This collection of strategies and resources are bundled together to help educators who are interested in implementing maker education approaches in the elementary classroom. The grade levels intended for these teaching tools vary from Kinder-6th grade. These strategies included are intended to be used across projects and classes (meaning they are not content specific).
Underlying these resources are the following beliefs:
1) Maker Education can exist to various degrees in a classroom-from open play and exploration, to designated time, frameworks and projects.
2) Making can lead to deeper learning when learning frameworks and classroom structures are in place.
3) Maker Education encompasses a vast amount of content and skill-sets. Suggested
1. Strategy: Norms for Tinkering
Prior to inviting students to engage in open play and exploration it is important to discuss expectations for behavior and agreements for interactions with materials and one another.
2. Resource: Getting Ready for Tinker Time
Use this checklist to help you ensure that you have thought through the basics of setting up a genius-hour-like mechanism for students to Make, prior to launch.
3. Strategy:Tinker Time
This strategy will help you establish a weekly structure for student-passion-driven exploration. During this time students can interact with (age appropriate) tools and materials similar to a MakerSpace or Tinker Lab.
4. Strategy: Make and Take Challenge
If students are doing well with tinkering and exploring and ready for a more rigorous approach to Making, consider this strategy.
5. Strategy: Unpacking an Expert Toolbox
Use this strategy directly after the launch of Make and Take Challenge to help students identify how experts in a field related to their challenge behave and work. Create an anchor chart through this process that can be used as a visual reminder and prompt for student reflection over the course of the Make and Take Challenge.
6. Strategy: Goal Setting
For both the Make and Take Challenge and Tinker Time students will need to identify and reflect upon goals. use this strategy to help students develop these goals.
7. Strategy: Team Huddle
For both the Make and Take Challenge and Tinker Time students will likely be working in groups and need some direction for collaborating on these hands-on tasks. Team Huddle is a good way to document and hold group members accountable, in addition to providing a source for reflection.
8. Strategy: Modeling how to Interview Experts
IN the Make and Take Challenge experts are considered “end-users” to which students can interview about problems, solutions and prototype feedback. Younger students will need a lot of scaffolding for this process, and “modeling how to interview experts” can help with that.
9. Strategy: Friendly Feedback
This strategy can be used for both Tinker Time and Make and Take Challenge to facilitate the process of students providing one another feedback on their ideas and designs.