Monday, March 24, 2014

Invent to Learn Week 9: The Final Week

Thank you all for participating in this book club. Hopefully you each have learned something and are ready to implement some making in your classroom or school. As we end our spring book club, please share with the group what your next steps on the road to making will be. As you think about your future plans, be sure to check out some of the resources listed in chapter 14.

All book club participants who have made a meaningful contribution each week of the book club will be eligible for a prize. Winners will be selected and notified early next week. Be sure to have all of your comments posted by Friday afternoon, March 28th. PGP documentation will be sent to book club participants in the next few weeks.


  1. My future plans are varied. I have already been working on digital citizenship with my students in the form of on-line class discussion etiquette lessons and I would like to continue this as my class progresses. For the future, I would like to get the book ,"Making Real-Life Videos" ,as a resource for my classes. Somehow, somewhere I am determined to use Glow Doodle Software as part of my class just because I think that it would be so neat.

  2. After reading a novel, I usually have my English students create a project that goes with the novel. In the past, I have assigned everyone the same project. After reading this book, I am determined to open the possibilities and let students choose their own projects - at least some of the time! Today I explained five project ideas with my English 9 Honors class, but then told them they were free to come up with their own project, pitch it to me, and then complete it. This removes the "I don't like any of the projects" from the table. If students don't like one of my projects, then they can come up with their own. I told them that what matters most to me is that they think and create something wonderful. They will probably exceed my expectations.

    I used to give my students a list of topics to choose from to write a research paper. About five years ago, I stopped doing this and told them to choose their own topics. Students have to conference with me and we discuss their options. As a result, I am receiving more interesting papers. Students are more motivated researching a topic they care about, and I am learning a lot about topics I would never have chosen!

    I want to continue to give students more options so there is a spirit of cooperative energy and creativity in my classroom. Motivating students is sometimes difficult, but this is where I would like to start. I recently heard on the radio that happier employees are more productive at work. I think the same can be said for students. Giving students more options will hopefully inspire more students to be industrious, productive, and creative.

    The following resources in the last chapter of the book are some that I hope to explore.
    Recycle This Book: 100 Top Children's Book Authors Tell You How to Go Green
    Photojojo! Insanely Great Photo Projects and DIY Ideas
    Geek Mom: Projects, Tips, and Adventures for Moms and Their 21-Century Families
    Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun
    How to Photograph Your Life: Capturing Everyday Moments with Your Camera and Your Heart
    Making Real-Life Videos
    And, . . . . someday I would love to have a Go Pro Camera for my personal use and one for my classes to use.

    Thank you for offering this book club. I've really enjoyed it.

  3. I have enjoyed this E-learning book club. I thank a co-worker, my sister-in-law, for encouraging me to get involved in it. She is right, it is so much like what I teach. The 1:1 computers can be an aid in helping me teach things, but it is does not take the place of the actual hands-on projects that stimulate creativity and build confidence. I recently attended part of our local FAME programs and exhibits this past Saturday which follows along with this book.

    This book as taught me patience on waiting for the end results of their creative inventions. I am learning to suck it up and bite my tongue on the creators in my Advanced Child Development class. As I have recently moved the cardboard castle, and got another student today help me prop up a huge game made of cardboard that was falling. The gal doing the marble run has now moved it from closet where it popped out and greeted me last week to a little nook/space in the room. I bought my 4-year grandson a new Lego set that I thought was the bigger pieces, but much to my surprise it is tiny, tiny pieces. He has been working with me patiently creating. He often thinks we can skip some steps to get his end result sooner. His 6-year-old sister would like to get involved in the creating of his backhoe, but he has not given her permission yet.

    I am interested in exploring more on:
    1. Wearable Computing and E-Textiles
    Martinez, Sylvia Libow; Stager, Gary S. (2013-05-10). Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom (Kindle Location 5037). Constructing Modern Knowledge Press. Kindle Edition.
    2. Making Real-Life Videos – A fine guide for teenage filmmakers How to Photograph Your Life: Capturing Everyday Moments with Your Camera and
    Martinez, Sylvia Libow; Stager, Gary S. (2013-05-10). Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom (Kindle Locations 5206-5209). Constructing Modern Knowledge Press. Kindle Edition.
    3. Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World
    Martinez, Sylvia Libow; Stager, Gary S. (2013-05-10). Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom (Kindle Location 5241). Constructing Modern Knowledge Press. Kindle Edition.
    4. Engaging Children’s Minds: The Project Approach – By Lillian Katz and Sylvia Chard
    Martinez, Sylvia Libow; Stager, Gary S. (2013-05-10). Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom (Kindle Locations 5252-5253). Constructing Modern Knowledge Press. Kindle Edition.

    I appreciate you offering this E-learning book club.

  4. I see tinkering and making in my home everyday. My four boys are Lego and Minecraft experts and it's not because I taught them how to be that. They teach themelves, invent, create, and reinvent. It's in their nature. They are never more proud of themselves then when they've created amazing lego structures and when they've created massive homes, palaces, and cities in Mincraft "all by themselves". Kids instinctively love to create and invent while playing.

    After reading this book my approach to projects and lessons has changed. I constantly ask myself how I can get out of the way and allow opportunities for the students to teach themselves and eachother. I currently teach choir and normally I choose the music, create choreography and teach it to my students. For our spring program I'm going to give the students a voice in song choice and afterwards, let them create the choreography. Why not let them create the program and order of the show? I would also like to include a "making based" project in my next general music unit.

    "Failure to embrace the kids' competence, capacity, and creativity leads educators to deprive children out of opportuinities to achieve their potential. Worst of all it deprives children out of the the rich 21st century childhood they deserve."

  5. I really enjoyed reading this book and participating in this blog. I learned a lot about the maker movement and I am inspired to learn more and get started. I bought the book, Tinkering, Kids Learn by Making Stuff, and subscribed to the Maker Magazine. My school is forming a maker committee to plan and implement a maker room. We will consider location, funding, and staffing issues. My administration is on board so I am looking forward to the possibilities. I would love to have a club to explore the e textiles potentials. As technology integrationist at my school, I am going to encourage classroom teachers to use the maker model while planning some of their curriculum projects. Thanks for facilitating this blog. I am excited to see what we are able to do at my school.

  6. I really enjoyed this book club experience and the book itself. I regretted not participating in last year’s book club, so I’m glad I didn’t make the same mistake twice! The most immediate impact this experience has had on me is in my personal life. The book helped me to see my own children in a whole new light. I realized they are both “markers,” but in very different ways. My daughter is always crafting, and the materials for current and future projects often leave her room a bit of a mess! While my efforts to add some organization to the chaos will continue, my appreciation of and tolerance for the space she uses for these projects has grown. As for my son, he has a bit of an iPad addiction that we constantly work to “keep in check.” However, his use of the iPad has developed him into a “maker” in his own rights at the ripe old age of 5. He now wants to create apps when he grows up! To feed his interest, we discuss what modifications he would make to existing games and his plans for apps he would like to design. To further broaden his interest, we have been working with the “Kodable” app. He loves it! We even purchased a “Snap Circuit Kit,” so we are looking forward to introducing it to our kids! This personal connection with “making” will inevitably transfer into my work with teachers, and I look forward to developing the “maker mentality” in our schools!