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April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

  • 1.  April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 03-30-2018 12:08 PM
    Dear Hello Community:

    I'm thrilled to remind you that we are about to start an online book club in the HELLO community. Our first book will be Making and Tinkering with STEM: Solving Design Challenges with Young Children by Cate Heroman. We invite you to dive in and master the concepts introduced in this book with support from other members and the author. Each week, Cate will post a question from the book for you to consider and will participate in the discussion over the course of the month.

    The first, introductory question will be posted this coming Tuesday - and then after that, a new question will be posted every Friday - just in time for you to think it over with your Saturday morning coffee as you read the Hello digest!

    How it Works:

    • If you don't already own it, purchase the book (if you're a member, use your 20% discount!).
    • Have you already read the book? Share how you've implemented it in the classroom with the Book Club!
    • Dive into the book.
    • Participate in the discussion.
    • Log into HELLO (if you're not a member, join now!) during the first week of April to analyze and talk through the first question.
    • Join the thread called "April Book Club: Making and Tinkering with STEM".
    • Share your thoughts and discuss.

    Looking forward to all the great discussion,

    ------------------------------
    Kathy Charner
    National Association for the Education of Young Children
    Silver Spring, MD
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 03-31-2018 07:30 AM
    I've never tried an online book club, so this will be a first for me! And do you know what's so great? I don't have to worry about finding a meeting time or deciding what snack I can bring to the meeting!  Whether you are already passionate about making and tinkering or if you are just dipping your toe in the water, I hope you will jump in to chat and share ideas! I'm excited to learn new things from YOU!

    Happy tinkering!
    Cate

    ------------------------------
    Cate Heroman
    Baton Rouge LA
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-01-2018 10:08 PM
    I'm not very savvy about computers...how do I join the thread?

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    Amanda Gilman
    Las Vegas NV
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  • 4.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-04-2018 10:51 AM
    Hi Amanda,

    You have already joined the thread! Feel free to respond to this week's book club question below.

    ------------------------------
    Gilmar Rosas
    Community Manager
    NAEYC
    hello@naeyc.org
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-04-2018 10:50 AM
    Hi everyone!

    I'm excited to get this week's question started. Let's jump right in:

    In the intro to Making & Tinkering, I describe the difference between tinkering and making. Do you agree that it’s important for children to tinker before making something? What might children learn when they explore tinkering and making experiences?

    ------------------------------
    Cate Heroman
    Baton Rouge LA
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-04-2018 01:31 PM
    I'm pretty much a believer that children first need to be able to explore materials before being expected to "make" something. So if I'm understanding the terminology correctly, tinkering would be that first stage in exploring the nature of the materials. I suspect that for many young children, tinkering is the only stage we will see them in. And that's fine with me because during the tinkering, they are discovering the physical properties of the materials, exploring math, physics, balance and more.

    ------------------------------
    Kathryn Gilbert
    self
    Kalamazoo MI
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-04-2018 10:10 PM
    I, too, believe children need to explore materials before they "make" with materials.  I often put basic materials out and let the children explore. As they seem comfortable with the material, I add a second element or verbal challenge. I love to see how creative they can be! They often come up with ideas I had not considered. They learn from and teach each other. Many of my center activities are set up in "trays."  Children access materials as they need them and are responsible to clean up thier own work space.  Although I would not classify most of my centers as "makerspace," there are many elements of "makerspace" incorporated into the activities.  It will be interesting to see how I can refine or adjust the things I'm already doing so that there is a stronger emphasis on STEM skills.

    ------------------------------
    Keely Mills
    Kingwood TX
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  • 8.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-06-2018 03:03 AM
    @Keely Mills....I love that you are using tinkering trays stocked with open-ended materials and loose parts for children to tinker with. Just seeing the choices of materials available sparks children's imagination about what they might create or explore. You are really setting the stage for learning!

    I'm so glad that you brought up your role in facilitating tinkering experiences. When children are tinkering and become "stuck", it can be so tempting to jump in and solve the problem for them. Watching, listening, talking to them about their ideas and processes, suggesting a new tool or material and encouraging them to take risks are all ways to help children sustain their interest and engagement in tinkering.

    ------------------------------
    Cate Heroman
    Baton Rouge LA
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-05-2018 11:13 PM
    I also agree that tinkering is a natural first step for children.  Building a sense of agency, a sense of curiosity, and a sense of what is possible with the materials.  Different children will likely focus on different properties for the same materials -- and when they move on to "making" with the materials you will likely get a wide range of approaches.

