My prior thoughts:
This weeks discussion has been one that I have absolutely LOVED as a grade 3 teacher. We discussed the concept of Maker Spaces and learning through play. Maker Spaces aren’t something I am necessarily familiar with but given our discussion I have dabbled with it unintentionally. The whole idea revolves around engagement and inquiry. Allowing the students to discover by manipulating and creating from their own ideas with small amounts of guidance. Now I am no expert on this specific idea and I have done a little bit in inquiry. The connection to teaching was obvious this week. I didn’t want to stop there though, I wanted to figure out how I could bring this idea to families and parents while I am teaching online.
Through reflection, my thoughts now:
In trying better to understand Maker Spaces not only through readings and discussion, I truly enjoy Ted Talks. They often give a combination of visual examples and ideas that have already been done in the schools. The idea of Maker Spaces allows for the creativity and problem-solving skills that we are trying to get our students to indulge in. The Ted Talk I watched is presented by Vipul Redey. He speaks to the past of how Leonardo da Vinci used what he had around him in order to create what he saw in his mind.
My Key Connections:
Vipul Redey in his Ted Talk says “children are in their very nature, makers. They are drawn by their innate curiosity to make sense of the world.” This is a huge key factor in teaching. We often speak of allowing students the freedom to learn. We are meant to ignite the passions within them so that they are excited to learn. Often times though, we end up feeling like we (as teachers) are not doing anything if they are taking all the control. We have questions such as how do we mark them? How do I help them if I don’t know all the content about the subject? How do I keep them on task? Whenever teachers are asked to relinquish control they can nervous and truly question if they are doing the right thing.
Learning Through Play:
What was your favorite thing to do as a child? Usually we hear people say play games, play outside, go camping etc. The reason is because we were able to play and able to explore without the fear of failure or expectations. We often turn students away from play and place paper in front of them and ask them to be wildly creative and fearless but only in the way we want them to. Makers Space, Inquiry and learning through play eliminates those preset expectations. This doesn’t mean that expectations don’t exist because they do, but they are not set to limit the students ability to explore. Instead they are set to ensure that students find success. In terms of the teacher, it is okay for them to be uncomfortable at first. It is okay to defy some peoples expectations of what school is meant to look like. It is okay to allow the students to teach you. It is amazing how much information is in both a teachers and students brains and it’s even more amazing to watch how they support one another. Play is a key part of life and allowing students to use that fundamental aspect of they nature to learn is by far one of the most important things we as teachers can do, in my opinion.