Thursday, December 4, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

So today I found a pattern and instructions for building a Christmas Tree out of cardboard using our Makedo parts. I enlisted the help of our resident Maker Man and the project began to take shape. We had some student help and they loved using the connectors and tools to connect the cardboard pieces and watch simple boxes transformed into something like a Christmas tree!

As I reflected on this project, I decided that maybe I was going about things all wrong in the Learning Commons. I've created many open-ended learning labs in the Learning Commons. These open-ended labs were created to not limit student creativity but simply give them a starting point. As we finished the tree it hit me. Could we have come into the LC and walked to the MakerSpace and read a project card that simply said..."Make a tree out of cardboard"? Possibly, but don't we all like to start with some sort of plan? A picture, written instructions, something? By making learning labs too open-ended have I actually inhibited creativity? Could I give students instruction manuals for building and creating as a starting point and then as they get more comfortable let them own their learning and dive in deeper by veering off the manual and improving and redesigning? Time to reevaluate. 


  1. You are always thinking Jessica! I think both! Some kids need a blueprint while others do better with open ended tasks. Glad they have you as a mentor!

  2. I just posted and it then it went missing. I am going to call you...this gave me an idea!