Thank you Wendy Liao for putting this video together!
This year, I had the opportunity to try something I had never done before. I had a chance to lead out on organizing a full maker day for an entire year level. Working with my partner, Jane Wong (@MsJanePYP), the two Art Teachers, Jonathan Winstanley (@mrwinstanleyart) and John McArthur (@MacHongKongArt), and the entire Year 5 homeroom team, the student engaged in a hands-on, integrated making day that related to their Integrated Studies Unit about weather.
Going about planning this day was interesting. Looking at the Big Ideas, Cross Cutting Concepts, Enduring Understandings from the unit along with the specific objectives I had as an Ed Tech combined with how Art wanted to connect to the project, we set out on planning an activity that met all our requirements. As a Tech teacher, I wanted the students to experience learning how to code a micro:bit and experience a little bit of the design thinking process, especially the idea of iterating. So, after researching, we decided on making a wind force gauge, inspired by this video. However, being limited to one day to pack it all in, I had to make some sacrifices on how organic or freely the time could be spent.
This led to a schedule that looked like this. We had to introduce the task, give students time to explore, allow them time to design and make the actual wind gauges, make them aesthetically pleasing, then finally, to test and record data. After figuring out the timing with, the Art Teachers, my partner and I talked closely about how our instructional times on that day will connect. Finally, we shared our plan with the homeroom teachers to get feedback, make changes based on their needs, and finally, to discuss what everyone’s responsibilities were.
Gathering materials, coordinating with facilities and making adjustments as needed, the days leading up to the actual day was stressful. However, once the day arrived, the students and teachers were excited. The students products looked unique and what the students shared during their reflections in their classes were powerful.
If I have the opportunity to plan a project day like this again, I would definitely also work with teachers to have sessions before the actual day so that students can spend more time making, tinkering and experimenting.