Maker Space fosters creativity and encourages flexibility (in teachers)

My experience trying out makerspace in a kindergarten classroom.

Photo of STEPHANIE BRILES
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Makerspace sounded quite alluring when I read about it on a blog. I dove right in and created a space in my classroom filled with "trash" that was donated by families in my classroom. Soon, my kinders were creating epic things like aquarium complete with "pumps" and puppet stages that had puppet storage! From buildings to rocket ships they never cease to amaze me what they come up with out of an egg carton and some tape. Tape. Tape. And more tape. Here's where the thorns begin. My kids are running through supplies and makerspace is a MESS at the end of the day. It's hard to get five year old to organize, especially when the supplies are all different sizes and don't stack easily. I LOVE makerspace! I love that they can do what they want to do. I love that they write about their creations and tell me grand stories about how they work. I love that they are often times far more creative than I am. I HATE the mess. I take deep breaths at the end of each day and fall asleep at night trying to think of how to conquer this issue. I will keep makerspace (mess and all). We will continue to discuss ideas as a class for making this area of our room a little more manageable. We will also continue to brainstorm how we can use less supplies (because we all know I'm going to get a talking to soon about the amount of tape my class is going through). 

[Optional] Synthesize a little! In one sentence, describe something you learned from your empathy exercises or analogous research.

Makerspace is worth the mess.

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Photo of Michelle Fontenot

Hi Stephanie! It sounds like your students have a ball in their kinder maker space! I applaud you for not letting the mess stop the fun, as every teacher who's ever had projects going on in their classroom knows the struggle is real. Glue sticks without caps and broken colored pencils in every corner of the room, but beautiful thinking has been captured. I'm not as familiar with the kindergarten brain, but I wonder what solutions the kids might bring to the table if they were in charge of clean up or tape rationing. Could they design containers to hold the various supplies? Could part of the creativity stem from ways to stick things together without tape? In any case, kudos to you and carry on with the fun!

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