Making Maker Comes Alive in Grade 1

Meaghan Mallin, Head of Lower School

Innovative, hands-on, challenging, and engaging. These are just a few of the words that can be used to describe the Grade 1 Maker Program.
This is the pilot year of Maker in Grade 1, and it has been an absolute pleasure to watch your children reap the benefits of this exciting new curriculum. Taught by Director of Academic Technology Aron Back in half-groups of approximately eight children each week, the Maker curriculum combines the best attributes of a STEAM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) curriculum.
 
During their time in the Maker Lab, our first graders are steeped in critical thinking and problem solving, whether engaging in tinkering, dynamic design and engineering work, or developing their computer programming skills. Our first graders are diving into these authentically challenging lessons with huge smiles and great enthusiasm, all while tapping into skills of collaboration, creativity, and higher level thinking.
 
Mr. Back has taken an interdisciplinary approach with the curriculum, using Maker to extend lessons from other academic areas. For example, in a recent Maker class, students used Scratch Jr. to code digital recreations of the small moments they wrote in their homerooms during Writers’ Workshop. These digitally animated stories were then shared with classmates and teachers. 
 
Children have many exciting highlights ahead, including the opportunity to visit the Woodshop to design and build wooden mobiles with the help of Woodshop teacher Mr. Lawler, and designing “Bristlebots” (mini-robots) in the Maker Lab. 
 
We look forward to sharing more about this dynamic new aspect of the Grade 1 experience as the year unfolds.
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