Maker Projects: The Awesome Cardboard Maker Cave

Maker Projects- The Awesome Cardboard Maker Cave | Maker Projects posts feature projects my students have put together. This post details the cardboard Maker Cave that came together over the course of several weeks. The cave was an installation at our schoolwide Maker Fair.

The Awesome Cardboard Maker Cave Last spring, I gave my after-school Makers Club a challenge – create a unique, interactive project that guests can interact with at our 2016 Maker Fair.  We had held the Cardboard Challenge earlier in the school year, giving my students lots of ideas on how to use cardboard as a medium. … Read more

Read This Book: The Sketchnote Handbook

Read this book- The Sketchnote Handbook- The Illustrated Guide to Visual Note-taking | I may be a little late jumping onto the sketchnoting bandwagon, but I'm loving it. If you're interested in learning more about techniques and how to sketchnote, The Sketchnote Handbook is an amazing resource. Check out my review.

The Sketchnote Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Visual Note-taking On the flight to ISTE a few weeks ago, I brought along The Sketchnote Handbook.  This book hooked me within a few pages. As I took sketchnotes throughout the conference (see them in my post) I could immediately see my skills improving. I’m relatively new to sketchnoting … Read more

How to Run a SUPER Circuit Bracelet Workshop

How to Run a SUPER Circuit Bracelet Workshop | I ran a Circuit Bracelet workshop with our STEMgirls club this year and we had tons of fun. I also learned a lot of lessons along the way and wanted to share here so that YOU can run a super circuit bracelet workshop in your makerspace.

The Story of the STEMgirls Club My school is a STEM magnet school and unfortunately, that leads to a disproportionate number of male students.  This year the ratio was 65% male, 35% female, which led to many of my female students feeling disenfranchised.  I wanted to do something to help create a safe environment for … Read more

ISTE 2016: Denver Adventures, Presentations and More

ISTE 2016- Denver Adventures, Makerspaces, Presentations and More : ISTE 2016 in Denver was an amazing, wonderful whirlwind of activity. In this post, I give a day-by-day breakdown of my adventures, makerspaces I visited, presentations and more.

ISTE 2016, Denver, Colorado Last week, I was in Denver for the International Society for Technology in Education conference.  This was my third ISTE conference, and like the other two in Atlanta and Philadelphia, it was amazing and exhausting.  It’s taken me a few days to get my energy back and write this post.  I … Read more

The 2016 Stewart MakerFair: Featuring the Awesome MakerCave & More

The 2016 Stewart MakerFair | Our 3rd Annual MakerFair was an awesome, amazing event. Learn all about our Maker Stations, Make and Take activities, and our awesome student projects, including the K'nex Crossbow, Maker Cave. K'nex roller coaster and Sphero vs. Dash obstacle course.

The 2016 Stewart MakerFair Every year since we started our makerspace in January 2014, we’ve held a Maker Fair during the last conference night of the year (See our 2014 MakerFair and our 2015 MakerFair).  This year’s was even bigger and more awesome.  We had more interactive student projects and I had more student volunteers … Read more

3 Ways a MakerFair Can Be An Awesome Advocacy Tool: AASL Post

3 Ways a Makerfair Can Be An Awesome Advocacy Tool: AASL Post | A Makerfair can be an amazing advocacy tool for both your library and your makerspace. Learn how it can help you bring your community in, give your students a chance to be teachers and serve as a documentation of student learning.

3 Ways Your MakerFair Can Be An Awesome Advocacy Tool As I reflect back on these three MakerFairs, I’ve come to realize what a powerful advocacy tool they have been for our space. You can tell people about how awesome your makerspace is all you want, but when they actually get to see it in … Read more

Read this Book: The Language of School Design

Read this Book: The Language of School Design | In this amazing work on learning space design, the authors identify 29 different design patterns for 21st century schools. Included are many pictures, graphics and examples of the 29 design patterns. Some of these patterns include: cave space, daylight, connection to community, and indoor-outdoor connection. This is a fantastic book to inspire changes in our learning spaces to make them more conducive to 21st century learning.

The Language of School Design The Language of School Design: Design Patterns for 21st Century Schools, is a fantastic, well-designed book that takes a broad look at what makes a 21st Century School a modern learning space.  They break these ideas down into 29 well-researched Design Patterns.  Included with each of the patterns are examples … Read more

3 Reasons Why You Need to Have Tools in a Makerspace

3 Reasons Why You Need to Have Tools in a Makerspace | When I talked about how a makerspace isn't defined by the tools it does or does not have, some misinterpreted me as saying that tools were optional in makerspaces. In this post, I discuss the importance of tools and how they can create vital learning experiences for our students. But at the same time, it's less about what those tools are and more about what they can do for our students.

Reflecting on “Defining Makerspaces” Just over a year ago, I wrote my post on Defining Makerspaces.  It was inspired after receiving a criticism about how my makerspace wasn’t a “real makerspace” because we didn’t have any power tools.  The focus on that article was how a makerspace is defined more by the learning experiences of … Read more

Making Waves by Doing Less: How to Focus on Your Passion

Making Waves by Doing Less: How to Focus on Your Passion | When I first got started in education, I tried to do ALL THE THINGS. But eventually, I learned that this was making everything I did mediocre. When I learned how to do less, but better, amazing things started happening.

Making Waves by Doing Less This post is an adaption of an Ignite talk I did at Riding the Wave Manitoba.  I wanted to figure out what the most important message was that I could get across in five minutes and I realized that it wasn’t the importance of makerspaces or why we need to … Read more

How to Identify and Reframe Design Problems in Your Library Space

How to Identify and Reframe DESIGN PROBLEMS in your library space | When looking at our library spaces, we can often intuitively tell when something is wrong. By identifying these problems and reframing them in a way that focuses on their effects on students, we can advocate for change.

Figuring out the Design Problems in Your Space In my latest post at AASL Knowledge Quest, I focus on how to identify the various design problems in your space and how to advocate for changing them.  Check out this preview below: Many of us are rethinking and redesigning our library spaces. We have visions of … Read more