I will be the first to admit that I was initially very skeptical of the idea of a makerspace. I didn't see how it would really fit in with a school library program or why it should. Over the past year or so, I've been convinced of the merits, so much so that I actually proposed and am participating in a Makerspace-themed PLC at work for professional development this year. I haven't yet created a formal makerspace in my library, and I'm not sure I ever will, but I like the makerspace mindset/ethos, and I want to work it into my space somehow.
When Rachel and I presented at the Better Together conference this August, we both came away inspired by the idea of a makerspace. I got to thinking about how I want to do more outreach to my middle school students and encourage them to be in the library more often, and then I hit upon the idea of a monthly makerspace activity. I pitched the idea to Tahleen, the fabulous teen librarian at our local public library, and Ginny, my engineering teacher, and both said they would be happy to help.
The plan: One Friday a month, I will feature a makerspace-themed activity for students in grades 5-8. It has to be cheap, easy, and quick to do (students only have 45 minutes).
Challenge #1: Cardboard - it seemed fitting coming so close on the heels of the Global Cardboard Challenge.
Materials: Boxes of all shapes and sizes, duck tape (silver and colored), scissors, stapler, yarn, masking tape, exacto knife (from Ginny, only adults could use it), and a Pinterest page projected on the drop down screen of cardboard construction ideas.
The kids showed up, I explained the goal (create anything you want out of cardboard in 40 minutes) and set them loose. About ten kids came, and they had a blast. I was seriously impressed by what they managed to create in such a short period of time.
Check out their creations!
From left to right (top): A ball game - the ball goes in the top, then there are obstacles inside to navigate through, and finally "water" and a scoreboard. A doll house with two bedrooms. A zipline.
Bottom: A squid vending machine. A star-shaped mobile. A tent with a yarn curtain.
My name is Ms. Bery. I am a PK-8 library media specialist in the Boston area. In addition to being a certified school librarian, I am also certified in instructional technology, and have a strong interest in exploring and integrating technology in new and exciting ways in the classroom.
I am also a 2016 PBS LearningMedia Local Digital Innovator, and a 2015 recipient of the Massachusetts School Library Association's President's Award.
Check out the Sandbox for apps and websites I've found useful in supporting student learning and creativity. I also review children's, middle grade, and young adult books on Instagram.
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