    ------------------------------
    Ido Jamar
    Mableton GA
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-05-2018 11:29 PM
    Hi @Kathryn Gilbert...Thanks for your comments and reflection. I tend to think of tinkering not as a "stage", but as an important way of learning at any age. When we explore all types of materials and tools, our imagination and wonder kicks in and we begin solving problems creatively. We have an idea and we try it. If it doesn't work, we try something different. It's the process that is important. Sometimes tinkering may lead to making something...and sometimes it doesn't...and that's OK!​

    ------------------------------
    Cate Heroman
    Baton Rouge LA
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  • 11.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-04-2018 03:20 PM
    Children need to explore materials, have books read to them, it builds schema . It also allows children to develop cognition, be thinkers. Great book!

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    Pamela Sharrow
    Midland MI
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  • 12.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-05-2018 08:09 AM
    My earliest memory of tinkering as a child was when I came home from school and found my Dad beginning to take apart my brand new Etch-a-Sketch! He was curious about how it worked and what was inside.
    thumbnail image
    Well, I was curious too! We got some small screwdrivers and a hammer and went to work. It was hard to get open, but once inside, look what we found!

    thumbnail image
    We found two crossbars with a pointy stylus underneath where the two bars crossed. As we turned the knobs, the crossbars moved and the stylus made a path in a silvery powder. I was amazed and even more curious about how things worked and what was inside.

    Well, we didn't get the Etch-a-Sketch back together, but the dispositions of curiosity, sense of wonder and risk-taking have really stuck with me to this day.

    And then there was my Mom!  She was very crafty and would have loved the DIY movement today! She was resourceful and could make something from nothing. She would take pinecones and turn them into wreaths or fold a Reader's Digest into a tree. She showed us how to take the Sears catalog and make paper dolls.  We put them in shoebox houses complete with furnishings cut from the catalog pictures. And although we "making" with end goal in mind, there were definite elements of "tinkering". We had to figure out how we could make those figures and furniture stand up and how we would make the clothes we cut out from the catalog stay on the dolls.

    Thinking back, I now recognize that my home was filled with opportunities for making and tinkering!

    Let's fast forward to today in classrooms. As early childhood educators, we know that there are different types of play, right? Psychologist Sara Smilansky talked about the different types of play and described "functional play". This is what tinkering is about. It's about using your senses to explore the physical properties of materials and tools. It's about putting things together and taking things apart. It's about thinking and solving problems with our hands. We have to give children lots of time and opportunities for this functional play (or tinkering) to evolve. This tinkering often leads to making something and is at the heart of more complex making and engineering.

    What's your earliest memory of making and tinkering as a child? What did you learn during your tinkering? What are you doing in your classroom to instill the dispositions acquired through tinkering?

    ------------------------------
    Cate Heroman
    Baton Rouge LA
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  • 13.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-05-2018 03:35 PM

    My earliest memories of any kind of making are playing with the orange flowers of a trumpet vine, turning them into hats for my fingers and for short pieces of sticks that represented people. My sisters and I had an on-going "clay guys" world on a child-sized table top where we made people and their homes and carried out stories. Plasticine clay is a wonderful material!



    ------------------------------
    Peggy Ashbrook
    Early childhood science teacher
    Alexandria, VA
    NSTA The Early Years columnist, Science and Children
    Early Years blogger, www.nsta.org/earlyyears
    Author: Science Learning in the Early Years, and
    Science Is Simple
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-07-2018 09:47 AM
    @Peggy Ashbrook...I can just picture you playing with those orange flowers on the trumpet vine and turning them into hats! I would imagine that your experience wasn't a one-time occurrence. My guess is that you probably did this over and over and created new scenarios through your play. I'm curious...do you recall what inspired your play in creating clay people and homes?

    I shared a bedroom growing up with my two sisters. I dreamed of having my own bedroom!  My older sister and I would spend hours creating "floorplans" of our dream house using pine needles, sticks, and other items found in nature. So the "idea" for our project was inspired by our strong desire to have our own rooms! The project was personally meaningful for us.

    The outdoor environment is so rich with open-ended materials that inspire flexible thinking and creativity! These skills---to be flexible, creative thinkers---are so important for lifelong learning. Using familiar materials in unfamiliar ways is at the heart of flexible, innovative thinking! Whether you use them to solve problems, build or construct something, or tell a story, these natural materials open a world of possibilities.

