Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Best Learning Moment 2015 Blog Hop

My most memorial learning moment in 2015 is still happening.

The Valleys Snr Public school is running a makerspace during the lunch hour in the learning commons using a mix of digital and non-digital tools.

This year we added a sewing, beading, knitting and crocheting component. There are three different teachers who assist students in learning how to knit, sew and crochet, but sadly, the "beaders" are stuck with me (not a beading bone in my body).

And this turns out to be the best thing that ever happened.

At our start up meeting in September, I made it abundantly clear I had no idea what I was doing. Immediately after the meeting, a student stepped up and said that she had some ideas and would lead the group.

I haven't looked back since - every week she comes to beading club with a pre-made sample project. She then proceeds to teach the group how to make various beading projects.

So far we have made rings, three different types of bracelets, and ladybug bead pets. We plan to put our products on display at our first Maker Faire in April. The group is tickled pink.

She is also toying with the idea of filming her tutorials and uploading them to a YouTube channel. (with her parents' permission of course ;) Why shouldn't we share her talents with the world?

I am astounded every day with the potential of our students given the right opportunity to shine.

I can't wait to see what comes next.

This post is only one in a series of  blog hop posts by our amazing #peel21st colleagues! 
Check out what they have to say below!

Blog Hop Post
Jason Richea
Jonathan So
Amit Mehrotra
Tina Zita
Jim Cash
Melanie Mulcaster
Heather Lye
Erica Armstrong
Matt Fletcher
Jason Wigmore
Shivonne Lewis-Young
Matthew Forestieri


  1. This sounds like a great experience. I love when students become leaders even when you don't ask. Happy beading.

  2. Love your story Mel. Sometimes being in that role of novice with kids is just the right place to be. Learning together is so rewarding.

  3. Melanie,
    I think its great that you're willing to admit to students when something is just not your expertise. Last year, when I introduced Minecraft as part of a Rocks and Minerals lesson, I was amazed at how much we all learned together by being honest with how much/what we bring to the table.

  4. Some of my favourite moments involve me saying "I have no idea!" and love when it leads to a student finding out and teaching me something :)

  5. What a lovely post to read, Mel! That's is such a tribute to being authentic and truthful and real--and it paying off because students know when you are being real. I think some educators are worried that their students will respect them less if they appear not to know something... I think you showed that respect is earned by open and honest.

  6. I love this. I think there's so much value in making and the creativity it brings out. But not only that as we often see so much leadership and even literacy coming out of how students share their skills, knowledge and products.

  7. Love that you have a makerspace. At bit there was a workshop for knitting QR codes. Also I saw someone made a knitted frog and then hooked up an Ardino to it to then light up and show the various dissection points. Its amazing what can happen when you just make. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I wasn't there Wed, but I tweeted Lisa about her QR code knits. (and then met her on Thurs :) Yes, I am enamoured with making in our learning commons. Brings so many students together - great for building community in the school (and it is just plain old fun).

  8. Melanie - this post comes at the perfect time as we're in the set-up stage for creating a Maker Space at Caledon East PS. We've talked about these types of low-tech and no-tech options as being a key part of our space. Would you be okay with me contacting you as a resource for this type of space?

  9. This story is fantastic. It's amazing how just creating the opportunity can lead to such a development. Sometimes, all we really have to be willing to do, is be present, available, and willing to learn...the kids help us with the rest.