Today in schools, it is not uncommon to hear educators refer to something called “Maker space”. This typically refers to an area in a school-often times in a library- where children can gather together and create, collaborate, build, explore and design imaginative projects. Usually, materials such as cardboard,crafts, electronics, tools, building supplies etc. are used for students to creatively explore and and connect with classmates in creative and inventive ways. What makes these types of spaces so unique is that children are able to design their own experiences with only their imagination as the rules. This type of creative design usually does not include current technology but rather focuses on students using their collective energy and imagination to explore and feel their way through play and design. We are so very fortunate at Wheatland school in that we had a couple of our own staff curious about this phenomenon and attended an information session at Golden Hills School Division in January. The energy from that session has created a tangible and highly exciting new energy and opportunity for our students. Although we are not yet ready to launch our Wheatland Makerspace…we did experiment on Monday by having Mrs Lenox’s grade 5’s explore and navigate the possibilities. I suspect after witnessing this amazing experience- we will launch Makerspace really soon. It was Simply amazing. These children were deeply engaged and beyond excited to take this learning to new heights. I have to say that I have been very interested in the idea of Makerspace for some time and now finally get the opportunity to see it first hand grow and blossom in our school community. This will be amazing for our students. I wait eagerly in anticipation….
I was invited to be a part of two special classroom celebrations on Friday of this past week. The grade threes were hosting their “Celebration of Learning”, this was an opportunity for each child in this class to reflect on and celebrate their success. There was singing, acting, showcasing of high quality work along with a room full of parents, grandparents and Friends. Each of us guests were greeted at the door by very polite and well practiced grade three greeters, we were tempted by delicious snacks and treats and were seated waiting in anticipation for the show to begin. Within minutes, the celebration began and we were treated to the voices of these young, confident learners proud of their work and happy to be in the spotlight. What I reflect on tonight is not only the excellent work and tremendous effort of the teacher and these talented students, but also the commitment and effort shown by the community. Parents would have had to take time off work or from their regular routines to attend the celebration. This effort did not go unnoticed. The smiles and confidence of each child was obvious as were the smiles and cheers from the audience. The energy in the room was nothing but positive. I found myself thinking not only about family day this weekend but the whole idea of Valentine’s Day and the love all around. That same feeling was transparent in the grade one classroom later that afternoon as the 1B class presented their rendition of “The Three Little Pigs”. All students had an active role by reading aloud and acting out a part. The confidence building this does for children- especially at this young age is excellent. As you can imagine, there were lots of laughs from the jam-packed audience of parents and extended family. There were lots of hugs and high fives after the performance. Again, what a wonderful experience for these children to be able to share their learning in such a creative way. I was pleased to be a part of this celebration and so impressed with the love in the room. We have very clever teachers at Wheatland- ones who appreciate and value the role community plays. We could not do this without our parents. Together we are better! This family day weekend and Valentines day, I am reminded of the love we all share at Wheatland school as a community of learners, and most importantly the bigger family we are a part of ❤️