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Memories: Pull Apart Corner in the Makerspace

October 16, 2021

It’s 2021.

Ive forgotten I had a blog. Had one for  many years but now I never write in it. Has my blog run its course? For me, perhaps. I’ve always written in the blog for me, reflection mostly not to impart wisdom or knowledge on anyone.  I still think professional connections and sharing and learning is important so Instagram became my sharing space. A picture really is worth a 1000 words in our busy lives.

So I was looking through some drafts on this blog from 2009 – 2020  (I have 68 unpublished posts!) and I guess at the time those posts didn’t make the cut to be published for some reason or another but this one below resonated with me…how times have changed. I so look forward to getting kids back in the makerspace, tinkering, inquiring, asking questions, being pleasantly frustrated but most of all to hear their laughter and see them having fun. Im optimistic.

(Circa 2016) There are many learning spaces that allow for creation and promote passions. One such space in our Makerspace is our Pull Apart Corner. Learners at our Pull Apart Corner are able to take apart items such as laptops, DVDs, game consoles, irons, cameras and anything else that can be safely taken apart. I always cut the electrical cord off though as kids will try to plug it in!

So what’s the purpose of the Pull Apart Corner?

Kids get to:

  • work with their hands
  • inquire into something they dont know or didn’t even know they were interested in
  • reflect on how things work
  • use tools (safely)
  • engage with provocations
  • share, have fun and work with others

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Power of the Network

January 11, 2020

Yes, almost a year has passed since I’ve written in a blog, I wonder if my blog days are behind me- there are SO many blogs out there and so much stuff out there that I find sharing and reflecting easier and quicker on a microblog like Instagram.

I also haven’t been that invested in Twitter lately save for a few #chats and some back and forths of PD, learning etc. However, this past week as I write my doctoral proposal for March candidature, the value of the network really kicked in.

I was looking for more about faculty perceptions of a maker space in a school, the blockers, the facilitators- and how that affects access to a maker space and impacts student learning.

I’ve got much to learn and read and I sent out a tweet a week or so ago asking a simple question HOPING someone in the Twitterverse might see it:

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Fortunately, and THANKFULLY,  kind folks in my network had so much to is a look at the very robust info, ideas, leads, and further contacts. It is the power of the network in action.

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Tinkering to Inquire

February 3, 2019

One of the more popular ‘areas’ in our Makerspace is the Pull Apart Corner.

This area allows for tinkering and wondering. The Pull Apart Corner is a place where learners can deconstruct items such as old laptops, appliances and cameras etc. (Safety tip: be sure to cut off any cables or children will want to plug it in to try it out).

Before I introduce an item to the corner, I make sure I have the right tools for the job. If I dont I’ll make sure to remove the ‘offending’ piece first. I do a lot of showing kids how to take stuff apart safely. It’s not always easy in a Makerspace that gets busy with 20-30 grade 1 kids at lunch. I sometimes ONLY put those tools that can be used for the item to pull apart out for use. I stress it is a PULL APART Corner not a SMASH APART Corner

I need to get more out of this station, more following up with what learners still wonder, what they are thinking. We have a wonder box where learners can put a piece of something they found to follow up with later. We get many wonderings like ‘What does this do’? The most powerful moments are when some tinkering leads to an iTime exploration, a deep dive into a wondering or passion.

I have so much still to learn. I wrote about growing up in a Maker and Tinkering culture.

I do really lobe this video by Gever Tully on life lessons through tinkering.

The Pull Apart Corner continues to allow for learners to use real tools in a safe and authentic way.


It’s Challenging but Worth it

January 26, 2019

Wow it’s been a long time since I’ve written in this spot. Still trying to get back into the blogging thing, Ive been more into showing and sharing with short videos on Instagram. Easier, quicker and can be done in real time… at least for me.

This year in the maker space we continue the maker challenges at lunchtime which have been a huge hit. Ive found it hard to get into class to doing these things even though they fit nicely with our dispositions such as resourcefulness, resilience, relating and being reflective. I understand that in a busy day and crowded curriculum it’s a hard thing to incorporate.

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Last week we did did our 4th challenge this year which as a fun one about forces and design with grades 1 and 2. It was all about building a better parachute (in 30 minutes) at lunch.

We learned and experienced:

  • How gravity works
  • How balance affects object
  • Air resistance
  • Teamwork & cooperation
  • Resilience
  • Resourcefulness
  • Balance and load
  • Creativity
  • {insert more}

And equally as important learners had fun doing math and science without knowing they were ‘doing’ math and science.

You can see the video here Its a bummer I have to UPGRADE my  WP account to insert video….

A lot of our challenges revolve around either learning goals or our dispositions (like Learner Profile in PYP) which allows for what comes afterwards very diverse and open. Sometimes these challenges link to our units of study. Often learners come back to work on their design that failed or want to try again or even decorate their piece they created in the challenge. Never underestimate the power of decoration, it’s important to kids.


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