December 2016

This time of year can be tricky.  The countdown to Winter Break has begun, but there are still 3 weeks of quality learning time.  It’s the perfect time to introduce some new MakerSpace activities to keep everyone motivated to think outside the box, challenge themselves and use those 4Cs to keep the learning going.  Here’s what I have planned for this month:

Sledding Ramps: I’ve seen many STEM activities that involved creating ramps and slides so I did a quick search for image search of “STEM sled ramp activities” and found many images of sled ramps.  Some were made with cardboard, some with wood, some with foil and one where sledding ramps were being made using Unifix Cubes and paper.  I liked this image as I had plenty of Unifix Cubes and paper. The image was linked to a Teacher Pay Teacher activity by Brooke Brown.  It cost $3.50 and contains 3 winter STEM challenges complete with instruction sheets, planning sheets and other resources for each challenge.  It’s a great bundle, but for my MakerSpace, it’s more about students popping in for 15-20 minutes at a time so although I did purchase the bundle, I only put out my version of the instructions and the materials.

Like most MakerSpace activities, the students were excited to build and create, but what I noticed and really liked about this activity was the amount of collaboration that occurred.  The students quickly realized that this was a challenge that required teamwork not only to build the ramp, but to share and “build” upon each others ideas.  It was so great!  As a bonus, I shared the book Roll, Slope and Slide by Michael Dahl to pull in some great non-fiction text.

ramps

Domino Fun: This one is simple, but oh so much fun!  Simple grab some dominoes, show the students any YouTube video showing an amazing domino maze someone has made and watch the magic happen.  I showed my students his video: https://goo.gl/k7iKbv which lead to so many oohs and aahs and then, “Let’s go try this!”  Magic…

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