I have been the ITT lead at our school of 170 students for 2 years, along with teaching grade 5/6. I have been working on creating a maker space in our learning commons, along with a movable cart of supplies that can move from room to room. My learning goal is to continue to make connections with technology, making, and curriculum while listening to student inquiry and need.
Hello! I'm Shelley Whittaker, and I teach at David Maxwell P.S. in Windsor. For the past three years, I have been a Grade 8 teacher, but this fall I will be returning to a primary classroom, a 2/3 split.
My amazing colleague Dep Crep has been passionately pursuing and exploring MakerSpaces, and she introduced me to the concept and inspired me to take this class to learn more. My goal is to be able to support Deb with our school MakerSpace, but to also take the ideas presented and incorporate them into my daily classroom activities and life.
In terms of what I hope to learn, I'm open to all that presents itself, because in this life journey, I have come to realize that the more I learn, the less I know! The world is vast and fluid and I am excited about all the 'new' and 'unfamiliar' opportunities that may present along the way.
I need time to write what I am learning, so if you are trying to engage me during an activity and I'm not responding I'm trying to sort, digest and store information... Or I needed silence and have muted you! Sorry!
My passions are education, reading and for a past time I knit... I also believe (and at times am intimidated by) in the importance and power of mindfulness.
I am looking forward to creating, learning and growing along side my peers. Melanie, thank you for taking the time to plan, organize and instruct!
My Twitter handle is: @Ms_Whittaker_GE
Your learning goal is something I can definitely identify with and something I struggle with every day. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I try again. I am interested in your mobile cart. Ours while mobile, isn't really THAT mobile to move into classrooms - I've been thinking about developing a smaller version. What do you have on your cart? Does it get used frequently? How do you re-stock (where does the money come from - we use a variety of sources to stock ours). Do you only have one floor in your school? Our learning commons is located on the second floor - I have wondered about putting a cart downstairs in a storage room and one in the learning commons. Hmmm...you have me thinking. Thank you!
I am a University of Windsor Grad (both my B.A / B.Ed) so your location made me smile. I have many fond memories of Windsor. I really love your mindset and I hope to learn from you during your journey - as I am still on mine! All of the learning here will be asynchronous so you don't need to worry about muting me - although my kids do quite often. You will have all the time to need to reflect. I was pleased to see I already follow you on Twitter! Enjoy your weekend and I look forward to what we can discover. I think a lot of the activities we will be exploring will be great for your little ones - I've tested some of these out on my own kids who are currently in grades 2 and 3.
I've been a classroom teacher in the Junior division for the last 17 years. This September I will be starting at a new school in a new position - teacher-librarian. I am interested in learning everything I can about the role of teacher-librarian and how to make the school Learning Commons an amazing space. I'm really hoping to learn how to create a Makerspace within the Learning Commons.
Hi Marlette. Your introduction interested me because I am currently looking into a mobile cart as well! Our makerspace is just starting up this fall (soon) and the library/learning commons is very small and not enough space. I also think it will get more usage if teachers can sign out and move into their classrooms. Many of my questions for you are the same!!
Hi. I am Deb Crep and I am the teacher/librarian for our school in Windsor. We just received a seizable grant this spring from the Love Of Reading Program with Indigo/Chapters!! So exciting! The proposal was for creating a Maker Space, adding to our school wide passion with Mindfulness and literature to support Math. I am so fortunate to have an amazing friend and colleague, (Shelley) s_whit who not only went to spend some of the grant $$$ at Chapters the other day, but also shares the excitement and enthusiasm of starting up a Maker Space at our school AND she is even taking this course as well! We are not quite sure how it is going to look yet, although we have already been doing things along the same lines.
I think because of the small space we have in the learning commons, we may likely be using some kind of a moveable cart (or two?).
