Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Making and the Learner Profile

Over the past couple of years I've written several posts about the Maker Movement at ASB.  I attended an ISTE pre-conference workshop in 2013 on Maker with Gary Stager and Sylvia Martinez, and both Gary and Sylvia came to ASB to help us empower students through making.    We launched Maker Faires and Maker Saturdays at ASB and currently have these every month.  We have also incorporated Maker into a number of PYP units of inquiry, for example in Grade 4.  In Kindergarten we have an entire unit of making.  In their How the World Works unit, KG students explore the central idea "The way materials behave and interact can determine how people use them."  This is a PBL unit with the driving question "What do makers need to know?"  Our key concepts are form, function and change and our lines of inquiry are the behaviour and uses of materials, the changing properties of materials and manipulation of materials for specific purposes.  Students are assessed on their understanding through the creation of a Maker Studio - they explore the materials and create an end product that shows their understanding of the types of materials used and how they functions in their new state/version.

Yesterday at our faculty meeting it was time for the teachers to have a hands-on experience of Maker - our task was to design ScribbleBots.  Scot Hoffman, our R&D Coordinator, then shared several ways teachers could take this further.  The idea is not that the Re.D Studio team come into classrooms and lead Maker activities, but that they provide professional development, consultation and guidance so that teachers are supported to empower their own students to become makers.  Scot shared several other ideas (PrimeTime and the Curiosity Project which will the be subject of an upcoming blog post).  However one of the things that I found really interesting is how our Re.D Studio has looked at making together with the IB Learner Profile, making it a perfect fit for several of our PYP units of inquiry.  Here are a few examples of what teachers can look for in maker activities that support the Learner Profile:

  • tries something new
  • approaches uncertainty with forethought and determination
  • takes intellectual risks
  • transforms failure into new insights or approaches
  • offers explanation(s) for a strategy, tool, or making outcome
  • displays motivation or investment in learning through making

  • shares experiences and insights from making
  • reflects on learning strengths and needs during making

  • strives to understand
  • persists to achieve goals
  • expresses and uses curiosity
  • inspired by new ideas or approaches
  • inspires others with their making

Are you teaching at a PYP school?  Have you started to include Maker in any of your units of inquiry?  If so please leave me a comment as I'd love to learn more.

Click here for more posts about Maker at ASB

Photo Credit: The Bakken Museum via Compfight cc

1 comment:

  1. Hi Maggie,

    I am just finishing a How We Express Ourselves unit where I have tried to incorporate greater aspects of the Maker Movement. For the summative task, students when through the Design Thinking process to create a new/improved product using the perspectives of their target market and then the goal is to have them prototype their product. They they had to advertise their product and influence their target market to purchase their product. The kids have loved it so far :) I think there is so much potential with the Maker Movement and transdisciplinary learning.
    Thanks you for all your posts,
    - Marcie