Firstly I connect with every classroom teacher via their teams long term plan. I find out what the focus is, what the learning targets are and what that teams overarching goals are. For the lessons in the makerspace to be worthwhile they need to be targeted and linked to the learning in the classroom, I need teachers to buy in and for the projects learners start to be allowed to continue back in class. Let me explain...
For the early years classrooms up to year 2 their Makerspace session starts and finishes within a block session, they either have rotations where get the opportunity to visit every station (eg 5 separate STEAM stations, Science, Engineering, Art and Mathematics - whether interdisciplinary or stand alone), I do this for the 5 year olds or they have the choice of which station they want to be at for the entire length of the session (I don't do this with the 5 year olds, if you've taught five year olds you know why...think Nemo fish!) They often don't know what they are passionate about and need the opportunity to experience all disciplines.
But as our learners get older, the less time they spend on the project with me and the more time they have completing it back in class eg the Year 5/6's might do 30% with me and 70% back in class. Sometimes if they see me early in the term they may also have rotations so that they are becoming informed on which track they wish to follow for their project.
You can visit my blog to see the learning in action
In the middle of this month I was lucky to have the opportunity to represent my school and travel Australia sharing our journey as a Keynote Speaker at a series of Apple Early Years events. I presented in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne, working with the Apple team was a privilege and I learn so much from these experiences. Educators are an amazing breed, all striving for the same goal, making a difference in the lives of children, each and everyday. I am forever thankful for the power of technology to allow me to do this in so many innovative ways.
I have almost completed my Post Graduate through Mind Lab, if I am being honest I have not found the digital component of this study to be of much use, they are years behind what we are doing in the classroom but the leadership part has been a worthwhile journey for me.