47 Replies Latest reply on 8-Mar-2018 8:26 PM by mulcasterm

    Introductions

    teachontario.team

      Tell us a bit about yourself and what you're hoping to learn in this course!

        • Re: Introductions
          angelo

          Hi Everyone,

           

          My name is Angelo Mizzi and I am a Kindergarten teacher at Bendale Jr. P.S. in Scarborough, ON.  I am very excited to take this course because I would like to learn more about makerspaces and how to use technology and different makerspace apps. The makerspace apps sound very exciting and are all new to me. I would love to incorporate my learning from this course in my class. My students love making and I am looking forward to this course so I can introduce new learning opportunities to them.


          Take care, Angelo

          • Re: Introductions
            donnad

            Hello there. I am Donna Davie. I teach a Grade 3/4 class at Montague Public School just outside of Smiths Falls (approx. half way between Ottawa and Kingston). I am hoping this course will help me integrate subject areas in a combined classroom while meeting expectations specific to their grade level and curriculum. Finding it tough to teach math, language, science, social studies, health/phys ed,and all of the arts. And I'm desperately wanting to put the fun back in learning!

              • Re: Introductions
                mulcasterm

                Hi Donna, very nice to meet you. Thank you for joining us. I wholeheartedly agree with you - we need to bring the fun back to learning! How can we bring the fun back to learning if our students never have any time to explore? Reminds me of a quote by Papert:

                We often treat children as if they're not very competent to do anything on their own. So we make them stop learning in a natural way -- by exploring.

                I began connecting learning to many aspects of the curriculum last year and have big plans this year. I hope you can garner some ideas for your classroom from this course. I am .7 TL, the other .3 is planning time coverage for grades 7/8. This year we are exploring the possibility of me covering some of the art expectations along with science through digital art. I would love to collaborate with you as the year goes on!

                 

                I look forward to learning with you.

              • Re: Introductions
                mercierv

                Hi, I'm Vicky Mercier.

                I am a Core French teacher grades 4-8,  aspiring teacher librarian, with the TDSB at General Crerar in Scarborough.

                I'd like to start a makerspace club at my school and learn more about this movement and the key principles. One question I have is:  how are makerspaces different from craftivities? I have often been a crafter and have collected "loose parts" at home from popsicle sticks to pieces of fabric for "making stuff".

                I am active on twitter @madame_vicky and my passions are second language learning, reading science fiction and fantasy books, tech integration, social justice, community building and baking cookies and cupcakes.

                cheers!

                  • Re: Introductions
                    mulcasterm

                    Hi Vicky - nice to meet you! I think the distinction I make between making/crafting is the context that we place these activities in, and what parameters we place on the activity to encourage creativity, communication and critical thinking. Providing the prompt ... how might you .... is especially powerful.

                     

                    For example... we reading Butterfly Park one of the activities we explored in the LLC this year was making butterflies, caterpillars or flowers. In one station we placed strips of paper on the table, pipe cleaners and glue. We asked students how might they make something without using scissors? How might we build a butterfly or caterpillar only using 6 bricks of LEGO?

                     

                    I have had a lot of fun exploring loose parts this year. I have always been a middle school teacher and am now in K-8 school. I have so much more to learn. Anything you could share from your experience would be greatly appreciated!

                  • Re: Introductions
                    ssweazey

                    Hi there!  For the past ten years, I have primarily taught kindergarten.  This year, I am moving into the role of teacher-librarian!  My admin would like to see the beginnings of a MakerSpace in the library and so I am hoping to find lots of inspiration here.  Having run my kindergarten in a Reggio inspired fashion, we used lots of loose parts and open ended materials that I think can be brought into a MakerSpace. I feel that so many of the 6C's can be explored through a MakerSpace making it a very worthwhile endeavour.

                      • Re: Introductions
                        mulcasterm

                        Shelley, you are made for the job of TL!!! You are going to be a natural I know it! I've always been a middle school teacher and the Reggio inspired teaching and learning was new to me this year. I will be honest, it was a bit of a struggle at first how to manage it all, but it's getting easier!  I can't envision life without it. I hope you get many new ideas and share your learning with me. I am so excited to learn from you and your perspective!

                        • Re: Introductions
                          monika

                          Hey just like how you taught kindergarten for the past ten years, Not ten but about 8 years I have been enjoying teaching Grade 1. Just love it. I work closely with my colleague and we do stations for math and science. It is very similar to loose parts and open ended materials, but we try to have a follow up or a reflection piece at the end of the task either on their white board, a journal response, a labelled diagram or recording their voice or taking a picture of their work to upload on to Seesaw to share it with their parents. We find our students are more focussed as they see the balance of fun and output.

                          We really would like to incorporate technology to our math and science inquiry stations and all other subjects.

                        • Re: Introductions
                          monika

                          Hello Everyone,

                          I have introduced myself earlier, but I think I followed the wrong thread from previous sessions. Got carried away with all the information. This is my 2nd try.

