Show Me a Maker: Design challenges with @MASLonline award book tie-ins

At the METC Summer Institute: Building STEAM and Creating Spaces, I attended a wonderful presentation by librarians Carolyn Allen (@cmscaia) and Alissa Roades (@AlissaRoades). They shared their Makerspace activities tied to the Show Me State picture book award nominees from last year. For instance, after reading The Tooth Fairy Wars by Kate Coombs, students did research comparing animal teeth, then built a box that Nathan could use to keep his teeth safe from the Tooth Fairy.

Some advice Carolyn and Alissa shared:

    • Include constraints/requirements and success criteria to help guide students, especially in early maker lessons but don’t show them the example, or you will get copies.
    • Some students struggle with open-endedness and no right answer of maker activities, but hopefully they will get more comfortable with this over time.
    • Coordinate timeline of units so same/similar materials can be used across various grades.
    • Many of the Show Me connection lessons could be adapted to use with multiple grade levels
    • Plan ahead to request donations of materials
    • Before you do the other books consider using resources from Andrea Beaty’s Rosie Revere, Engineer (check out the event kit)

I’m excited to adapt this idea for my older students. I think reading an excerpt from the book and then completing a Makerspace activity tied to the book would be a great way to entice students to read the book and to incorporate Makerspace into literacy activities in the library.
To jumpstart this process, I have created a collaborative document where we can share our MASL Maker ideas for the Show Me, Mark Twain, Truman & Gateway nominated books for 2017-2018. I’ve already added some ideas Carolyn and Alissa mentioned in their presentation as well as some of my own brainstorms. Even if you are not a Missouri librarian, I invite you to check out the document, as it may spur some ideas for you to incorporate Makerspace into your promotion of reading.

#FutureReadyLibs #BlogChallenge Week 3: Designing Collaborative Spaces

Image courtesy of & Samantha Mendenhall

A lot of libraries are adding Makerspaces. In my library, I’ve started acquiring “maker” materials, but “space” is an issue. I can’t do anything but cram the stuff into already crowded/limited storage and drag it out for activities. There’s no place for works-in-progress/iterations. However, if our academy’s capital campaign is successful, I may be gaining additional space. The Future Ready Librarians framework asks us to consider how we provide flexible spaces “that promote inquiry, creativity, collaboration and community.”

Hare & Dillon’s book will help you redesign your learning space.

For anyone who has the opportunity to redesign their learning spaces, I recommend The Space: A Guide For Educators (EdTechTeam Press, 2016) by Rebecca Hare and Dr. Robert Dillon, two educators who are part of my local ed tech community.
The book leads you through the process of designing learning spaces that amplify learning. One of the key tenets of the book is that student voice should play an important role in the planning of the learning space.

As I’ve been thinking about library expansion, I’ve asked my students to complete the sentence starter “I wish my library had…” on a Do Now, and I’ve also surveyed them about specific things they might like, such as comfortable seating, places to work on group projects, and a green screen. While the info I’ve gathered is useful, Hare & Dillon suggest actually taking it a step farther by making the activity more visual/collaborative, such as this illustration from the book.


Have you asked your students to collaborate on their wishes at your library?

Have you thought about the following:
How does your library space promote inquiry? How does your library space promote collaboration? What is available in your library space to encourage creativity? Is your space accessible for the school community?

I’d love to see your answers to these questions and more!

Check out this padlet created by Linda Dougherty, who recently redesigned her library on a shoe string budget.

Please join in on the conversations by posting your own blog responses and by joining the Future Ready Librarians Facebook group, where a new weekly blog challenge will be posted every Wed. through May 24.

Started by Dr. Kristen Mattson, the FRL Facebook group has over 4,500 members and growing and “seeks to support K-12 Future Ready Librarians as they support administrators, teachers, staff and students in Future Ready Schools.” You can also join in the conversation on Twitter through the hashtag #FutureReadyLibs and subscribe to/join my FutureReadyLibs Twitter list.