Earlier this year, a group of High School STEM_ed students, under the direction of the College's Head of Teaching and Innovation, Daniel Weeks, worked with me as their client to develop and produce the graphic designs for our PLAN MAKE PLAY. I was very impressed with the final results and find the work they have produced to be an effective teaching tool for our Prep students.
Tink, the Super-Roo explains to the children how she loves to PLAN-MAKE-PLAY and how they can do it too.
This might involve drawing, discussing, researching....
At last it is time to PLAY!
Levi discovered that the play doh was too gooey to actually play with his construction. He decided he would need to use different materials to make his monster truck and would try again later. We also made new play doh!
I noticed that many students either went straight to the making and were not interested in the first step of planning, or they drew a plan and then made something completely different.
I wondered if they were too young to be introducing this kind of concept. I wondered if there was truly any value in it.
And then I observed the students that were engaging in all the steps in the process. They were highly engaged and stayed involved in the process for lengthy sessions, as well as returning the next day. I also observed one student who had decided to make a spider. I prompted him to do a little research to see if he was happy with the plan he had made. After further investigation, using an iPad, he discovered that spiders do not have only two eyes. He then refined his plan and added more eyes to his spider.
I reflected that for those students who were interested in the whole design process, there was value and that it fostered greater language and communication; collaboration; use of technology; improved attention to detail; questioning and self reflection.
All of these are key qualities recognised as 21st Century Learning Skills.
This week we have set out materials and pictures inviting the children to make robots (following last week's interest).