    You may have heard the statistic that 2/3 of children in elementary schools today will be doing jobs as adults that haven't even been invented yet. We need to help children become creative, innovative thinkers and give them lots of opportunities--- through experiences like making and tinkering---so they can imagine what they want to do and create projects that are personally meaningful using open-ended materials and tools.

    Thanks for sharing your memory, Peggy!



    ------------------------------
    Cate Heroman
    Baton Rouge LA
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-07-2018 04:58 PM
    I think my parents probably encouraged our imaginative play with natural and other materials.

    If we provide materials without expectations children will use them as "creative, innovative thinkers...and create projects that are personally meaningful using open-ended materials and tools."

    ------------------------------
    Peggy Ashbrook
    Early childhood science teacher
    Alexandria, VA
    NSTA The Early Years columnist, Science and Children
    Early Years blogger, www.nsta.org/earlyyears
    Author: Science Learning in the Early Years, and
    Science Is Simple
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-06-2018 09:05 AM
    I could not stop thinking about your post about taking apart an Etch-A-Sketch! I specifically remember spending gobs of time, wondering about the silver innards of that incredible design toy, when I was a child! How neat to have parents that actually took one apart & did not see that as a 'waste of money' for breaking a toy!
    I was the youngest of five children, and I can tell you that almost every early memory I had involved exploring in outdoor play-tagging along with older siblings and groups of kids, back in the 1970's when that was the norm. One of my earliest 'tinkering' memories must have been around age 4-5 and it was playing with wet, reddish clay that the older kids had excavated from the big creek that ran through our neighborhood (and we were allowed to explore unaccompanied w/o adults). We each took a handful and got to punch, pinch, roll, etc. and 'make' anything we wanted. The clay was wet, hard, heavy, and cold to work with. Afterwards,the older kids said we had to let it dry and get hard in the sun. When we came back the next day, it was hard and dry and I remember the color was also lighter.

    ------------------------------
    Meg Marchese
    Preschool Teacher
    Belmont, NC
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  • 17.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-06-2018 12:57 PM
    @Meg Austin Marchese....Taking things apart, also known as deconstruction (not DESTRUCTION!), is a great way to tinker. It helps children see what's inside and figure out how things work. Going beyond the take apart, though, is thinking through with children how you can harvest the pieces and parts to create something new.

    Here's an example of a take-apart experience that led to making. I had an old computer keyboard at home and gave my 3-year-old grandson some goggles and a screwdriver to let him take it apart. After showing him how to safely use the screwdriver, he figured out how to pop the keys off.  He was so engaged!!

    thumbnail image

    When his kindergarten-aged sister arrived home from school, she continued working with him taking apart the keyboard.
    thumbnail image
    Taking the tiny screws off the back was a bit challenging. I showed her how to use a battery-operated screwdriver and WOW, did she feel empowered! (Note the confident pose with the hand on the hip!). She was amazed when she found a sheet of rubber protecting the keys as well as a sheet of plastic with circuits inside.

    thumbnail image
    She found a piece of yarn and began weaving in and out the holes.

    thumbnail image
    After adding a long piece of yarn and placing it over her shoulder, she said, Hey, this looks like a purse. I asked her how she would hold her belongings in it. She quickly started looking for scraps of materials that she could add to the back.

    thumbnail image
    We found a scrap of fabric and I showed her how to sew yarn around the edges. She had figure out how to keep her purse closed and ended up attaching a button on the keyboard with a pipe cleaner.

    thumbnail image
    Finally, she felt like her purse needed a little "bling" and she used the ULTRA LOW TEMP GLUE GUN to decorate it with some "jewels" I had. I showed her how to let the glue gun rest in the tin can when she wasn't using it.

    So as you see, this project started with tinkering...taking apart a keyboard. It then led to making a purse....something that was personally meaningful to my granddaughter. There were opportunities to use real tools (a screwdriver, battery-operated screwdriver, low-temp glue gun, and a blunt needle) as well as a wide variety of materials to explore . There was even some engineering at the end when she had a problem to solve---how would she close her purse? She was so proud of her creation!








