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Friday, February 24 • 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Makerspace and Design Thinking in the Primary Classroom

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Many educators are excited about starting a makerspace in their classroom and some have even found the time to implement one! The major question then becomes what to teach, especially with the youngest learners. Over the past two years our first grade team has experimented with several approaches to integrating a makerspace into our weekly routine. We’ve failed many times, but have also been successful in several ways. We’ve collaborated with several professionals in the makerspace and design thinking sphere, taken what we’ve gleaned from them and applied it directly to our classroom.

Using Tools and Materials as a kick off unit at the beginning of the year, we help students understand the physical properties of materials, their uses and the tools “makers” use with them. The students build a library in which they keep notes about the tools and materials they use during the exploration session. They also start a Design Journal, where they brainstorm responses to the challenges posed to them by their teachers during the following session. This process requires conversation, cooperation and creativity. At the end of the unit, the children respond in authentic ways by completing a Project Based Learning Challenge of their own design.  

Other units we’ve produced include Building Empathy with Story Characters, Coding and Tinkering. This session will walk participants through our simple approach and offer suggestions to those who many need guidance in getting started.

Speakers
avatar for Maggie Fulton

Maggie Fulton

First Grade Teacher, The Lamplighter School
Maker, STEM/STEM enthusiast, and lifelong book worm
avatar for Jessica Varela

Jessica Varela

First Grade Teacher, The Lamplighter School
Teacher by day, Maker by night!


Friday February 24, 2017 2:15pm - 3:15pm
US107 US107

Attendees (23)