A buzzword often heard around schools these days is ‘maker’. Our school is looking at the transformation of a traditional science lab to a new age ‘Maker Space’. But why?
George Courus, author of the book The Innovator’s Mindset states in his book that “The ability to innovate, to create something new and better, is a skill that organizations worldwide are looking for today.”
If the highest level of understanding, according to Bloom’s Taxonomy, is creating and designing original work, why as educators are we not striving to make this the norm in classrooms? I won’t go on, but needless to say, the research is pointing towards a culture of creation over consumption. Today I got a first hand look at what this concept means to grade 3 students here at The Ottawa Jewish School.
Students were tasked with showing their thinking of how they would solve math word problems. I was not only looking to see if they could do it, but was the concept of creating, designing, and solving their own problems helpful for their understanding. Of course, using pictures, numbers, and words to help create their solutions was an engaging activity for the entire class… I mean, who doesn’t like to doodle with markers.
What I found out after observing, documenting, and interviewing students was a 100% buy in, and if not a deeper understanding of the material, a deeper engagement to the details and processes of multiplication, as well as their own metacognition. I was amazed to see and hear how creating; the doodling, drawing, writing, storytelling, and explanations of their solutions used so much of their attention. To see their brain firing on so many levels and creating new pathways was impressive.
Would I want to be a learner in this classroom? Without a doubt the overwhelming response is yes, because as one student so beautifully put it… when you get to create “It’s just more fun!”