tinker with text
Literacy-Based Maker Education
For the past week, I've had excruciating back pain. I had to stay home from work for a few days because I could barely walk. While at home, I had a lot of time to watch "Beat Bobby Flay" ... and think. Of course, I thought about my new adventures in teaching and learning. I believe in the idea of literacy-based makerspace but I was starting to doubt myself. I was wondering if this new way of teaching was making a difference for the students. Were they indeed learning, or was it a whole lot of Lego, Play-Doh, and duct tape and not enough reading and writing?
An educator that I follow on Twitter and Facebook (who has become a "distant teacher" for me) is Angela Stockman, author of Make Writing. She posted the model below on her blog and it came across my newsfeed. It's brilliant! I had spent lots of time empathizing with the students and knew they needed and deserved more. And I felt like I had moved through the other stages but perhaps not with enough intention. Where I felt "stuck" was at the prototype and test stages.
So, I decided to take Angela's advice and "gather consistent feedback from [my] students." Most of my feedback was observations, notes, and intuition. It occurred to me that I hadn't even asked the kids what they thought of it, let alone to do so consistently. So, today I asked them the question, "How does making help?" The answers are quite profound.
The Grade 3 students said:
The Grade 4 and 5 students have really found their "flow" in the classroom. This group is operating pretty closely to what I had envisioned. Their responses floored me. They said:
I'm so glad I did this and will use the feedback to continue to tinker with my curriculum framework. I'm still a believer!
Vicki Den Ouden is an Elementary Reading Intervention Teacher from BC, Canada. She loves to dream, learn, teach, and create.