Making the Most of the Makerspace
Thanks to Graland’s continued expansion of its innovation curriculum, Lower School teachers now have access to creative and challenging Makerspace Kits designed to engage students in creative thinking. Using a summer grant from Graland, technology education specialist, Elizabeth Leddy, and lead librarian, Ashleigh Finn, created 10 Makerspace lesson plans that focus on the six identified innovation skills: empathy, creative thinking, critical thinking, grit/perseverance, experimentation and collaboration.
After the Makerspace Kits were introduced early in the school year, classroom teachers quickly saw their added value in teaching key concepts. The kits also focus on differentiation, allowing a variety of thinkers and learners to be successful.
First grade teacher, Heidi Byzcko, shares, “It was so simple to set up, but it was a powerful and fun exploration for our class. The best part by far was the amount of collaboration and perseverance it promoted among the students. Instead of giving up or fighting with one another, I watched as our little groups became critical thinkers, planners, problem solvers and communicators, all while giggling away and taking a lot of pride in the project. They didn’t mind struggling and even failing, and they were able to reflect on how their teamwork helped them be successful.”
Ashleigh and Elizabeth hope to continue adding kits to the collection with the ultimate goal of empowering teachers to incorporate more innovation lessons into their classrooms and their curriculum.