Be the Learner Your Kids Need

Either way you look at it, teachers are learners and when we let our students know that, we empower them to be learners, too. When we are the “deliverers of all information” we steal something special. Learning is connections that we make with the world, and that is something that can’t be delivered. It has to be discovered. Uncovered. Found. Like a gem mined from the dirt. We can hand a kid a different pick axe to try… but the uncovering must be theirs. If being all-knowing-deliverers-of-information worked, then we would tell babies how to walk by showing them a PowerPoint. We’d lecture to kindergarteners to teach them how to write their name. But we know it doesn’t work. Play. Exploration. Facilitation of discovery. We bring the world into our classrooms with technology, and we allow kids to uncover the gems.


Thinking Beyond the Furniture, Making the “Making” Shift

All the furniture in the world won’t matter if there’s not real change in the learning environment, the opportunities for kids, and the style of inquiry offered…ultmatethemepark-768x1024

We can set up awesome spaces in our schools, but it’s really about what we share with each other.


It’s about the play our kids will experience in these spaces, in one room, in two rooms, hopefully in our entire schools.


It’s about moving beyond the “technology integration events” we once knew and making learning about so much more than a device.


It’s about empowering kids to learn, their way, and to teach us what that means.


It’s about honoring their minds, their hearts, and their souls… because after all, it IS about them.


It’s about knowing that the very thing that makes us all human is that we are unique individuals, and embracing that, even if it challenges us to think differently, change ourselves… no especially if it challenges us to change ourselves.


And then to share what we change, because we have the tools to help each other, through sharing.


While we share,we must also never forget… there is a kid wanting to share with us. And we need to provide the room, space, and opportunity for that to happen.


Because then it won’t be about a room in the school, it will be about what pours from within our kids, and what’s been waiting to pour from kids all along.  Together, we can make that happen.  And then some.



The Things That Matter Cannot Be Bought or Sold

IMG_6975Every time I got to a maker faire, I get fired up. It makes me want to make something.  It makes me look around my house and redecorate, repurpose, dig in my art closet, look through my junk drawer, and create.  Today while I was sketching on notebook paper with a Sharpie, I thought… this.  This is what cannot be bought.  With all of the products being advertised to bring a “makerspace” to your school, it’s easy to get caught up.  Who doesn’t love gadgets?

But, the feeling of inspiration to create cannot be bought. Found materials.  Being turned loose to just go create.  Interacting with the world around you to get ideas from the clouds, from art, from your favorite book. An assortment of cardboard ready to build with.

You can’t put a price on…

The value in connecting with others.

Open sharing.

The reward of sharing an idea that inspires someone else.

Having fun… hard fun.

Overcoming a challenge when you are designing something.

Making a mistake and then fixing it, and liking your new way even better.

Real change. The kind that happens from trying something new.

It’s all about things that can’t be bought or sold.  Making has to start inside your mind, not with a shopping trip. It is far more about how we see, interact with, and interpret the world than it is about “stuff.” It’s about the things that matter most.



The Gift of STEM In #STEMChat This Week!


Laser Maze Jr. by ThinkFunSince #STEMChat is once again partnering with ThinkFun and will be giving away these two awesome games above, including a Holiday Hoopla Pack, they’re also giving away the awesome rocket inspired Laser Maze™ Jr, and a twist on a classic favorite in Rush Hour Shift.

STEMchat with ThinkFun. Gifts that Keeping on Giving (Knowledge)Join us for #STEMchat on Thursday, 11/12, from 8-9 PM Central.

Joining in the chat with me will be  @ThinkFun,  @SelfishMom,  @TeachMama,  @ThienKim, and the fabulous  @KimMoldofsky, also known as The Maker Mom and founder of #STEMchat.