Teachers are constantly looking for ways to transform classrooms into interactive spaces for learning. While we were growing up, most classrooms were a rigid environment that did not encourage or stimulate creative growth. However, now we have innovative trends like Makerspaces, where students are provided with a much needed change of pace in the classroom.
Makerspaces, do they stand up to the hype?
So, you’re asking yourself if it’s worth the time to introduce this educational trend in your learning space. It’s been shown that students, through participation in Makerspaces, develop their creative thinking skills, learn how to work independently, and boost their self-confidence. With all of these positives, Makerspaces have a definite place in your learning environment.
Grow with the Makerspace Garden
Even if you have limited space, you can create a garden environment that students can cultivate. Ideally, it would be nice to have a small plot on campus that is outside where students can watch plants grow in their natural environment. However, don’t despair, you can create a garden that suits your space, even if it’s simply a bean germination project that grows in plastic cups. Include index cards that encourage discussion on sustainability, community gardens, and the job of farmers in today’s society.
Tinkerspace is a perfect Makerspace
Naturally, children are curious about how things work, and a tinkerspace is an ideal solution for a Makerspace in your classroom. If you are limited on space, and let’s face it most classrooms are, this is the perfect addition to your classroom. Set up a center that has items children can take apart, like plastic clocks, electrical gadgets, and even computer towers. Have flashcards that challenge students to think about how parts work, or ways that they could improve the functionality of devices.
A Makerspace for the Arts
This is one of the more laid back Makerspaces that focuses on students’ creativity. You can provide students with art supplies and have them craft and explore their talents. To add the educational aspect, you can include pictures of famous pieces of art, or posters of artists and their techniques. Have students answer questions about featured artists and their contributions to art history.
Makerspaces are a way for you to encourage student growth in your classroom, and many resources are available to help guide you along your path. There are ideas to fit every budget and space restriction making Makerspaces possible in any environment. We want to hear about the success of your Makerspaces and the positive changes your students are experiencing. Let us know what you find most effective about these centers of creativity.