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

How to Build Creativity (and More ) Through Making

How to Build Creativity (and more) Through Making // The Four C's are a popular trend in education right now. They may be a trend, but they're also valuable skills that students can learn through making - and it doesn't have to be expensive or complicated.

The Four C’s are big in education right now: Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration and Communication.  We talk constantly about how we need to be teaching our students these skills.   I’m not always a big fan of buzzwords – even though I’ve only been in education for less than a decade, I realize that they come … Read more

AASL Post: To Teach Makers, We Must Become Makers

To Teach Makers We Must Become Makers // If we want to help teach and support our makers, we must become makers ourselves. By taking on projects, we can learn the design process and develop empathy.

Makerspaces are amazing places. Our students can learn all kinds of new skills. But it behooves us to learn some of those skills ourselves. You certainly don’t have to be an expert in all things to create a makerspace in your library. When I first started creating a makerspace in my library in 2014, I … Read more

Being a Maker: Just Create Something Everyday

Being a Maker: Just Create Everyday: If you want to expand your creativity, create something everyday. Even if it sucks. Just keep building the habit. Now go make opportunities for your students to do this.

(Post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase using them, I get a small commission that helps support running this blog) Just create something.  Everyday. I love to read books about creativity and the artist’s process.  It’s fascinating to learn the stories of authors, artists and other creatives and learn about their how they create … Read more

Read this Book: Izzy Gizmo + Giveaway

Read this Book: Izzy Gizmo - This delightful new picture book definitely has a place in makerspaces. It portrays a young girl of color who loves science, experiences setbacks and develops empathy for others.

While I’ve never worked in an elementary school before, I’m always on the lookout for awesome maker picture books.  Picture books are a great way to introduce a lesson or activity in makerspaces.  We even have a whole chart on maker picture book connections in Challenge Based Learning (check out the resources page to see … Read more

Make Your Own Creature Workshop #AASL17

Make Your Own Creature Workshop #AASL17 | I led a Make Your Own Creature workshop at AASL and it was a blast. Here's how to host one.

(Note: Post contains affiliate links.  Actions taken may result in commissions for Renovated Learning) A Creature Workshop Towards the end of last school year, one of my students came up with one of my favorite design challenges:  Make a creature that does something.  That’s it.  This prompt wins for simplicity and the designs that people come up … Read more

What’s Wrong with a Makerspace in a Box

What's Wrong with a Makerspace in a Box - There is a trend in education of selling "makerspace in a box" programs that are meant to handle the planning of a makerspace for you. The problem with these kits is that they don't involve students in the design process of creating a makerspace.

Today, a vendor tried to sell me a Makerspace in a Box.  I’m not going to say who, because I am not about bashing companies and organizations.  It’s my own personal policy to only mention names of companies or products that I actually support.  And besides, there are a lot of companies out there right … Read more