Today’s Maker Project task was mind-mapping (thinking visually) to help us get to a central question on which we can focus, in the form of, “How might I…” At first I was, not surprisingly, resistant. But I pushed through and started. I began with what I knew about the Maker Movement, which was about 3 popplets! Next I mapped my concerns (of which there seemed an abundance) which was super helpful because it forced me to get to the specific issues I have. Then I got stuck, so I made another bubble system, independent of the first, with Teaching Questions at the center. My goal was to articulate things I find difficult in the classroom and see if the two main ideas, the maker movement and my teaching concerns, would overlap. I trusted the process, hoping for a breakthrough, and I got it!
The items that emerged from “Teaching Questions” started very broad: students’ inability to remember (i.e. know) processes like how to solve equations; tackling student apathy; and differentiation of instruction. I began to draw lines connecting my two main ideas. Differentiating instruction and the collaboration inherent in the maker movement could go together–I drew a line connecting them. Slowly I realized that a well-implemented “maker project” has the power to address all of these things at once–that that, in fact, is the whole idea! The rest was easy as I began to envision ways that “making” could be used to address topics in the curriculum. The “how” still eludes me, but I was told to “trust the process”. We do not have to have an answer to the question yet, I kept telling myself. My anxiety lessened.
The questions I was asking began to be more specific as I understood that students could actually learn the skills I was trying to teach them through the vehicle of making. This made it easy–I wrote several “How might I…” questions on topics that I historically have trouble teaching, and thus was a beginning made.