I recently created a movie to explain Exhibition to students, teachers, and parents. This was my first time using WeVideo (you may notice the free version tag gracing the upper right hand corner), and I was glad to explore the tool.
I very much wanted to include student interviews and reflections in this film, but access to good sound equipment is still a struggle: our iPads pick up a lot of background noise and can't record soft-spoken students well, even just a few feet away. Next time, I hope to capture student reflection quotes throughout the process.
Have you ever been on a long car trip with an impatient driver? He's only thinking about the destination, and wants to end the trip as soon as possible. He resents it if people ask to stop, is irritated by excess traffic, and complains about the highway conditions, the cleanliness of the car, and the fact that they should have left two hours earlier, as he suggested.
With a broad set of curricular standards, it's easy for teachers to become like an impatient driver on a long trip. There are billboards (benchmarks) and mile markers (units) along the way, and a lot of traffic (educators) moving in the same direction that can make teachers anxious about arriving at the intended destination on time.
With inquiry, it's inherently inefficient. Students aren't climbing into optimized vehicles with perfect road conditions; they're heading toward a point of interest, and this can involve some wandering, some stumbling, and some backtracking. In our travel analogy, inquiry is like when you see a sign that says "Come See the World's Biggest Doughnut," and the driver says, "That sounds fascinating! Let's go check it out!"
This year, our school held our first-ever Maker Night, which was a fundraiser for our technology program. Here is some information about how we put it together, in case you're thinking of trying something like it at your school.
We held our Maker Night at the end of March, on the evening we had already had Maker Day at our school. Maker Day was a free event that included 100% of our students during the regular school day, but that evening, we charged for tickets to attend Maker Night.
Recently, my elementary school hosted its second-ever Maker Day. It was a huge success (again), and here is some information about how it worked, for those of you who are looking to try something like it. Please see my post about Maker Night, which was our technology fundraiser this year, and which was held the evening of Maker Day.
Our school has a two-year-old maker committee, which started by touring makerspaces at different schools in our district before starting our own. We wrote a district grant for our makerspace, which included a part-time person to help manage it the first year. All classes were expected to attend every third week, so that all teachers could see some examples of "making" in action. These lessons began with fairly common challenges (marble roller coasters in tubes) run by the part time teacher, and expanded to coding experiments and eventually, teacher-led tasks that connected to curricular units.
I've had the privilege of working with hundreds of students and families in IA, CT, NC, MO, TX, and Canada. I love being a teacher-librarian!