Student Making Spotlight – Stomp Rockets

Our 3rd graders built stomp rockets as a science project centered around design and redesign.  They started the unit by building rockets and as they learned more about their mistakes and successes they refined their design to perform better. This blog is a snapshot of one of their earlier tries. Making allows students to tap into…

Paper Problem-Solving With First Graders

It was a weekday afternoon, and Ms. Monroe’s class was getting ready to embark on their next project – folding paper squares into the shapes of various animals. A chart tacked to the wall clearly described each of the project options, with pictures and directions broken down into easy steps. “So class,” Ms. Monroe was…

Making a Mess to Make a Mosaic

“And you know, sometimes we make a mess when we make art, and that is okay!” Mr. Guzmán told the crowd of eager second-graders gathered before him. Soon the students were working busily at their tables, crayons scratching away against paper cutout squares. The students were working on creating a symbol of community. More specifically,…

Crafting Community From Paper Bags, Crayons, and Cutouts

On a sunny afternoon, Mr. Guzmán’s second-grade class was buzzing with the sound of second graders turning the pages of books and whispering words aloud. All along the wall were drawings of cats, people, and other creatures from the children’s book Stone Soup. The kids were connecting the characters and story with the idea of…

Toys & Tools in the Classroom

Projects using toys are immediately engaging for students, and can provide surprising learning opportunities.  Our first grade class had a whole unit on toys; they took apart toy cars to learn about how they worked, built tops (while learning some basic physics concepts), and designed new toys from scratch using a variety of materials.

Last Week in Making: Sept 8 to Sept 11

In this new feature, we will give a quick summary of the different Making projects happening each week throughout the school.  We will also spotlight specific projects in more detail in other posts.  Read on to learn about all the ways our teachers are integrating Making into our classrooms! The kindergarteners continued a woodworking unit during their…

Toy Making: Part 2

(This post is Part 2 in a series. Part 1.) From making their balancing crayfish, students learned that adding weight to an object makes it more stable, particularly when the weight is distributed more towards the bottom than the top. Having learned this, they moved on to making tops. Building a Top Students began by trying…

Toy Making: Part 1

For several weeks, our first graders have been exploring concepts like “balance” and “spinning” by building toys. Their making combined experimentation, observation, engineering design, and design thinking. And it went something like this: Building a Balancing Crayfish Calling it a “crayfish” is sorta killing me, being from Louisiana (down there, it’s a “crawfish”), but I guess out here…