I remember asking why they had taken the computer apart. He gave me an incredulous look and simply answered, "It's science, mom."
That year in Kindergarten, with his courageous teacher, now Willard South principal Mrs. Kara Crighton-Smith, was one of daily excitement, questioning, probing and inquiry. They regularly used Legos, Playdough, sand, water, paint, and a myriad of tools. He was allowed to be creative and at times messy, inquisitive and at times loud. He learned from his mistakes and made adjustments. 20+ years ago this kindergarten class had a "Makerspace".
Library Lego Club was our first stab at a library makerspace. We were blown away by the number of students that wanted to participate. We added a second class and invited the help of the Springfield Greene Co children's librarian. We limited the number of students due to the finite resources and the desire to keep the teacher to student ratio at 1:10. Calling it a success was an understatement. The kids loved it and asked for more.
It's now August and I'm excited to get started on our new makerspace plans. Today I added 10 new apps to our library iPad minis. They correspond with the tech makerspace task cards that my friend and fellow librarian Miranda Bryant shared with me. We will offer additional after school Lego clubs. I'm asking some fellow teachers to share their talents of photography, movie making and knitting with the students in more after school clubs.
I must be completely honest and say that I still haven't figured out how to fit more makerspace choices and activities into the daily schedule. I believe my primary goal as an elementary library media specialist is to facilitate access to materials and literature for both students and teachers. My curriculum is filled with lessons of digital citizenship and digital literacy along with building an excitement and life long love for reading.
I want every student to arrive home and shout, "Best Day Ever, Mom" and I want their time in the library to be at least a part of the reason why.