Week 4

EDET 677 What project could help me integrate my content with making?

A “making classroom” can also be referred to as a project-based learning classroom, problem-based, inquiry-based learning, etc., (Martinez, et.al, loc., 1336). When Martinez talks about project, he means work that is “substantial, shareable, and personally meaningful,” (loc. 1345). Making is an activity where people create something with their hands (Vanderwerff, 2014).

I think the first thing to do when choosing what project could help integrate content with making, is to choose a good prompt. Martinez gives three tips (loc., 1434):

  • Brevity- clear, concise, and self-evident notes.
  • Ambiguity- flexibility
  • Immunity of assessment- less focus on letter grades, more focus on collaboration.

I really liked the example prompts Martinez gave in the chapter. Prompts shouldn’t be long, complicated, or overly descriptive, it takes away serendipity (loc., 1448). “Good prompts do not burden a learner, but set them free.”

I think the second thing to do when choosing what project could help integrate content with making is to follow “the eight elements of a good project,” (Martinez, loc., 1358): purpose and relevance, time, complexity, intensity, connection, access, shareability, and novelty.

Maryann Molishus says that it takes four things to teach based on the interests and aspirations of young learners:

  1. A strong knowledge of your curriculum and standards
  2. Flexibility
  3. Organization
  4. Resourcefulness

“It is unacceptable and unnecessary to deny children the opportunity to work on something they are passionate about because the teacher is not an expert in that particular field,” (loc., 1534).

The NAF is a great example of implementing making into content. Their four essential elements of practice are: academy development and structure, curriculum and instruction, advisory board and work-based learning. Together these four elements “ignite student’s passion for learning, support school and district priorities, and give businesses the opportunity to shape America’s future workforce.”

I teach K-1, and one of my goals for next year is to do more basic facts with kindergarten. Our curriculum is Go Math, and I felt there wasn’t much emphasis on addition/subtraction practice. I would like my students to use more manipulatives, create their own word problems, etc. It would even be fun to make an addition or subtraction song together; something to help them memorize their basic facts; or strategies to help them solve problems. Incorporating song and dance would be beneficial and fun for everyone. Just a thought:)

Resources:

Martinez, S. L., & Stager, G. (n.d.). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Retrieved May 24, 2016.

NAF Educational Design. (n.d.). Retrieved June 07, 2016, from http://naf.org/our-approach/educational-design

Vanderwerff, A. (2014, May 14). Makers in the Classroom: A How To Guide (EdSurge News). Retrieved June 07, 2016, from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2014-05-14-makers-in-the-classroom-a-how-to-guide

 

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