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Making Spaces: Year 2

Making Spaces: Year 2

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35 educators from 7 schools across the city of Madison

On August 22nd & 23rd, the Bubbler team kicked off it's second round the the Making Spaces project with seven new MMSD Schools. 

A partnership between the school district and the MPL Bubbler program, Making Spaces aims to support more opportunities for creative making & learning in traditional school settings. The Bubbler serves as a hub, connecting teachers and school librarians to the broader maker community and support each school's unique vision for a making & learning program in their own building. 

This formalized partnership is the culmination of lots of informal collaboration between the public library & schools, and we are excited to have the support of the Schmidt Futures Foundation to make it happen. 

Our new cohort of schools includes: Falk, Lake View, Muir, Glendale, Hawthorne, Schenk Elementaries and O'Keeffe Middle School in Madison. 

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Making Spaces allows the Bubbler team to expand its programming reach exponentially, while gaining incredible innovative partners in our teachers and librarians.

This fall, our MMSD librarians and teachers have been hard at work implementing their visions for their programs and spaces in their buildings.

The initial results are already inspiring. With opportunities for student choice and creativity, students are thriving in these new spaces, and others are taking notice.

REACH teacher Sara Milewski at Glendale elementary has told us, "kids who struggle in other environments, especially with behavior, find success in the Fab Lab. Our behavior referrals are nearly non-existent, except for a few students who didn’t want to leave when it was time for the next class to come in. Students who have learning challenges or IEPs don’t look any different in the Fab Lab; everyone is learning new things and can choose challenge and find ways to shine."

School by School Snapshot

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Lake View Elementary

The Make & Do @ Lake View is a place (and a mindset!) where everyone has the opportunity to discover, create, and reflect. Everyone's passions can come to life through exploration and critical thinking. This fall, Lake View second graders learned about rural, suburban and urban communities in their classrooms and then planned box-city communities which they built during REACH in the maker space. Here three students practice their presentations as they readied for their kindergarten visitors.

Falk Elementary

At Falk elementary, REACH teacher Kira Fobbs is working to ensure all students have the ability, opportunity, and desire to be agents in their life, community, and world. Agency is the ability to affect the world in a positive way and make their life what they want it to be. "We want to make students college, career, and community ready by experiencing different levels of collaboration and project based learning."

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Schenk Elementary

At Schenk, librarian Sam Skar is working with her teacher team to support the belief that creativity is a part of the journey of learning. We believe making supports engagement, on task behavior, and cements core learning. We are inspired by Sam's work to push maker opportunities into classroom learning and her belief that "our teachers have the hearts of makers, we are here to give them tools and resources." In this picture, one student shows her "emotion" puppet to her teacher in a 3rd grade classroom collaboration.

Muir Elementary

At Muir, librarian Katie Lachance has rebranded their REACH program to support a maker mindset. "At John Muir Elementary School we believe that problem solving and growing as a learner happens when children are given time, an organized space, and a variety of materials to tinker and create. We are excited to introduce MITS (Muir Inquiry and Tinker Space formerly known as the REACH and library block) as an opportunity for all children to explore their interests and passions."

Hawthorne Elementary

At Hawthorne elementary, making is a mindset. And with the librarian and 5 support REACH teachers on board, it is also a part of every student's week. "At Hawthorne we believe that all children are creative. We are striving to give them the time and space to tinker and explore, to develop their creativity and build confidence in a safe, collaborative community. They independently and cooperatively to design, build, create and grow in their understanding of how Maker Lab lessons can be applied to all curricular subjects."

O'Keefe Middle School

O'Keefe Middle School

O'Keefe Middle School Munch and MakeAt O'Keeffe Middle School, making has taken many forms to reach as many students as possible in the course of their day. This year, every seventh grader actually has a Makerspace course in their schedule designed to "facilitate 21st century learning opportunities that allow students to grow their creativity, build confidence, collaborate around engaging and relevant problems, and explore their passions." Below, Jill Cohan's 7th graders work on their original board game designs.

Making is also happening at librarian Mindy Grant's Munch and Make over lunch and at her Tuesday and Thursday after school maker club.

Glendale Elementary Fab Lab

Glendale Elementary

Our Glendale team has created a dedicated maker space in what was formerly their computer lab and re-tagged it the Glendale Fab Lab Fab Lab time is an opportunity for students to create, collaborate, design and tinker with both physical and virtual resources. Each activity complements one or more of the STEAM disciplines to increase students’ engagement and opportunity with their learning of 21st Century Skills.

Sara and Nancy at Glendale have shared lots of stories with us, including: "A parent told us that Mondays have always been challenging for her daughter. Nearly every Monday morning had been a fight because she didn’t want to go to school. Now she looks forward to Mondays and there’s never a fight...because it’s her Fab Lab day!"

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