Birch School : Maker Rings

Sharing the Story of "Students supporting Students to MAKE their best work"

Makey Makeys – discovery, imagination, collaboration

We are beginning to receive resources for our Pop-Up Maker Space. Today we got a few Makey Makey’s in. We handed the boxes to a few kids, case and stepped back. Small teams of two or three students worked on unpacking and reading the directions. They fiddled, patient then forged ahead as they realized what…

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Why and What

What is Making? Today’s lesson was about the what, why and how of Making. Our groups are established, ideas are beginning to flow and we are getting deeper. We started with these questions: What is a “Maker”? Why do we “Make”? What do we “Make”? How is Art the same or different as Making? How…

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How To Think Like a Maker – Wired Magazine

How to Think Like a Maker – Wired Magazine Online Published Today February 16th. Very timely, since this is what we are focusing on this week in Maker Rings. “Maker Culture has coalesced into a formal movement over the past 10 years, taking strands from punk rock,  traditional DIY, hacking and open source computing and…

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What is a “Maker” and are you one?

We have begun to identify and purchase items for the Pop-Up Maker Space! Here is a sample of what we are looking forward to getting started with soon! Circuit Scribes for our interactive notebooking projects. Circuit Scribes These pens allow you to draw the circuits you need. Makey Makey Here are some of the items…

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(some) Pop-Up Maker Space Stuff Identified.

We have begun to identify and purchase items for the Pop-Up Maker Space! Here is a sample of what we are looking forward to getting started with soon! Circuit Scribes for our interactive notebooking projects. Circuit Scribes These pens allow you to draw the circuits you need. Makey Makey Here are some of the items…

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Figuring out who we are.

Knowing more about ourselves is important to being able to do our best work. If we want to be successful it makes sense to try to start with the areas that come easiest to us. With that strong foundation we can then branch out and try more difficult tasks. But lets start with what is…

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Facilitating the Circle Process

We use a talking stick circle often. We begin our day including everyone in our circle. We joke because our circle is so big now that we don’t fit on the oriental carpet anymore. Now we circle around the carpet. In the morning we pass the talking stick circle and “check-in”: “how are you doing?…

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Ready to Roll – Learning Styles Inventories

Another snowday today, here another missed Monday. Last Friday some districts had a three-hour delay (previously unheard of) and attendance was at half. But we are ready to go. Kids are ready to work in their newly-identified Maker Rings, epilepsy and we keep getting these forced hesitations. At least the rest of the week looks…

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struggling with screens

“The crucial turn for Shirky was this study that argues, as the title says, “Laptop multitasking hinders classroom learning for both users and nearby peers.” This article in the DML Central Website yesterday is so relevant to what we are struggling with at Birch today. This morning we had a community meeting to address Teacher…

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Pop-Up Maker Space Calculator

Each Maker Ring is creating their own list of desired items and estimate of cost, urologist with the aim of staying within our budget. They are using their lists to see what we already have, unhealthy what they might be able to get donated, prostate and what we must buy. Link to Google Sheets Doc

Rings Created

Now that we have actually been in school for a few days in a row (snow days, dosage winter break, no rx delayed openings, story conference days…) we are getting rolling with Maker Rings. We’ve decided to include the fourth graders in the Maker Rings. Usually they are part of the Lower School group, but…

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Benefits of Open Work

Tribes Learning Communities  Systems Thinking Games – Institute of Play Systems Game Workshop  7 Activities to Engage Systems Thinking Systems-Thinking Playbook for Climate Change Linda Booth Sweeney – Author of Systems Thinking for Kids Resources Gamification of Systems Thinking Training     Resources for Maker ring meetings Who am I poem activity “Making Thinking Visible”…

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