The Renovated Learning MANIFESTO

The Renovated Learning Manifesto | A post reflecting on who I am, what I'm passionate about, and what my goals are for Renovated Learning

What lead to the Renovated Learning Manifesto… I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting lately.  After reading Essentialism, I’ve been soul-searching and trying to suss out where my true passions lie.  Meanwhile, I’ve been reading business and productivity blogs, learning about SEO, and studying my Pinterest and Twitter analytics.  I’ve been trying to … Read more

How to Run a Rubber Band Launcher Challenge

How to run a RUBBER BAND LAUNCHER CHALLENGE: Includes suggested supplies, skills that help, ground rules to set and recommended resources for running a Rubber Band Launcher Challenge in your makerspace.

If you’ve been following Renovated Learning for awhile, you might remember the Catapult Challenge my Stewart Makers Club did last year with Colleen Graves’ students at Lamar Middle School.  My students had SO MUCH FUN with that challenge, although I always felt like Catapult Challenge was a bit of a misnomer, since our students’ creations … Read more

How to Start a Makerspace When You’re Broke

How to Start a Makerspace When You're Broke

  You CAN start a makerspace even if you’re broke In my recent post on AASL Knowledge Quest, I decided to revisit and revamp a popular article that I wrote for the ISTE Librarians Network Scanner about starting a makerspace on a budget.  Since writing that article in November 2014, I’ve talked to many more educators and … Read more

Read This Book: Essentialism

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, is not a book written specifically for educators, yet out of all the books I’ve read so far this year, it’s had the most profound effect on me. The author, Greg McKeown, explains his philosophy of Essentialism in the book.  And I found myself nodding my head over and … Read more

Make & Takes: Let Students Own the Learning

Make & Takes: Let Students Own the Learning | Many makerspaces tend to emphasize tech and tools that have to stay at the school. It's important to balance that out with activities that students can take home as well. Arts & crafts, cardboard challenge and other activities can be great make & takes for students. Also, it makes for awesome advocacy when parents get to see what your kids are making. |

Make & Takes Build Excitement & Engagement A few weeks ago, I was meeting with a group of girls to plan activities we want to do with our STEMgirls club that we’re starting.  They had tons of great ideas and suggestions: “We want to learn how to sew and make beds for an animal shelter” … Read more

Teaching the Design Process in Makerspaces

Teaching the Design Process in Makerspaces | The Engineering Design Process is a series of steps that engineers (and other designers) take when creating a product or idea. The steps of this process fit in perfectly with makerspaces. In this post, I talk about collaborating with one of our science teachers on a lesson on the design process.

Stewart Middle Magnet is a STEM magnet school, and part of our curriculum comes from Project Lead the Way, including classes in engineering, robotics and aerospace.  The Design Process is an important part of that curriculum.  It also ties in beautifully with what we do in our makerspace.  So it made sense for me to … Read more

Read This Book: The Art of Tinkering

Read This Book: The Art of Tinkering | This amazing, beautiful designed book looks at the importance of tinkering in the creative process. It includes profiles of artists, project tutorials and lots of examples of tinkering in the fine arts. |

The Exploratorium & The Tinkering MOOC The Exploratorium is an amazing hands-on science museum in San Francisco.  They created a makerspace for their patrons called The Tinkering Studio.   I participated in their Tinkering MOOC this past summer and it was a fantastic experience.  They published their book, The Art of Tinkering, back in early 2014. … Read more