                          My name is Monika Verma. I am a Grade One teacher with PDSB. Really hoping to bring Makerspace to my classroom, trying to set the clear learning goals and success criteria.

                          Thank you Melanie, for organizing this online session for us to bring it to meet the 21st century competencies.

                            • Re: Introductions
                              mulcasterm

                              Hi Monika, nice to meet you! I'd love to connect with you this year! Will you be at the Peel conference later this month? I worked very closely this year with our grade one teachers - I have a lot to share with you if you'd like! Perhaps we can connect some of our grade one classes with you for some joint making!

                                • Re: Introductions
                                  monika

                                  Hello Melanie, Do know Barb Jensen, she is our teacher librarian?

                                  Unfortunately I won`t be able to attend the Peel conference. Oh, you worked very closely with grade one teachers to bring Makerspace to the classroom. Please do share as I finding my comfort zone to bring it into my fun filled busy classroom. Joint making sounds exciting

                              • Re: Introductions
                                viktoria

                                Hello Everyone,

                                 

                                My name is Viktoria Feldman and I am very lucky to teach the same grade next year! I have a lovely group of grade 3/4 students at Lynnwood Heights P.S. I have a background in special education and teaching library for several years. Lifelong learning is my passion. I am always on the lookout for new ideas and strategies to engage students in my classroom and the school in general. Integrating technology into student learning comes naturally to me, and now I am looking for ways and ideas to have the same ease with Makerspaces. Last year, I introduced my students to several maker projects. All students had so much fun, were totally engaged, and haven't realized that they were learning. This school year, I would like to integrate engineering design process into my teaching and provide students with more cross-curricular hands on experiences. Very excited to be joining! 

                                  • Re: Introductions
                                    monika

                                    Very interesting Viktoria.

                                    Just curious to know if the maker projects were exploration time for your students or they have to meet subject curriculum expectations.

                                    • Re: Introductions
                                      mulcasterm

                                      Viktoria, it's like we share the same mind. Your goals are the same as mine for this year. Last year we tinkered, this year I think some students are ready for some inquiry design projects. I still think for the first few months students most will still need to tinker, but beginning in November I'd like to incorporate design thinking. My goal is to present students with an issue .... and using the arsenal of tools we've tinkered with - have them design their own solutions using the design inquiry process. Thank you for joining us. I really look forward to learning with and from you!

                                    • Re: Introductions
                                      monika

                                      At my school our teacher librarian has done different sessions of Makerspace. Some of the learning stations were Lego, origami, green screen, we have spheros and I-pads and some more. Students do get very excited with loose parts and tech oriented activities.

                                       

                                      Looking forward for this fun filled discussion.

                                      • Re: Introductions
                                        jcharnish

                                        I'm Jennifer Currie. While my background is in secondary science, in September I will begin a new role as our Board's STEM and Innovative Learning consultant. Our model will place makerspaces as a central focus, so I'm looking to learn more about what these look like at an elementary level.

                                          • Re: Introductions
                                            mulcasterm

                                            Hi Jen, it's great to meet you. I hope you will get some ideas in this course! This is my first year in a K-8 school, the rest of my experience has been in middle school... still learning! :} Most of the ideas are designed to get you started quickly with minimal cost so that might be practical for you. Are you the only person in your role, or are you working as a team? I look forward to learning with you!

                                          • Re: Introductions
                                            mattlet2002

                                            Hi, I'm Matt

                                             

                                            It seems like Scarborough is a popular place here.  I am the teacher-librarian at Morrish Public School in Scarborough.  I took the course last summer and absolutely enjoyed it.  My principal wants our library to transition towards a Makerspace and wants each student in the school to create something by December that is a supports of the Makerspace vision - so the more ideas the better.

                                            • Re: Introductions
                                              mrsnerino

                                              Hi everyone! 

                                               

                                              I'm Christie, and I teach for the Northwest Catholic DSB.  Most of my experience is in the primary grades and special education, but my position as math lead for our school has given me an awesome opportunity to work with teachers and students from K-8.  This year, I'm dividing my time between special education and math lead, and I'm so excited for the opportunity to explore how we can use elements of inquiry, coding and maker/breaker spaces across subjects and grade levels. 

                                               

                                              Outside of school, you can probably find me hanging out with my 3 and 6 year old (little one starting school this year - yikes!), doing yoga, being a forever-student, or watching the movie Moana on repeat (my youngest is a little obsessed). 

                                               

                                              Can't wait to learn together

                                                • Re: Introductions
                                                  mulcasterm

                                                  Hi Christie, it's great to meet you. I (think) hope you may find a lot of ideas that you can modify in your spec ed/ math lead role. I began my journey with making two years ago and I feel that I'm never going to catch up learning. I hope to learn a lot from your perspective on these activities! Thanks for joining us.

