Classroom Makerspaces; Featuring 6th Grade

As children, most of us can remember playing Oregon Trail on highly pixelated computer screens with very low resolution.  We looked forward to sitting in front of a computer and playing this awesome game.  It was our favorite class of the week, but it was only once a week.  The rest of the time, teachers wrote on the board with white chalk, as we copied their notes diligently in our own  notebooks.  The dynamic never changed, desks never moved, and we sat quietly in our seats.  Times have changed, and so have our classrooms. Knowledge of how children learn, and what their needs are, have expanded.

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Students need to make meaningful connections in order to really learn.  There are many effective strategies that touch on ways to engage learners.  One of my favorite strategies employs the concept of designing Classroom Makerspaces.  It is a type of Connected Learning that allows students to create, invent, produce, implement, and design.  Students are using bulletin boards in my classroom as their makerspaces.  Project Managers were selected by their peers in class (with a full interview process).  Below the Project Managers are shown, mapping out the overall design of their bulletin board.

 

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Project managers discuss vision and design of space

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Teams work on their duties while their managers discuss overall vision and design of their space

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Project Manager V.P works with her team.

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