Thing 23: Makerspaces

I think the idea of makerspaces aligns itself perfectly with the Common Core Standards as well as the Information Fluency Continuum that librarians use to guide their instruction. The idea behind Common Core is that students grow up to be college and career ready by establishing a set of skills such as literacy (including digital literacy), critical thinking and collaboration. In the standards it says, students who are college and career ready demonstrate independance and use technology and digital media strategically and capably. When I think of a true, authentic makerspace, I think of all these skills. If I needed to justify to my andministration the room for a makerspace in my own library, I would say just that. In one of the articles titled “6 things to consider before creating your own makerspace”, the steps include to define the skills, knowledge and habits that kids will learn or develop in your space as well as define the culture for your space. Like Joyce Valenza said, a makerspace is not a one-size-fits-all type of space. You need to create it based on your student needs and their interests.

I think students have the opportunity to gain many things from a makerspace in their school, some including:
– inspires creativity
– fuels the imagination
– teaches kids tactile learning
– gives them a chance to do what they’re interested in as well as maybe find out other things they may be interested in
– teamwork and collaboration with their peers
– critical thinking skills
– greater understanding of technology
– de-stress from all the pressures of school

My first year at my school, it was being remodeled so we were at a temporary school. The library was moved to the old cafeteria so there is a bathroom that is not being used in the library. My custodian told me he would remove the toilet and sink and clean everything out so I could use that room as a storage space. As soon as I started researching this tool, I instantly wanted to use this space for my own makerspace in my library. It would be very small and would probably only hold three students at a time but you have to start somewhere, right?! Some of the ideas that I gathered from some of the readings was an ipad station for a mobile makerspace (including different apps where students can create: write their own music, digitally build things, write stories, etc), Minecraft, knitting/sewing/crocheting, origami, photography, book art, duct tape design, lego design, cardboard or wood station to build and poetry. The possibilities really are endless but these are the ideas that I liked the most after reading. I am meeting with one of my teachers this week to discuss how a teacher can apply to donorschoose and get things funded for your class. I plan on bringing this idea up at my next school based planning team meeting with other members and my administration. If I can get this space approved, I’d like to see if I can some of my makerspace funded and get started šŸ™‚

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