Movers and Makers Year in Review

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I am very excited for 2016 and our makerspace radio show on the BAM Radio Network! BAM Radio is the largest education radio network in the world offering programming from the nation’s top education organizations and thought leaders and reaching a wide audience of people passionately committed to quality education.

The show is called WMKR, Movers & Makers.  Embarking on this journey with me, I am lucky enough to have a fabulous co-host, Laura Fleming.   We had a great 2015 season with a lot of wonderful guests. You can check out our previous episodes by clicking on the images below.

2015 Bam Radio “WMKR, Moves & Makers Year in Review

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Subscribe to our show on iTunes to stay up to date with all new show releases.  We have some more fabulous guests coming up for 2016!

 

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Re-Design your classroom for 2016

Redesign Your Classroom

Do you want to change the way your class looks this year? Are you wanting to create an environment in your classroom that allows for creativity and risk taking? I am going to share with you a little about our journey and how we transformed our media center space.

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Our area had looked like this before we changed it up!

 

 

 

We had a few ideas just from observing our students in our media center. Our first observation was that our students wanted different areas for learning. We focused on four areas and worked to create this for our learners. These areas came from Target Interior

Design Company as this is what they focus on when creating a collaboration space.
1.) I own
2.) We own
3.) I Share
4.) We share

Students wanted a space that they can have to themselves. IMG_2662

They want a space where a group can collaborate.

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They also want a space where students can share what they are learning with more students.

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Finally, they needed a space where a group could do some presentations.

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We have started creating these different areas in our media center by getting some flexible furniture from SteelCase.
A student can have their space for creating and working.

We share- Students can put these desks together to create a collaboration area.

Our Learning Lounge allows students to use our TV and Apple TV to show their presentations.

Students can collaborate at the big table as a group.
We focused on these learning areas to help provide spaces for our learners. When you think about your classroom are you able to get rid of some desks? Create areas of your classroom that allow for the four areas above to happen easily by pushing desks or tables together quickly. Think about having different levels for students to sit and collaborate with fellow students.

Once you have your space figured out it is time start building a culture in your classroom that will allow for risk taking. An excellent book to read to begin to make this environment in your classroom is Sparking Student Creativity by Patti Drapeau In this book they will talk about the first step is creating the environment in your classroom. The next step is teaching the students how to take risks and try new things. I highly recommend this book to anyone thinking about doing this.

After you have created this, then you can start thinking about color and paint in your classroom. We were unable to paint classrooms, but we were able to get white board paint for our math and ELA classes.

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Transforming spaces takes time, but if you start by thinking about the four areas in your classroom you can begin to go down this path.

If you need something, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via Twitter at @travislape or email me at travis.lape@k12.sd.us

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One Word for 2016

A lot has changed around our house this past fall. My wife and I brought home a beautiful eight-month- old boy who we just love and adore. Being a dad means that my work at hIMG_0526ome has to change and be more in balance. I use to come from work and do more work. With this little guy my wife and I don’t always get the time together that we had before, but with any strong faith marriage, you still need that time. I plan to block out one or two nights a week that I can work a little later to stay connected and work on different projects. The work will all happen once both my son and wife have gone to bed. My whole goal in 2016 is to me more intentional with my time with my family and work life. I still will try to take in one or two edchats a week. I still am co-moderator of #SDEDCHAT, and helping other schools start edcamps.

   

My word this year that I want to focus on is “BALANCE.” 

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Top Ten Makerspace Favorites of 2015

2015 has proved to be a monumental year for the Maker Movement.  With increasingly more schools committed to creating a genuine and committed culture of innovation, we are seeing  more opportunities than ever for learners to be able to invent, tinker, create, innovate, make, and do. The continuing establishment of physical makerspaces in schools have continued to help provide a foundation that the students need to be able to thrive and flourish in that kind of culture.

The most successful makerspaces include tools, materials and resources that inspire and allow for an environment rich with possibilities, allowing all students the opportunity for open-ended exploration.  In addition to tried-and-true favorites such as Spheros, Makey-Makey kits, littleBits, and Legos, there is now such a vast array of makerspace-related products available.

As this year draws to a close, we can’t help but reflect upon some of our favorite makerspace things.  Upon doing so, Laura Fleming and I, have compiled a list of our ‘Top Ten Favorite Makerspace Items of 2015’.  In this post, we have provided links to all of the products, as well as a brief description of each. It is our hope, that this versatile and fun list will get you thinking about things you have never thought of before and help your makerspaces to continue to grow and evolve.

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