Our Year 5/6’s are totally engaged and motivated working on their Matariki projects. I can’t wait to see these completed, spray painted and hung from the ceiling. I wonder if students will think traditionally and want their ‘stars’ gold and silver or if their vision is for colour? Learners are considering movement and sound and how these might react with light and wind.
We had a couple of cold melt glue guns in the mix yesterday, these were not successful, marbles fell of when students lifted their creations, even light plastics didn’t hold. A visit to the warehouse last night saw me armed with $8 hot glue guns which were brilliant for today’s group. For this sort of project you need a glue gun for every pair working collaboratively, so watch out for cords and surfaces. A tip to remember after advice from a visiting electrician, replace your glue guns regularly, if they get a build up of melted glue......the melted glue can cause all sorts of problems to your power supply.
The 3D LEGO challenge was embraced by several classes after day 1 which was great to see. Motovated by one learners success (and stop motion video) several students went above and beyond what I had expected. The problem solving and perseverance was very evident, I loved how the group supported each other to get more and more intricate in design and detail.
Sometimes what appears as the simplest challenge can give the most surprising results. This activity involved so much maths, number, measurement, fractions.....then layering hand eye co-ordination and fine motor skills on top, proved a real challenge for some learners.
Our geo board star creators became filmmakers and animators as their designs evolved. They have some stunning time lapses to reflect on and challenge others to create back in class.
We now have 6 of our 8 Matariki mini golf holes planned and prototyped. I’ll do a separate post soon with all the videos and initial buildings......it’s super exciting!
Happy Making everyone!
This week I have 8 classes of Year 5 and 6's in the Makerspace, this is their second session with a focus on 'Mountain to Sea' back in class (their first session was 'The Antlered Ship which I blogged a few posts back). Today's ignitor was a video rather than a picture book as I wanted to make links to the New Zealand geographic landscape and to the time lapse photography used and this medium fitted. We had a rich discussion before outlining the challenges, students related their prior experiences of Matariki to this version of the story. The narrative made very clear links to our school 'Skills and Attitudes'.
I used the video below which I downloaded from You Tube and played directly from my laptop mirrored using an Apple TV onto a large flat screen. I don't play videos directly from the internet, this ensures videos play smoothly and I am not relying on the internet to stream.
There were 6 Challenge stations for this weeks sessions
Each station had a Matariki flavour and learners were encouraged to focus on the role of the twins Waitā and Waitī, that of teamwork and collaboration.
I was inspired by a Twitter post by 'Mr Forrest' and shared this with students via the 'Students Link' page on this Website. The end product would be a transportable 'mini golf' course with a hole created by each of the 8 senior classrooms (each with its unique Matariki link or thread). In this session students were challenged to work as a team to complete the planning stage, including a LEGO prototype to test their thinking. Learners collected the materials they needed and took these back to class to begin construction - the goal was to have the hole completed by the end of week 9 with a student versus teachers 'tournament' planned for week 10.
Here is an example of the first 2 classes LEGO prototypes created today...
Recently I posted a series of challenges for our Year 5/6’s ignited by the picture book The Antlered Ship. One of the stations had an art and design spin where students began the project with me (30%) and then needed to complete (70%) back in class. With me students learnt the process of ‘transferring’ the outline to their Matt board and were given lots of ideas of how they might complete it back in class eg, pencil shading, geometric shapes, pastel etc. I briefly discussed techniques. One of our students shared her finished project with me today and I was stunned, I think it is simply gorgeous.
I had Year 2’s in the Makerspace but this challenge could be done with any year level. The team focus for this group was ‘Interactive Art’, so the end product would be a ‘jigsaw’ style piece of art, made from a Perfect Square which would then be added to a backboard with 'clues' to held others complete it, the pieces would be held in a CD case with a photo of the finished product on the front so that other students could complete and interactive with it.
