October 2017

It’s time for Fall Fun and Halloween Happenings in the MakerSpace.  Check out these spooktacular ideas for October!

Bone Bridges: The blog, Plans for a Better Tomorrow has a great idea to get kids building and thinking.  The idea is the students use Q-Tips from spooky skeletons to build a bone bridge.   If your school isn’t big on Halloween, simple tie it into the study of the skeletal system or the idea of building a strong backbone.   The blog has great resources that you can get at Teachers Pay Teachers to do a whole study with this STEM Challenge, but I plan to just introduce the concept to the kids (click here for a direction sheet I created), put out the supplies and let them go with it.  The video below is from the Plans for a Better Tomorrow Blog and helps explain the challenge very clearly.  Definitely check her site out for some great ideas!

– Step 1: Think About Your Bridge

  • Use the materials on the Creation Station table to create your bridge.  Materials may include, Q-Tips, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, string, etc.
  • Draw a picture or think about your bridge before you make it.

– Step 2: Make the Bridge

  • Use a normal speaking voice.
  • Your bridge must stand on its own.  You may not help it stand or lean it up against anything.
  • You do not have to use all the material, but you may if you want.
  • Your bridge has to be built on a paper mat. No bigger than the mat.

– Step 3: Test It!

  • Try it out!  How many items can your bridge hold?
Video from Plans for a Better Tomorrow

Pumpkin Optical Illusions: 
 The blog Edventures with Kids has a very easy, but very fun fall optical illusion craft that I know the kids will love.  The optical illusion books in my library are always checked out.  Click here for a direction sheet I created to help guide students.

Step 1: Get the Materials

  • You need:
    • 1 index card
    • Tape
    • Pencil, straw, wooden dowel rod
    • Markers or colored pencils

Step 2: Directions

  1. Fold the index card in half.
  2. Draw an orange pumpkin on one side (use up all the space).
  3. Draw the Jack O’ Lantern face on the other side.
  4. Put the pencil inside the index card and tape the index card to the end of a pencil.
  5. Move the pencil back and forth quickly between your two hands to see the illusion!pumpkin
  • Idea: The kids loved this activity and it was so easy!  I was amazed at how creative they become with making other designs like football/laces, flower/bee and people/speech bubbles.  Very cool!

Lego Halloween Creations:  Everyone loves playing with Legos.  The Lego Table is one of the more popular stations in my MakerSpace.  Most kids come to the Lego Table and start building creations in their head or just anything that isn’t necessarily anything in particular, but once in a while I see a student who struggles with what to build.  For those kiddos, I try to come up with or find challenge cards to provide inspiration.  This month I found ideas from the blog No Time for Flashcards Halloween Lego Challenge and The Stem Laboratory Fall Lego Challenge Cards.

  1. No Time for Flashcards Halloween Lego Challenge encourages students to build a pumpkin, Frankenstein, ghost and candy corn.halloween-lego-challenge-for-kids.png
  2. The Stem Laboratory Fall Lego Challenge Cards has a set of cards that you can print out with real images of various fall/Halloween objects like spider, leaf, pumpkin, etc.  Visit the website to download your free set when you subscribe to their email list.

Explore Item of the Month:  Every month, I try to take out a MakerSpace item as a focus for the students to explore and create with.  For October, I am taking out the Geoboards.  We all know we have some of these somewhere in a closet in our school from some math adoption at one point.  Go find them, dust them off and download these great, FREE task cards from Sky Full of Stars TpT Store.  You can also find 30 more designs from Playdough to Plato on TpT for $4.00.

geo.jpgCards from Sky Full of Stars

I hope these ideas help inspire both you and your students.  See you next month!


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