Kids from last year were locked on ready. In fact, the first day of school, a Monday, they asked, "Is Maker Monday today?" Last Monday (the second week of school), we sat down as an "experienced" group of 15 to discuss what they thought went well and what challenges they'd like to see this year. We based our program on the ideas they had brainstormed last year as well as some new ones they brought with them this year. This calendar is the result of that critical planning session.
During library orientation, I was finally smart enough to set up a Remind account for both Maker Monday and Library Advisory. Students add themselves to the group and receive text message reminders about what we've planned for the week. I scheduled announcements for all the events so kids know what they'll be doing and will be able to get rides home at 4:30. I plan to use this platform to ask for low or no-cost supplies, like CARDBOARD, the ultimate Maker fabrication material!
When we started today at 3:30, I was amazed to see 28 students ready to create. Love Remind! We promulgated the rules and the process, and I did my usual Tim Gunn/ Tom Colicchio thing, asking students to tell me about what they were making and what they might need to solidify their design or their fabrication. I challenged many to see if their items could stand up on their own. Wheels turned.
I love videoing the process, to see this mess in action and to keep log of this process. And sometimes I get something that, as my friend Robin says, makes me get my life. When Connor said, "I've got my Maker senses back!" I just caught my breath. The entire summer, he had video-gamed himself into a stupor. This hour, Maker Monday, was the best part of school for him. When Liz says her brain "feels like a bubble, an explosion of happiness and creativity," I had to stop myself.
This is why we do what we do. Makerspaces don't have to look the same or be the same or act the same. They are there to serve our students in the way that they need best. Some need to dip their toe in a morning Perler bead session. As long as we listen and make this THEIR space where their brains can explode in happiness and creativity, we are serving them well, indeed.