Thursday, March 27, 2014

DIY Challenges

We're back and ready to start making! Our teacher, Mrs. Deyamport has learned about the Maker Movement and Maker Spaces on Twitter and thought it might be a good idea to give it a shot in our REACH classes. The Maker Movement (a.k.a. Maker Spaces) promotes the idea that students learn by doing. It puts students in charge of their learning because they are responsible for selecting, planning, and the actual creating or building of whatever it is they are making. This month we are participating in the Maker Movement by completing different DIY Challenges. Below are a few projects we are working on: 

Independent Projects 
Some of our 6th graders have had the opportunity to work on their own DIY challenges. They have worked independently on the planning and actual making. As they are working, they are given guidance on their problem-solving and brainstorming as needed. Both students have also thought or worked on their projects from home, which is not a requirement. While one student mentioned that he started to build his helmet at home, the other actually brought some patterns from a craft store to add to the final design of her project. 
Asma is designing her own room.

Jacob's cardboard costume.
To Enhance Reading Projects
Our 4th grade group has recently completed reading the novel, Tuck Everlasting, and was given the option to re-create a scene from the story using cardboard and other items. This project was modified from one of the DIY challenges and a great opportunity for students to be creative in creating scenes from a novel that did not have any illustrations. We also reflected and discussed some recommendations for staying organized and building things. This group offered some great tips and were very engaged and helpful towards each other throughout their DIY time. 
Recreate a Scene from Tuck Everlasting.

So far, the process of making is a messy one but so well worth it! Our greatest challenge is staying organized and finding storage for all projects. Right now, we are using these storage bins and placing them under tables and on top of file cabinets. As soon as we can find a solution for storage or as students complete their projects, we will have other grade level groups complete their own DIY challenges. Overall, the challenges have pushed students to learn in a different way and bring to life their plans and the content. Needless, to say they have also been a huge hit!