    ------------------------------
    Cate Heroman
    Baton Rouge LA
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  • 18.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-06-2018 12:28 PM
    As a child we had "tinker toys" - it's interesting, in this context, to recognize that the name was fairly forward thinking.  I think my most un-structured explorations came about building things with these toys.  Early on I recognized that some pieces would roll, some would be stable, that a sphere didn't stay on top of a cylinder very easily; that the arched piece could support others if it was well-supported.  We loved to try to balance pieces to see who could make the tallest structure.  We built bridges and rolled our toy cars across.  It was fun making our own challenges -- I had a brother who was 2 years older than me so we often challenged each other.  I soon transitioned into "making", though, as I wanted to learn to sew and cook and crochet like my mom.

    ------------------------------
    Ido Jamar
    Mableton GA
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  • 19.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-06-2018 01:20 PM
    @Ido Jamar...Some toys are just classic, aren't they?  Tinker toys, unit blocks, LEGOs are so open-ended that the possibilities are endless! What amazing experiences you had exploring these materials.

    Someone once asked me if you could make without tinkering. I think the answer is YES. If someone had given you the picture directions to build a helicopter with the Tinker Toys, you could have followed the directions precisely and not grappled (or tinkered) with having to figure things out. You could MAKE a helicopter following a step-by-step recipe and yours would probably look like everyone else's that followed the same directions.

    But, without the directions, you could create anything you wanted with Tinker Toys or create a unique helicopter like no other! You could tinker with the pieces and parts to find which ones would work or you could explore how to make the propellers spin. You could even invent a very fancy helicopter that had special or whimsical features to solve problems. Now this experience becomes engineering!

    The diagram on page 4 of Making and Tinkering with STEM is a nice way of thinking how tinkering, making and engineering are related.

    ------------------------------
    Cate Heroman
    Baton Rouge LA
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  • 20.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-07-2018 05:07 PM
    Yes, the diagram on page 4 with the simple, clear explanations of tinkering, making and engineering is great.

    I have enjoyed sharing those explanations in workshops for early childhood education students, along with examples of each from a storytelling activity with a 4 and 6 year old. We combined use of wooden blocks, recycled materials (cardboard tubes, tissue box, etc) and introduced a hex bug into the play, after seeing Cate's Twitter post about a 5 year old making mazes for the hex bug ttps://twitter.com/cateheroman/status/922442161039298563

    The younger child really enjoyed tinkering- figuring out how to use masking tape to put cardboard tubes together to make a tunnel. The 6 year old was busy making-creating a pathway for the Hexbug (named Buddy) and world using the wooden blocks and other objects in the environment like a basket of apples. They ran into an engineering problem, as they decided the tissue box (turned on it's side) would be the home, but in order for the Hexbug to get in, they would need to create a ramp/way for Buddy to enter. When they finished creating the world, they told the story of Buddy's adventures while he traveled through the pathway (switching off as storytellers) which we documented (used smartphone to make a video) so they could review/share.


    ------------------------------
    Bonnie Blagojevic
    Morningtown Consulting
    Orono ME
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-07-2018 07:57 PM
    Hi @Bonnie Blagojevic!

    Thanks for sharing your observations of children creating mazes with the HexBugs.  It goes nicely with the Design Challenge on pages 34-37 called Bug City that uses the book Roberto the Insect Architect as inspiration. In the "Going Deeper" section, there is a suggestion about robotic bugs. NAEYC has this design challenge posted on their website as a free download:

    Bug City
    https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/books/excerpt-from-making-and-tinkering-with-stem

    I was playing in Knock Knock Children's Museum the other day and the HexBugs were out in their Maker Shop. (If you're not familiar with HexBugs, they are tiny, battery-operated bugs that move around using the physics of vibrations.)

    One simple station was just a box lid and bottle caps. The children created mazes and obstacle for the the HexBugs to move through.
    thumbnail image
    At another station, they had wooden blocks which added a little more complexity. Children could create ramps and pathways for the HexBugs to travel through. The hula hoop on the table keeps the bugs a bit contained!

    thumbnail image
    The drinking straw, tape, cardboard tubes mazes were my favorite though! It took a lot of tinkering and many different iterations in order to get the HexBugs all the way to the finish line! If the bug became "stuck", an adjustment would be made that would cause the bug to turn around.
    thumbnail image
    Offering children different materials to use to explore the HexBugs stretches their thinking and poses new problems to solve. They then begin to look for other familiar materials that they can use for an entirely different purpose.



















    ------------------------------
    Cate Heroman
    Baton Rouge LA
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-08-2018 08:52 AM
    Thanks @Cate Heroman! Love when you share photos- always get ideas:^) Really liked the use of bottle caps (so readily available) with the hex bugs and hula hoop and/or flat box to contain them -may try some of these ideas at an upcoming public library event for children. And appreciated your comment...