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We read the book, learners guessed what the square would turn into. After reading the book we revisited each day to see how the square was treated eg torn, shattered, snipped etc. I role modeled each action showing how NOT to make pieces to tiny or they would fall to the floor and be lost. After learners chose their square they shared their idea with others at their table.
It’s important to remind learners that the goal is to use the whole square and to cut, rip or snip from one side of the square all the way to the other. It's about turning the square into something even more interesting and later back in class writing about the adventures your square would have.
Once they have set their idea and begun I discussed the plan with each learner, providing them with a Matt board to suit. Learners created their design in the board and added their drawing ‘clues’ for those that would complete their design (jigsaw) later.
Once done learners took a photo and airdropped it to a laptop, once printed they glued it to a CD case which held their ‘square’ pieces.
Soooooooo many creative ideas! A boat, monster truck, flower garden, cat, polar bear, a mountain range, farms, zebra, dinosaur, robot.....and many more.
The Year 3 team have grasped the maker movement with both hands and are now trialling their own version of the Maker space one day a week across their team. They are in single cell classrooms with students rotating throughout the day...each classroom is set up with a focus eg Coding, Construction, LEGO etc and learners rotate around each space, the learning is ignited by a picture book in the same way as I do. Students are absolutely buzzing and it has become a highlight of their week. I'm looking forward to hearing feedback from teachers and posing questions around how they are assessing this learning and how/if what they are doing is impacting on learning outcomes across the curriculum.
So this week the Year 3 team wanted a Matariki focus in the Maker space and after lengthy discussions we decided to do things differently. Rather than having different challenge stations I ignited a large collaborative team project - building giant kites, art installation style that can be hung from the ceiling.....imagine 'adult' size in height. Each classroom will complete 2 kites and I will take an 'extension' group who will complete another one so that we have 7 in total.
After reading the story, The Seven Kites of Matariki, and pointing out different features of each one, especially the shells and unique materials used eg, fish skin, I used the iPad camera to mirror each kite up onto the TV from within the pages of the book. Learners identified their favourites, putting their hands up and then a few from each 'page' highlighted they favourite feature to the class. We then discussed how the kites would have been made eg the Harakeke used as fastening.
I introduced the project and showed some of the possible materials we could use.....and also shared the vision of having huge amazing handmade kites hanging above us!
Learners then drew a picture of their 'ultimate' kite, including their favourite parts from the kite in the book and then adding their own creative spin. We took our time and added detail, some even labelled the materials they would use. We grouped back together.
We then overviewed the similarities and differences and grouped 'like-minded kites' by shape eg Diamond kite, Rectangles, Circles etc. These 'teams' then sat together and looked at and discussed each others kites. I visited each group and nominated an 'artist' who was the only one allowed a pencil. Team members looked at each others kites then took turns to decide which feature/s they wanted to take from their design and add to the collaborative group design. Team members were able to negotiate and vote on each decision. I really wasn't sure how this would go with Year 3's but was absolutely thrilled with the outcomes.
Every group came up with unique and creative designs, it was great to hear several groups saying "Wow, I could never have done something that amazing on my own, I love our design". If I'm honest this session was a challenge for me as I appreciate the process but it is so reliant on what happens back in class and it definitely meant me stepping back from having more 'control' of the outcomes.......usually a 'project' is started with me and I have set very high expectations and done the ground work. I'm also use to small groups and multiple things happening at once and this felt a lot more like 'whole class teaching' which goes against everything I believe in for catering for individual needs and differences. But when I reflect although learners didn't have 'choice' in the actual project they did have voice throughout the process and each and every learner was 100% committed to the task. I'm keen to talk to learners throughout the project to capture their thinking and reflections, I'll visit their Seesaw learning journals to see this.
The next step back in class is for each group to make a small prototype kite to experiment with and share back to the class. From these prototypes the class will have a whole class discussion and decide what they want to keep in their two final creations. I'll post again later so you can see the progression and the final products.
I wonder what the kids will call me, today one said "I'm looking for the Apple Teacher"......and another said "Are you Mrs Maker?" ......funny.