Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Creating Maker Stations in the LC

Here's my thinking about how to introduce maker stations to the Learning Commons. Of course it's not the only way but this is how we are attempting to change the culture in our school and to foster entrepreneurial spirit in our students. We would love feed back or comments on how others are doing it!


  1. What if you provided various materials for students to access when they wanted in the learning commons? Then sit back and observe...Wouldn't that be a little more "organic?"

    1. Hi Melissa,

      Thanks for leaving a comment.

      I like your organic idea - certainly as far as fitting in with the organic nature of the maker movement itself. I guess something that we are concentrating on in our learning commons is the purpose and intentionality behind our the maker space. One of the issues with having something like a maker space in a school is how it links back to learning. We are attempting to add some meaning to the stations we set up. Yes, we do want our students to come in and be creative but we also want them to see how that creativity can be applied to their learning.

      We are working hard to help our students develop entrepreneurial spirit as well as collaboration skills. We will get there by adding more purpose to what we are asking our students to do. While the 'discovery' approach might be beneficial, a more meaningful and intentionally designed maker station will have more positive and longer lasting effect on learning.

      Do you have a maker space in your classroom or learning space? Have you seen other wise? It'd be great hear other opinions on this.

  2. I'm in the process of setting one up and had my first maker activity last week: making a bookmark. It invovled directions and thinking, and it was totally fun. What I noticed right off the bat was that I taught one student how to do it, and then encouraged them to teach someone else. Of the 35 or more kids that participated, I only helped about 2. The rest happened organically. They even went "off script" and made their own designs.
    I also gave every student who participated a small "member" card and punched a hole in it (one punch for each "sponsored" project). That also created buzz and kids asking about to get the card, what to do, and when was the next project.
    My goal is to sponsor 6 projects (my colleague down the street and I are planning together) with various attention to technical, arts & crafts, and creative projects.
    This is all quite new and I feel like I'm not focusing enough on academic things, but it's been an interesting journey that is just starting out.

    1. Thanks for leaving a comment!

      I love the member card idea and might steal that one :) I'm guessing it kind of works like badges. I love the independent part too. I'm trying to make my instructions either more visual or less wordy to help with the younger students. It would also be good to have tasks that don't require many (if any) instructions.