3 Important Takeaways on the Future of School Libraries

3 Important Takeaways on the Future of School Libraries | At SLJ Leadership Summit 2016, the future of libraries was an issue that was front and center. Here are my three takeaways from the event.

The future of school libraries is something that I spend a lot of time thinking about.  In October, I had the honor and privilege of attending School Library Journal Leadership Summit in Washington, DC.  As I looked back over my notes from the event, I realized that our future was front and center in all … Read more

How to Create Makerspace Organization that Actually Works

Figuring out how to get (and keep) your makerspace organized can be a daunting task.  I don’t claim to have a magical organization system that works perfectly 100% of the time.  But I have learned a few things about keeping our space organized over the last three years.  Here’s my advice: How to Create Makerspace … Read more

4 Reasons Why I Love Copernicus Carts in Makerspaces

4 Reasons Why I Love Copernicus Carts in Makerspaces | Finding the perfect makerspace storage solution can be tricky. I now have three Copernicus carts and they've revolution storage and accessibility in our makerspace.

Why I love Copernicus Carts In setting up a makerspace in my media center, I’m constantly on the lookout for effective, flexible storage solutions for the myriad of supplies we have.  I think I’ve found one of the best ones out there in Copernicus.   I started with one Book Browser Cart (similar to this one) … Read more

Read this Book: STEAM Makers by Jacie Maslyk

Read this Book: STEAM Makers | My review of Jacie Maslyk's fantastic book. It's an excellent resource for anyone at the elementary level (or any level really) who's interested in starting a makerspace. Jacie comes at this from the perspective of an adminstrator, making this a great resource for those trying to convince hesitant admin about makerspaces.

STEAM Makers: Fostering Creativity & Innovation in the Elementary Classroom At least once a week, I get a tweet or e-mail asking about resources for starting a makerspace in an elementary school, incorporating maker activities into elementary classrooms, or convincing hesitant administrators as to why makerspaces are incredible and can help teach curriculum.  I worked … Read more

How to Create Makerspace Procedures that Work

How to Create Makerspace Procedures that Work: AASL Knowledge Quest post | Finding the best way to get your students to learn procedures can be tricky. Check out these tips on how to create makerspace procedures that will work.

How to Create Makerspace Procedures that Work When we set up our libraries and classrooms, we create procedures to help keep things running smoothly. In the same way, we need to create makerspace procedures that help our students understand how to utilize and participate in our spaces. It can be tricky to figure out the … Read more

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

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

How to Organize Your littleBits Collection

How to Organize Your littleBits collection | In this post, I detail my strategies and best practices for organizing a collection of littleBits. My school has a ProLibrary and 800 students, so finding an effective organization solution was critical.

How to Organize Your littleBits Back in the summer of 2014 when our makerspace was really starting to take shape, I won a littleBits ProLibrary in their Summer of STEAM contest.  The library came with the now optional wall storage but I knew that I didn’t have a wall space where I wanted to put … 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

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. | RenovatedLearning.com

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