Today marked the debut of my maker’s space and the results were nothing short of stunning.
Random, varied collection of art supplies
I had been gathering miscellaneous art supplies with no particular goal in mind other than to increase the number of options available for students. I have duct tape, construction paper, post-it notes, paint, pens, crayons, glue and yarn.
Give them materials and set them loose
Today I wanted to just introduce them to the maker’s space and for them to get their hands dirty so to speak. So, I didn’t want to put any parameters on the assignment requirements. I would never have given this assignment years ago, I was too much of a control freak then. But today, I turned them loose.
Students Rose to the Occasion
I told them: Make me something–anything–and then connect it somehow with something that we have read this year. The kids really surprised me. I made the following observations throughout the day:
- 100% of the students were engaged from the first minute. My usual slow starters were quick to jump in.
- Student projects varied considerably–wide parameters spurred creativity.
- Students were taking their time–no one was doing it just to do it.
- Many students had ideas that involved time and resources out of class: Stop motion animation, minecraft, video skits etc.
- Students were accessing online resources to help with their projects.
Overall this assignment was a tremendous success and it confirmed a lot of things I have learned this year: Student choice is a powerful tool of engagement, Reluctant students can thrive with the right assignment and wide parameters is a creative spark.