August 27

Refreshing Your MakerSpace

Beyond the investments in kits such as Makey-Makey or robotics or Lego, the heart of the MakerSpace is in the consumables. The paper cups, tape, cardboard and straws that not only inspire some serious creativity and ‘outside the box’ thinking but also are the great equalizer – accessible to all students and teachers.

We recently gave the Vanier MakerSpace a makeover by restocking some of those consumable items. Although donations, cardboard and packing materials flow through the space throughout the year, sometimes it is just more efficient to stock up on some of the basics.

With visits to several Dollar Stores we invested $300 in additional MakerSpace consumables for our school of 550 K-7 students. This included more large storage containers. Here’s what we chose:

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Straws: From structures to toys, mazes to stop motion, straws are a must have. There are some great ideas on using straws ideas on using straws and free .stl files for 3D printing connectors. Continue reading

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June 13

Maker Social-Emotional Learning Resources

MakerSpaces can be a great catalyst for the growth of social-emotional learning.  Facilitating a maker culture can give students a venue for the development of the tools they need to recognize, understand and manage emotions and to make the responsible decisions that are critical to being a successful learner. These life long skills must be clearly articulated and deliberately discussed so that they become an intrinsic foundation for the emotional health of the student.

There are many excellent social emotional learning titles that can be used to encourage SEL development. However, a few of these also blend very well with a Maker mentality and build on some important tenants of social and emotional well being.

Take a Chance and Take Pride in Beautiful You

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If I Never Forever Endeavor by Holly Meade. Take a chance, dare yourself, trust yourself, try it…and you can fly. (2011) Continue reading

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October 9

QR Codes and a Green Screen Art Gallery

We have been exploring with our new green screen in our Vanier MakerSpace. Some students in Grade One made Digital Creations using Doodle Buddy App. Students were photographed examining the art in front of a green screen. We replaced the green background with art and added fancy frames from Photo Frames. Thanks to @fuglefun for the great idea. Check it out! Continue reading

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May 23

Making Patterns, Settings and Butterflies

Parent Appreciation Tea in the Learning Commons

IMG_8394So much building and making and problem solving this week in the Learning Commons.

Students in Kindergarten used shapes to show their learning about setting. Some Grade 1 students showed learning about shapes and symmetry using Hello Crayon and their knowledge of butterflies.

And some intermediate students problem solved how to get the whole class to organize pinecones and coloured paper into one unified pattern. We also photographed our stuffed toys and turned them into readers. Continue reading

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