Open Exploration in a Makerspace: Best Practices

Open Exploration in a Makerspace: Best Practices // Open exploration time allows students to pursue projects and ideas that interest them. Here's some best practices.

In Open Exploration in a Makerspace: What it is and Why We Need it, I explored why having open exploration time in your makerspace in an important part of the learning ecosystem.  In this post, I dig more into the practical stuff – how to actually make this work in your space. Open Exploration in … Read more

Open Exploration in a Makerspace: What it is and Why We Need It

Open Exploration in a Makerspace: What it is and Why We Need It // Students benefit when they have the opportunity for both structured and unstructured time in makerspace. Here's a look at what open exploration is and why it's important.

Open Exploration in a Makerspace: What it is and Why We Need It In a thriving makerspace, there is a balance.  Design challenges allow students to work together on a similar theme coming from a design prompt.  The challenge creates constraints, but not necessarily structure. Workshops are focused more on learning a specific skill.  Usually … Read more

20+ Back-to-School Resources for Librarians

20+ Back-to-school resources for librarians // Here's a curated list of posts and other resources to help you get ready for a new school year.

It’s back-to-school season!  Some schools have been back for several weeks while others are gearing up to go back. But no matter when you start back up, your mind is likely buzzing with the possibilities of a fresh school year.  The beginning of the year is a great time to try something new, whether it’s … Read more

5 Ways to Get Your Makerspace Ready for a New Year

5 Ways to Get Your Makerspace Ready : A new school year means new opportunities to get your makerspace ready for students. Here's some tips and tricks for sprucing things up and starting the year off strong.

It’s that time of year again – the first days of the school year will soon be upon us (and for some of you, it may already be here).  Getting ready for the year means pre-planning meetings, making photocopies, arranging class schedules and all the other good stuff that comes in August and September every … Read more

How to Create Conversation Zones to Support Learning Styles

How to Create Conversation Zones to Support Learning Styles : Our libraries support a variety of learning styles and activity. By creating conversation zones, we can better support the learning needs of ALL our students.

At Stewart, we had a pretty loud library.  There were robots racing through the stacks, the rustle of tubs of LEGOs being dug into, and the chatter of excited students talking about their favorite books and collaborating on projects.  At my current school, the previous culture of the library had been one where a whisper … Read more

How to Choose Books to Support Your Makerspace

How to Choose Books to Support Your Makerspace // Books are an essential part of any makerspace. Here's advice on how to choose the right books for your particular makerspace and school.

Why We Need Books in Makerspaces Books play an essential role in all makerspaces, whether they are in the library or not.  Instructional books can support students in learning complex skills and tools. Project books can give ideas and inspiration for what to make next.  Art books can provide visual inspiration.   Professional development books can … Read more

The Renovated Learning Philosophy of Makerspaces

The Renovated Learning Philosophy of Makerspaces // Putting into words your ideas and philosophy on a particular concept isn't always easy. In this post, I attempt to articulate my own personal philosophy on makerspaces in schools.

Writing a post like this isn’t easy.  I feel like I know in my heart what my philosophy on makerspaces is, but putting it into tangible statements seems harder.  So I started thinking about this more as a manifesto – if I was to make a grand statement about what I feel the value of … Read more

Read This Book: Keep Going by Austin Kleon

Read this book: Keep Going, by Austin Kleon // If you are human, you are creative. This book helps you with learning how to keep going and stay creative even when it feels like everything is going wrong.

I’ve been a fan of Austin Kleon’s work for several years now.  Steal Like an Artist had a huge impact on me as an educator and I frequently quote it in my conference presentations.   Show Your Work helped me to better understand the importance of sharing what I’m doing (like right here on this blog). … Read more