September 2018

It’s back to school time!  Hopefully you’ve had a wonderful summer of relaxing, reading and re-energizing and you’re ready to introduce some creativity and making with your students.  Here are some quick and easy ways to get started.

Bookworm Pencil Buddies:  It is always a good idea, in my mind, to start the school year off with a quick and easy MakerSpace craft.  The students have had time away from your space or perhaps you’re just starting, so having their first experience be easier allows for more success.  This allows for a more positive first interaction and to feel more free to take chances, try something new or try something more challenging later on.  This quick and easy activity from PBS Parents is perfect for back to school MakerSpace fun!

Bookwom Pencil Topper

Chick A Chicka Boom Boom Tree Challenge
: This idea came from a fun blog called PreSchool STEAM.  The story Chick A Chick Boom Boom is a classic story that my kindergarten teachers love to use at the beginning of the year to introduce letters.  When I saw this activity I knew it would be a fun way to introduce MakerSpace and challenges to my youngest kids. Click here to download a direction sheet.

  • Step 1: Make your tower.
    • You get only 5 popsicle sticks and 4 blocks.
    • Create your tree using only popsicle sticks and blocks.
  • Step 2: Rules
    • Use a normal speaking voice.
    • Only use 5 sticks and 4 blocks.
    • The tree must be able to stand up all by itself without being held, taped to the table, wedged between tables, leaning up against something, etc
  • Step 3: Go for it!
    • After you have made your tree, start putting the letters onto the top of it.  How many letters did your tree hold?

To Explore: Lego Letters
Kids love Legos.  Whether it’s making a complicated set like the Star Wars Millennium Falcon or just building their own amazing creation, anything with Legos is usually a big hit in a Maker Space.  I found some great ABC Lego Cards from Wildflower Ramblings‘ blog.  Simply sign up for her newsletter (lots of great ideas) and the cards are free.  It’s a great, easy way to get kids making while reinforcing letter recognition.  Pair an older student with a younger student and have the younger student say the letter sound as he/she builds the letter.  Challenge your older students to make words with the letters or think of as many words as they can that start with the letter.  No matter what you do, your students will be engaged, challenged and learn.

ABC Cards

Happy back to school to all of you!  Have a wonderful beginning and I’ll see you in October!