One of the biggest successes of this year was with our Maker Monday program. I attribute that to having a specific calendar posted on the library's website that everyone (parents, students, admins, community) can see.
Did we stray from the activities I had made in August? Sure. But it gave me a framework from which to deviate. Also, it gave me a regular schedule so that this program would get its feet on the ground and gain traction. And it did.
Through this program, students developed their voice and their ability to create despite limitations. They developed two school-wide programs that impacted everyone, and gave students more insight into what we did WEEKLY. First, Digital Learning Day with Unofficial Cardboard touched every participating homeroom student and was developed, designed, and facilitated by our makers.
In our second program, Life-Sized Games, 8th graders got an opportunity to have an experience designed for them. Makers designed and created the boards and game play, and 8th graders developed the question content for the games. It was more challenging than would first appear, especially since games like PacMan don't have a question-oriented stop and start component to them.
Both programs instilled a real sense of ownership to our Makers. They developed plans, predicted failures and redesigned accordingly. They then retested their design on themselves and others and tweaked. And tweaked. And tweaked. They developed speaking and presentation skills and created clear directions that others could follow.
This is what we hope for our students: real-life opportunities to make miracles after they've made mistakes. They came away from these projects with confidence and renewed dedication to their identities as Makers.
Would this happen without my calendar to keep me accountable? It might have been a successful project, but I'm doubtful that this group of 6th and 7th graders would have coalesced into the group it is now without the accountability of a simple calendar.
And so I'm planning my 2015-16 year with calendars for all facets of our library program and am publishing those online in the hopes that my transparency will keep me honest and grow the rest of my program just as much as this one.
This blog is one of my calendar items. I'm going to take a deep breath now and dip my toe...