Friday, January 20, 2017

Making in January

In January the Carpenter students have been busy learning more about Makerspaces. Students created a maker journal to use throughout the year to document the challenges they receive and the steps they take to complete those challenges.  Students will use these to document their trials and errors and explain their thinking with the different challenges they are given.

Students also had a week of Makerspaces where they were able to go to a variety of stations that included legos, Beebot coding, Cubelet coding, Osmos, rainbow loom bracelets, and kindness station. Makerspace week took place the same week as The Great Kindness Challenge so one of the stations allowed students to make cards, pictures, or letters for others to give as acts of kindness throughout the week. Other students were also making rainbow loom bracelets for others to show kindness.
There was a note sent home with students this week asking for Makerspace supplies so we can continue to do these stations throughout the year. We can use these supplies anytime throughout the school year. You can find a copy of this supply list at the bottom of this post or on the Makerspace tab of the blog.

Later in the month students used the Pebble Go website to research information about Martin Luther King Jr to celebrate MLK day. Students learned how to navigate the website and find the facts they needed to complete the activity.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Magnificent Things

This week the Shannon students listened to the story, The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires, in library class. This book is a great book and is on the Goldfinch Award nominated list. We discussed how the character in the story never gave up on her plan to make something magnificent throughout the story. She got very upset during the story and the students talked about ways to get calmed down when someone gets very angry.

After we read the story the kids got to test out making things by using Strawbees. The students were given straws and connectors and were told to make a shape. After they worked together they were able to make squares, hexagons, pentagons, and triangles. The next challenge I gave the students was to make a 3D shape. Students were able to make large pyramids and cubes with their groups. The next few challenges were to make letters with the straws and then to make anything magnificent. Some of the pictures below are some of the many magnificent things the students made during the week.

Spaghetti and Marshmallow Towers

Students at Carpenter these past two weeks have been learning about Makerspaces. This summer I received a Iowa STEM grant called Making STEM connections. With the grant I received a large toolbox and many tools and items for the students to use during the school year that help with makerspaces. I introduced the students to the tools last week and they completed a Safety Stoplight to show what tools they feel comfortable using on their own and what tools they need to only use when a teacher is present. We also talked about safety features for each tool as I introduced them so the students would know the proper way to hold and use the tools. Some of the tools we discussed include; sewing machine, hammer, screwdriver, iron, scissors, motors, drills, and hot glue gun. Ask your child what areas they put the different tools in on their stoplight.

This week we have been learning about the Learning Design Process and making Spaghetti and Marshmallow towers. Students had to come up with a plan of how they would create a tower using only what they were given and try to make it as tall as it can be. They drew out their plan and then received 25 spaghetti noodles and 50 marshmallows. Most groups thought that making a cube would work the best but quickly learned that a pyramid has a stronger structure and stay up longer. The students worked very hard this week and enjoyed exploring how to be creative and willing to change your plan and try a new way when things do not work out the first time.