Make Me Something–Anything: My Maker’s Space Debut

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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.

Confirmed Truths

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.

2 comments

  1. Matt Fletcher says:

    Love this! We’re about to get started at my school as well. One item we’re discussing is how to balance getting out of the way of the students to let them create with finding a method of ensuring accountability. Any thoughts?

    • bkeeler74 says:

      Thanks. I really gave them minimal parameters because I wanted them to become acquainted with the space and the students really surprised me. I use student choice with every assignment so I can see myself having this open for an option for key future assignments. I would start with wide parameters and see what the students do, then add some here or there depending on the objective. The greatest thing that happened yesterday was that my slow starters (who I have to sit with to keep them on task) jumped right in and needed no guidance.

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