I think the students at our school will love this and I'm very excited to start this out in September! This course came at the perfect timing! My twitter handle is @debcrep
Hi! My name is Sarah and I'm a kindergarten teacher from Ottawa. This fall I will be part of a team that is opening a new school in our public board which is very exciting. We will have a large area for our makerspace and we are looking forward to gathering input from our student, parent and community populations when we begin in September about what they would like to see in our Makerspace. I am hoping to gather some relevant, current and frugal ideas for makerspaces that will bolster enthusiasm and participation in this journey from our school community. I have many passions such as writing, being a mother, thrift shopping, technology, inquiry based learning and of course teaching kindergarten.
Hi! I am a Teacher Librarian at a small rural school in the Upper Grand District. In addition, I cover planning time for the primary classes. I am taking this course because we are beginning to establish a makerspace at our school and I am hoping to learn more about makerspacs in order to maximize student participation and effectively organize and use the makerspace. Having the school and parent community on board is necessary so I hope this course will provide me with the necessary knowledge needed to get everyone excited and support our makerspace.
Hi my name is Charlotte Brown. I'm an ECE, and excited to be The Learning Commons Assistant at St. Louis School. I'm excited for this new role, as it's the first role in our Board. I have experience collaborating with Kindergarten students through inquiry. Now I'm excited to share my knowledge and expertise with the entire school community in the Learning Commons.
My name is Jess Longthorne and I am a full-time teacher librarian at Alliston Union PS in the Simcoe County DSB.
Last year was the first year that I ran a makerspace in my library learning commons. My goal in this first year was to establish a "maker culture" where I invited staff and students to the library to engage in a variety of activities. Some activities were provided in the form of challenge cards where students would complete an assigned task. Other opportunities to visit makerspace allowed students to engage in free exploration. They absolutely loved it! Who would think that red solo cups would occupy students for 40 minutes!
I thought this course would be a great way to connect with others who share a passion for learning and for makerspaces. I am constantly looking for new and creative ways to engage students and make their learning experiences fun, exciting and meaningful.
My goal for September is to start documenting student learning by creating a blog where students can post their projects to share with others.
I would love to hear from others in relation to assessment/evaluation and documentation and how to connect these to makerspace activities in the library.
I would also love to hear how others are connecting makerspace activities to areas of the curriculum. As much as we wish it didn't, it always comes back to curriculum connections and report cards. I truly believe makerspace is the perfect environment for assessing learning skills and work habits.
I love to read (kid lit is my fave) outdoors with my cat, watch sports (Big Jays fan), ride my bike, teach Zumba classes to my staff and shop (don't tell my husband...LOL!).
I am looking forward to learning from and sharing ideas with others. Love to learn!
Thanks Melanie for taking time to run this course. I am so excited!
Twitter handle: @LongthorneJess
My name is Laurie Day, I am a teacher with ALCDSB. I taught intermediate for several years (all at the same school) before switching to grade 5/6 last year. I loved the junior division and will be teaching a straight grade 5 next year. I have also moved schools for next year, which I think provides a great opportunity to try some new things. The terms "makerspace" and "maker culture" have been popping up on twitter and in a book I read recently ("The Innovator's Mindset" by George Couros) so my curiosity around this concept has been growing. I had been wanting to include a makerspace in my new classroom and/or establish one at my new school but had absolutely NO idea how I would do this... and then I discovered this course! So I'm looking for concrete ideas that can help me start a makerspace (on as small a budget as possible!) this fall!
Outside of work I am a mom to 3 kids (2 in school, one still at home); I enjoy running, baking pies, and keeping up with what's going on in the world. I am on twitter at @LSplinterDay. Looking forward to learning from all of you!
Thank you for clarifying about the learning being asynchronous, and for introducing a new word to me! I wasn't sure about the lay out/access of the course materials or time requirements/timelines, so that little tidbit is greatly appreciated!
As for your concluding statement, KUDOS! You are very active and have a young family. Up the admiration percentage!
I understand you will be (once again) working with the best principal in our system! Not going to lie, I'm little envious! Reunions with great people are fabulous! Enjoy the journey... Of the course, the new assignment, new school and upcoming year!