                                                • Re: Introductions
                                                  adebisi

                                                  Hi everyone! My name is Lisa Richardson and I teach kindergarten at Bendale Jr. P. S. My buddy Angelo told me about this course and I'm very excited to learn more about Makerspaces and look forward to trying out new activities in my class.

                                                    • Re: Introductions
                                                      mrsnerino

                                                      I hope it's okay to ask this here. It's slightly off-topic.  I notice that there are a lot of people with FDK experience here.

                                                       

                                                      The idea of makerspaces, or classrooms as makerspaces, is an amazing one, one that I feel would flourish with uninterrupted blocks of time. Teachers at my school are trying to minimize unnecessary transitions to create such an environment.

                                                       

                                                      Would anyone be willing to share how they use prep teacher time in FDK?

                                                      Sent from my iPhone

                                                        • Re: Introductions
                                                          angelo

                                                          Hi Christie,

                                                          Our school is going to be trying to minimize unnecessary transitions this year as well. We have never tried this before and there was a transition every time a prep teacher came.

                                                           

                                                          Our principal had a great idea. This upcoming year we have a library prep and 2 gym preps which are transitions but the remainder of the preps on our timetables are not specific they are just listed as "prep." The prep teachers can continue learning blocks in our classrooms to avoid transitions.  Hope this helps.

                                                          • Re: Introductions
                                                            mattlet2002

                                                            We have 30 minute blocks so transition time eats up a lot of the prep coverage.

                                                          • Re: Introductions
                                                            mulcasterm

                                                            Ha ha! I'm so glad you joined us Lisa! If you are friends with Angelo, you must be on the right track!   I can't wait to see how you'll interpret the activities and modify them for your classroom! Looking forward to learning with you!

                                                          • Re: Introductions
                                                            sofiel

                                                            A little late to the game but back off a great holiday and ready to cram!  I am a Teacher Librarian at a school in the UGDSB.  I took the course last summer and felt like I had enough confidence to go ahead and get a Makerspace up and running in our Learning Commons last year.  As students were busy making last year, I kept reflecting on learning and if I was having a real impact on student learning or if students were just 'happily busy'.  I am back for another summer with these questions and excited to explore how I can improve my practice next year! 

                                                              • Re: Introductions
                                                                mulcasterm

                                                                Hi Sofie,

                                                                I am honoured to have you back! Your point  re: wondering if you are having a real impact on student learning or if students were just 'happily busy is something that I struggle with as well. While I agree with the underlying principles of the maker movement I would also like to see more purposeful and critical making in our schools. How is making helping our students learn? This is something I began exploring this year and hope to move forward next year. I am really looking forward to your thinking and feedback on the activities this round.

                                                                • Re: Introductions
                                                                  mattlet2002

                                                                  One of the great failures of our education system was the elimination of the old Design and Tech courses.  I have great memories of woodworking and metal shop in Grade 7 and 8.  I think the growth of makerspaces may be connected to the decline of these courses and the need to fill them.  Going through this course has given me lots of ideas to approach staff about the importance of the makerspace in my school.

                                                                • Re: Introductions
                                                                  angelo

                                                                  I wanted to give a BIG THANK YOU to Melanie, TVO Teach Ontario, and to everyone in our course for sharing their wonderful ideas and projects! I learned a lot from all of you and can't wait to share what I have learned with my students.

                                                                  Take care and thanks again, Angelo

                                                                  • Re: Introductions
                                                                    monika

                                                                    WOW, We did it! Yes, definitely a big thank you to Melanie for sharing awesome resources. It was fun reading everyone's comments and looking forward to bring them to my classroom.

                                                                     

                                                                    Hello group, I am thinking to use one of the class bulletin board (it's a extra one) as a green screen in my room? Any ideas, if you have one or planning to set up one.

                                                                      • Re: Introductions
                                                                        mulcasterm

                                                                        Go to Dollarama - the summer section. Buy the green table cloths that are 3.50 (they have a nice white material on the back that makes them more opaque)....staple them to your bulletin board. Works like a charm. It's how we do green screen at our school on a budget.

                                                                         

                                                                        (I've also seen teacher staple fluorescent green bristol board)

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                                                                      • Re: Introductions

                                                                        Bonjour,

                                                                        Je suis conseillère pédagogique à l'ère numérique.  Cette année, j'ai décidé de faire des 'cafés technologiques' pour les profs basés sur les compétences globales.  J'avais prévu de faire mon dernier sur le thème 'Apprendre à apprendre' - donc, montrer ce que c'est les Makers Space et l'impact que ceci peut avoir en salle de classe.  Je ne crois pas que nous avons des enseignants qui explorent ce mouvement encore, donc, j'aimerais me renseigner davantage pour pouvoir bien les instruire par la suite.

                                                                        Merci,

                                                                        J'ai bien hâte d'apprendre!