to share these projects with my PLN.  Additionally, sharing these items helped to gain ideas for new challenges from other educators!

One morning, while I was supervising the early bus crew, I unpacked my newest Makerspace addition, and this happened:

With all of these ‘successes’ I was finding myself questioning “How can I get Makerspaces to our students who are not in Kindergarten?”

After reflecting upon it, I decided that I needed to let teachers have the ability to utilize the mobility of the Makerspace cart, and sign it out/take it to their rooms when they have time to incorporate it!  So, we now have a school makerspace google calendar that all teachers have access to.

It has been working!  Classrooms have started using the calendar and the cart within their classrooms- and other teachers have asked me to book time with their classes so they can start implementing makerspace challenges as well.

I am not sure if this will be enough to meet the needs of all of our students, but I will continue to try this for now and monitor.

Additionally, I think there will be an opportunity to implement a technology/makerspace club in the new year, and that may help to ‘catch’ any students that have been missed!

How does makerspace work in your school?  What grades are included?  I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts!

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