Creating Conversation Places - Building on What We are Already Doing

I would like to see us use the community that we have created through the maker space.

Photo of Denise Webster
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In working with our media specialist I would like to see the positive community our maker space is becoming and introduce ideas such as conversation starters and having friends and classmates take a moment to find out something about another person by asking a question that might not come up in normal conversation.  Another idea is to create a kindness corner where we can give students ideas for random acts of kindness to do.

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Photo of Megan
Team

Hi Dense! I love the idea of the kindness corner and the random acts of kindness...I wonder, is there a way to include that directly with what they are making? Maybe the sentence starters trigger a project idea that a small group builds out, but continues the conversation while building? I agree that it can be a lot easier to open up and have conversations while you are making/building and sharing ideas together. Would love to see what happens with this idea!

Photo of Emma
Team

Denise - Love this idea. What are the questions that you would want your class to add? Would love to hear more about what you're thinking.

Photo of Lisa
Team

Awesome Denise-One thing that I'll share from a colleague is that creating low resolution activities for people new to the space, can be a great way to start conversations as well... I wonder if you could do some simple challenges and getting students designing for each other?

Photo of Lisa
Team

Great Denise!
How might you do that? What would be some sentence stems that you might use? Or what simple activities could you plan to get that conversation started? I think we, as educators, sometimes forget how difficult it is for students to get to know one another-especially in middle and high school! How might you help students get over that?
Would love to see you keep building on this...
Let me know if you have any questions-
Lisa

Photo of Denise
Team

I am looking at questions lists to build the cards off of and place them either within an already established activity or as a stand alone station. At the stand alone station it might say something like: "Grab a friend, a classmate, a teacher, or a person passing by and ask them a question."

We also talked about creating sentence starter stems on the questions cards to help students organize their thoughts.

Photo of Marjorie
Team

I love conversation starters in maker spaces. How do you capture the "socialness" of learning? I think we assume that conversations start naturally in these places, but this is not always true! People have to experience the vulnerability of sharing an idea to be able to continue to be inspired by it! Dream BIG!

Photo of Denise
Team

Our maker space has started with small hands on things, such as games, puzzles, coloring, origami, etc. We have seen some more introverted students actually open up more to peers because they are doing a common social activity they can anchor their conversations to.

Photo of Margaret
Team

Love it Denise Webster ! Can you share a picture of your makerspace in your post? What might a kindness corner look like there? I wonder if students could help design some of the sentence starters or even additional ideas to build empathy within the makerspace?