Making time for making at Ottauquechee
STEAM — Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics — gives students the opportunity to create. To make. Maybe to fail. To try again! And to make something that improves a condition, solves a problem, or makes the world a better place. But if your school currently doesn’t offer a STEAM time, it can be daunting to figure out where to begin. And that’s where we pick up our story of Ottauquechee School, in Quechee VT, where we used Design Thinking, a portable makerspace and one amazing library space to figure out how STEAM Time could work at this school.
Welcome to Ottauquechee STEAM Time.
Going beyond the gallery walk
Exhibition season is upon us!
And as you’re making ready to throw open the doors of your school and welcome in the community, let’s look at a handful of ways to jazz up any school event: by planning your capturing in advance, making interactive takeaways, going off-campus(!) or setting up a digital guestbook.
Get organized, then get tech
Many of your current — or future — collaborators teach at other schools around the state or world. But when you’ve got a great idea for collaboration, don’t let distance stand in your way. Let’s look at this example from three Vermont schools on how to plan, manage and support one unit run across three different schools.
(Hint: tech helps. A lot.)
Answer Garden, Flipgrid and Adobe Spark
“What are you grateful for?” We posed this question to 7th grade Stowe Middle School students, the Monday before the holiday break.
The activity may seem simple, but it allowed us to introduce the students to three easy tech tools: Answer Garden, Flipgrid and Adobe Spark. Stowe students will use these tools to reflect and to collect evidence for their PLPs.
Or, What to Bring to the First Staff Potluck
Opening up to fellow educators can be hard. We all know we’re doing the best we can, but many of us also feel like we could be doing better for our students. We want to do the best we can and sometimes we get terrified that it’s not enough. What if none of the other teachers feel this way?
Except: they do.
And that’s why it’s important to be brave enough to connect with the other teachers on your team, to really get to know them as people — and to let them get to know you in return. They can be some of your most important resources during the school year.
What makes an argument worth making?
Recently, I was working with a colleague about getting students more jazzed to dive deep into building claims with supporting evidence.
My colleague stated:
“To be an argument, there needs to be a sense of “others” who are vying against our argument in ways that excite/worry us about our intellectual flanks. Moreover, to be an argument, one needs to have some skin in the game. Who wants to argue an argument that’s already been made/won, and that all sides know the answer to? In general, “how” questions …elicit procedures/summaries of what is known. “Why” questions generally do a lot better stoking argument.”
I took a few minutes this morning to pull together some resources that might help to create an audience of “others” or that could be used to generate engagement in the claims/evidence making process.