MakerSpace Earth Day 2015

This year for Earth Day, I decided to go big, and do something environmentally focused in every class.  By using Edmodo, imovie, Google Drive, You Tube, and several other technology resources my class enjoyed an amazing opportunity.   In my ELA class, I was able to send my students multiple resources to get them started, and then display for our Genius Hour pen pals what we had created, and see some of the things they had created.  What a successful experience!

Big Question:  What could you make to help achieve an ideal world?

The following Common Core State Standards were applied. The common core truly allows for flexibility, collaboration and for teachers to have the most creative lessons.  It is amazing how many standards can be met in one single project.  The ELA CCSS helped me to realize just how creative my students are!

RL.7.2, R.7.1, W.7.3, W.7.4, W.7.7, 

SL.7.1, SL.7.5, L.7.1, L.7.6

Journalism class:  We interviewed a tree.  Personification, perspective writing, and truly stepping in to an object to think at a deep level generated all sorts of conversation and ideas about what we could do in the future.  It was a blast.

Computers classes:  We watched the Ted Talk that fourth grade Teacher, Rachel Card recommended.  Then students digitally created (paint, smart notebook, Sketch up, Google Draw)  something to answer the following big question.

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Students created everything from robotic trashcans to cars that would make use of pollution to grow plants.  One student engineered a car to actually collect trash like a magnet as it drove.

7th Grade ELA:  We started out with the TED talk, then moved into answering the big question about what students could create to help our global community achieve the ideal world.  4th grade teacher Mrs. Card and I had planned ahead of time, that we would be doing a similar Makerspace activity today and then sharing finished products.  Our students have been working together all semester on Genius hour projects, so they already had a relationship established.  I was most excited to have an audience to create for, and then for my see what her class had created.  Upon completion of the Makerspace, we decided to step inside the Earth. and write about what worries her, makes her happy, frustrates her, what she wonders about and so forth.  It was a fun way to make our thinking visible; just like the Makerspace project.

Here is where we started:


IMG_6992Riley, Eliza and Emma created an air cleanser that takes in all the bad pollutants and contains organic materials like grass, fruits, etc.  inside to then send out purified air.  It can be purchased in a small or large size.  

Austin created a portable trashcan.  It has four different sections based on sizes needed. You can see three different views of it.   


This is a mini trashcan created by Allison and Lauren. One side is for recycling and the other is for trash.  IMG_7016

Mark IMG_6985and Evan created the Sailboat Picker-uper.  It goes into the sea picking up trash.  The trash is collected at the shore and then the process begins over again.


Maddie, Lauren and Lainy created a fashion line of clothing and accessories out of bags that people have already used. It is a limited line of clothing because once the bags are gone from the stores, an idea for a new line will be created using other materials that we should stop consuming.

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Matt created a cereal box that would be reusable.  You would keep the same box, but bring it to the store to fill it up during each shopping visit.


IMG_7005Billy put together a water table reader.  It is made out of cardboard, tape and plastic.  It reads the levels of water when it rains.

IMG_6997 (1)Emily created a robot that picks up containers and packaging that works similar to a magnet  or Velcro.

IMG_7006Janine Created a scarf holder from cardboard and plastic.

IMG_7007Stephanie decided to use materials to make decorations that might hold pencils, bags, paper and all sorts of other things.

IMG_6996Anthony and Joey used recycling materials to create art.  This is a shark.  The decided to make animals out of the exact objects that are killing them.  It could be a very strong metaphor for what we are doing to our animals.  This could be displayed in a gallery or on line.

IMG_7014Sierra, Makayla created a robot that picks up trash.

Chase created structures that people can create for camping.  These multi-level structures can help with fires, or other tasks that need to be done.

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30 Day Blogging Challenge Day 6

Today’s challenge is to blog about a good Mentor.  

Having a good mentor as a teacher, can be quite valuable.  But, like most things in life, something that you cannot be just assigned (as a first year teacher would be).  It is something that you have to go out and seek  yourself.  When I first started teaching, I taught in three different schools during my first three years as an educator.  Each of the assigned mentors were helpful.  However, I did not truly begin to thrive in having someone to watch to try and emulate until I started to seek out my own examples of excellent teaching.  

Today I find that most of my mentors are found through social media networks.  By following professional educators and groups on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook, I am able to have numerous resources at my finger tips.  It is amazing, and only something that can be done in the 21st Century!  I love having a question, and being able to tweet it to the correct person. I love reading a book, and being able to tweet the author to let her or him know that I am walking along side them reading a book they wrote recently.