    Offering children different materials to use to explore the HexBugs stretches their thinking and poses new problems to solve. They then begin to look for other familiar materials that they can use for an entirely different purpose.

    Extending the children's interest in ants, they made drawings/costumes for the hex bugs,  and did run into design challenges when trying to build a home out of blocks. (ant home from blocks was too tall, so cardboard tube ramp too steep/had to adjust height, etc...)

    mNOwOjiTTimY8CNR5DAb_IMG_3506.jpg
    fgOMhSYSQKq2cSXoFy7G_IMG_3511.jpg


    ------------------------------
    Bonnie Blagojevic
    Morningtown Consulting
    Orono ME
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-08-2018 12:25 PM
    Yes I have shared the diagram on page 4 with a friend who is opening a preschool.  She found it to be really helpful for herself, and her teachers.  In addition to the diagram that shows how the ideas are interrelated, the phrases "using stuff".. "to make stuff" ... "that does stuff"  really helps to de-mystify the more daunting terms of "tinkering, making, engineering" -- which may seem like simple jargon to those who have not yet been exposed to these ideas.

    ------------------------------
    Ido Jamar
    Mableton GA
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-11-2018 09:23 PM
    Hi Cate,
    I recall making a project on different kinds of soils in primary school in Canada with my dad. We had so much fun researching; organizing and mounting. We really got into it together. He even picked out some plastic boxes from his workshop area so I could put soil samples in them.  We then attached them to a board with descriptions and I did some graphics of what was found in these soil groups. The funny thing is "what comes first the tinkering or the "making"? " I think some children "make" as they tinker.  Conceptual learners are often able to envision and produce as they process very closely in timed learning sequences. In fact, often visual and auditory learners "guess produce" in their mind's eye -- products that they play with as they go along. Just responding to a wonderful discussion of STEM.Dr. Miriam Melamed

    ------------------------------
    miriam melamed
    [Education Consultant/Conceptual Designer]

    Toronto [Ontario][Purple Rip Tide Productions]
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-09-2018 11:27 AM
    I do believe it is important for children to tinker first before moving onto actually making something.  Tinkering allows them to go through the trial and error phase, testing out theories before actually creating a final project.  The more they tinker, the less likely they are to "fail" when it's time to make their creation.

    ------------------------------
    Jessica Caputo
    Temecula CA
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  • 26.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-09-2018 11:47 AM
    Allowing children to tinker before making; or process before product?

    I think that tinkering or exploring materials leads to an understanding of how the materials work.  Then if someone prompts a child to extend their thought processes, they are ready to think and put what they have learned together to come up with a new idea.  In math, if the children have had lots of experiences with building with blocks, they are more likely to see that 2 square blocks are the same size as one rectangle- leading to a deeper understanding of fractions and arithmetic.

    There is a saying, "a gardener  is someone who has killed a lot of plants and has learned from their mistakes. Then they go on  to create magnificent gardens ".  Replace gardnener with  entamologist or architect or writer to illustrate that the more tinkering anyone has a chance to do, the more Creatinve and magnificent  solutions we find to problems .

    ------------------------------
    Julia Billington
    Vienna VA
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  • 27.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-10-2018 01:24 AM
    @Julia Billington ...Thanks for sharing your gardener analogy. I've never heard that and will have to remember it! You and
    @Jessica L. Caputo both bring up the topic of making mistakes and failure. This reminds me of a couple of quotes:

    Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. A reporter asked him How did it feel to fail 1,000 times? Edison responded, I didn't fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.

    And Albert Einstein said, Anyone who has never made a mistake, never tried anything new.

    Failure and making mistakes is an opportunity to learn. Helping children learn from their mistakes and failed attempts helps build  resiliency and confidence. It's so tempting to jump in when children are struggling or make things easier by giving them the solution, isn't it? Give children time to grapple with an idea or try different solutions. How you respond and support children when they do make mistakes or have failed attempts matters. But just saying it's OK to make mistakes may not be enough. Here are a few strategies you can try:

    • Read stories about mistakes or failed attempts. For example, the Design Challenge on page 82 is called Repurpose It and is based on the story The Most Magnificent Thing. In this story, a girl finds some loose parts and decides she is going to make the "most magnificent thing." She tries and fails many times before making her magnificent thing. It's a great book to use as a discussion starter about making mistakes.
    • Tell children stories about a time when you made a mistake or make a mistake in front of the children. Model how to react when you make a mistake.
    • Praise children's efforts when they are making and tinkering. Talk to children about their process and listen to their ideas. How did you do that? What was the hardest part? Why do you think that happened? What do you think you'll try next? That's an interesting solution!

