I’m Ashley from Talkin Pinata Teaching and I’m THRILLED to be sharing my love of Makerspaces with you today!
What is a Makerspace?
A makerspace is a special place where students create a product to solve a problem. Tools and materials are located for students to use and are easily labeled. Students follow an engineering design process to plan, build, evaluate, reflect, and redesign their product. Children work collaboratively with peers to come up with real life solutions to their problem or project requirements. In my second-grade classroom, we use our makerspace as a center during guided math and reading time. You can read more about how we do that here!
Designing a Makerspace
There is no ‘right way’ to create a makerspace in your classroom. You might be limited on space too! Here are some great items and ways you can use them!
The Scrap Bin
This 10-drawer cart is seriously a life saver for my kiddos. If they have extra construction paper left over after a project, they simply put it in the colored bin it belongs in. Need a small piece of green paper? They can find it here! Organizing scrap paper in your makerspace will save your students time….and save you YOUR sanity! 😊
Storing Student Work
Regardless of how you run your makerspace, your students are going to need a place to store their work. I’ve had a makerspace in my classroom for the past 3 years and I’ve found that having individual drawers for students works best. (There’s nothing worse than one of your kiddos tossing out something in their drawer because they thought it was scraps…when really it was someone else’s project! Yikes!) I got this organizational drawer system from IKEA, however here is another great option you can check out!
This multicolored 10-drawer cart is a great option for storing student work. This is the colorful version of the one I have for the scrap bins. What I love about this drawer system is that it doesn’t take up a lot of space and it will store a full-size sheet of paper. Win-win!
Storing Materials and Tools
What teacher doesn’t love bins?! We store most of our STEM supplies in the red bins you see on the window ledge, which are from Target. Here is a list of some common supplies stored in them.
- Pipe cleaners
- Popsicle sticks
- Brad fasteners
- Glue sticks
- Rubber bands
These bins are a great price for a pack of 10. There are several different color options to choose from!
This colorful tape dispenser from Amazon is by far one of my favorite tools. Before our tape dispenser my students were getting stuck in tape (yes, really) or wasting tape because they couldn’t rip it properly. A tape dispenser is well worth the investment because it allows your students to be independent!
Crop-a-diles are also a favorite! These tools will punch holes in popsicle sticks as well as thicker cardboard. They are awesome! Here is a FREEBIE from my TPT store that shares amazing things you can do with popsicle sticks, brads, and a crop-a-dile!
I hope this blog post gave you some helpful ideas for how to create a makerspace in your classroom! If you’re interested in what students can create while at the makerspace you can check out Makerspace or STEM challenges in my TPT store! Want more info about Makerspaces? Be sure to follow me on Instagram @talkin_pinata_teaching to see more pictures. You can also catch ‘Makerspace Monday’, which is an Instagram story series, I do every other week!
Ashley Schmidt 😊