How to Run a Recycled Book Art Workshop

How to Run a Recycled Book Art Workshop : A recycled book art workshop is a fun, budget friendly project for any makerspace.

Many educators falsely believe that you can’t start a makerspace without a huge budget.  But some of the best makerspace supplies are free! As part of our new Maker Mondays program, I recently tried out a new activity with my students that went off great.  I only spent around $50 on supplies, most of which … 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

SLJ Post: A Student-Designed Maker Cart

A Student Designed Maker Cart | In an article I wrote for School Library Journal, I describe a powerful collaboration that became the Furniture Challenge, where my students designed a cart for makerspaces, which was later manufactured by CEF>

Note: This post is a brief summary/intro of an article I wrote that appeared in the Septemeber 2017 School Library Journal.  To read the full article, click here. The Furniture Challenge Towards the end of the 2017 school year, I introduced a design challenge to my afterschool Maker’s Club that was one of our best ones … Read more

Why I’m Not-So-Happy With Twitter’s 280 Characters

Why I'm not-so-happy with Twitter's 280 characters | Twitter recently made the switch from 140 to 280 characters. Here's why I think this actually takes away from Twitter's power

Ever since first embracing social media as a tool for professional development, Twitter has been one of my favorites.  Twitter chats played an early role in connecting me with other educators.  I even got my first push to take baby steps towards starting my makerspace from this social network.  I always appreciated the brevity and … 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

AASL Post: What You Really Need to Create a Makerspace

AASL Post: What You Really Need to Create a Makerspace | To create a culture of positivity in the maker movement, we need to focus less on the stuff and more on the spirit of MakerEd.

With a changing and growing movement, many are declaring that there are right and wrong ways of doing things. We are getting so hung up on the specifics and our own ideas of what a makerspace SHOULD be, that we’re losing the sight of the big picture. We worry far too much about the stuff. … Read more