    Playful making and tinkering provide a great opportunity to develop what psychologist Angela Duckworth calls "grit"---that ability to stick to a task and persevere. Her research suggests that a child's ability to work hard, struggle, fail, and try again may be a key predictor of future success.

    What are some strategies that you use to support children when they struggle or have failed attempts? What words do you say? What do you say to the child who gives up easily or says I can't do it?

    ------------------------------
    Cate Heroman
    Baton Rouge LA
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-10-2018 08:31 AM
    I think many professions have variations of the joke.  Success comes after many trials and errors. With the chance to experiment and play - without  judgements, who knows what we can discover

    ------------------------------
    Julia Billington
    Vienna VA
    ------------------------------



  • 29.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-11-2018 09:38 AM
    Hi everyone,

    We've had a fantastic discussion so far! Let's get started with this week's question:

    How can I find, organize, and display materials for making, tinkering, and engineering so children can learn with them and my classroom is not a mess?

    ------------------------------
    Cate Heroman
    Baton Rouge LA
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-11-2018 10:24 AM
    Some articles to inspire us to use all kinds of materials:

    Promoting Creativity for Life Using Open-Ended Materials by Walter F. Drew and Baji Rankin.

    Learning to Play Again: A Constructivist Workshop for Adults by Ingrid Chalufour, Walter F. Drew, and Sandi Waite-Stupiansky.

    And a few places to get resources
    The Reusable Resources Adventure Center (RRAC) in Melbourne, Florida.
    UpCycle Creative ReUse Center in Alexandria, Virginia (in the DC-MD-VA area)


    ------------------------------
    Peggy Ashbrook
    Early childhood science teacher
    Alexandria, VA
    NSTA The Early Years columnist, Science and Children
    Early Years blogger, www.nsta.org/earlyyears
    Author: Science Learning in the Early Years, and
    Science Is Simple
    ------------------------------



  • 31.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-11-2018 02:23 PM
    @Peggy Ashbrook...Thank you for sharing these wonderful resources!  @Walter Drew introduced me to the idea of reusable resource centers several years ago. These are nonprofit organizations located in cities around the country. They collect interesting things from businesses and industries that might otherwise be thrown away. In turn, they organize the materials and sell them to schools, museums, artists, and individuals. What is fantastic is that you can fill up a bag of these treasures for as little as $5 to use for making and tinkering projects!

    The Reusuable Resource Association has a directory on their website of these centers. Does your community have one?  http://www.reuseresources.org/find-a-center.html

    When I travel while leading professional development sessions, I always try to find one of these centers and stock up!  Here are a few examples of things I've found:

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    Ceramic tile pieces
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    Computer keys


    ​​
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    Beautiful buttons!
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    Pieces of lace and trim
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    Old keys and tags
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    Pieces of foam
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    Puzzle pieces
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    LEGO pieces
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    Corks
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    Odd shaped sticky back pieces
    What I love about these places is that there is something different every time you go!  Have you been to a reusable resource center? What have you found? How have children used these open-ended materials and loose parts?









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    Cate Heroman
    Baton Rouge LA
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  • 32.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-11-2018 02:30 PM
    If you are going to the NAEYC Professional Learning Institute in Austin in June, they have a reusable resource center there!

    http://austincreativereuse.org/

    If you get some down time at the conference, check it out!!!  I know I will!

    ------------------------------
    Cate Heroman
    Baton Rouge LA
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  • 33.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-18-2018 07:24 AM
    A bit late, but I wanted to share the great recycle shopping center in the Raleigh/Durham area of NC.
    http://scrapexchange.org/

    It's really great and you could spend all day deciding what goodies to 'fill your bag' with! After a professional development training in Durham, we took a field trip there & it was amazing!

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    Meg Marchese
    Preschool Teacher
    Belmont, NC
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  • 34.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman

    Posted 04-19-2018 07:35 AM
    Thanks for sharing @Meg Austin Marchese. I'm going to be at the Association of Children's Museums conference in Raleigh next month and I'll check it out! What did they do on the field trip there?​

    ------------------------------
    Cate Heroman
    Baton Rouge LA
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  • 35.  RE: April Book Club: Making and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young Children by Cate Heroman