Saturday, June 3, 2017

And the Winner is...Maker Space

The end of the school year inevitably means awards ceremonies. Last year, I wanted to try out maker space in the language arts classroom, so I had a brilliant idea...class awards ceremony. 

  The students were instructed to create an original award for themselves. It could be about anything that happens in school...not limited to language arts class. It was a rousing success, so I'm repeating it.

We've brainstormed possible awards to win. They get to win the award they've always wanted to win. They pick what's important to them in an award. These awards show me what they value in their days. It's amazing! 

We watched lots of acceptance speeches and analyzed them as mentor texts and they have started composing their acceptance speeches. Next week during the classroom ceremony, they will give their acceptance speeches to the class. 

Finally, we create the actual awards. Some students brought in supplies and I provided some...paper plates, paper cups, stickers, and a few other things. We spent a huge chunk of class time making awards. The energy was high and exciting!

I love watching these almost-seventh-graders turn back into little kids playing with arts and crafts. Some of them looked intense as they created, some of them giggled and others found themselves frustrated with their creations. Problem-solving at it's best when I hear questions like, "How do I make this stand?" The conversations revolved around the best way to create these awards and the results are astounding. 

Taking time to MAKE in the language arts classroom is vital. It sparks such creativity and collaboration. I can't wait for our ceremony next week!

Thank you to Ruth Ayres for providing this space for sharing our celebrations. Please join us and share your own!


  1. Michelle, that dream pillow stood out to me as what you are doing for your children: Allowing them to dream big! What a great end-of-year activity! I look forward to seeing photos of the award ceremony.

  2. Wow! A great idea! The students get the chance for self-reflection and fun rolled into one. And then throw in public speaking! Perfect for a positive ending to the year.

  3. Wonderful way to wrap up the year! And you're right. Turning our kids loose to make things is a fun and telling experience for everyone. It's a creative end that they will always remember.

  4. I love this and wish/hope I have enough time to do a version with my third graders!

  5. I LOVE this idea. Too late for me this year.... but next year. I absolutely agree, we need time to make. It opens doors and we see so much more of each other.

  6. This is an awesome idea! I want to remember it for the end of next year. Will you remind me around May 1? The end seems to come too fast. I like how you are savoring your time with your kids till the last bell rings.

  7. I absolutely love this idea, students creating their own awards! I'm sure there is humor and honestly a way to reflect and celebrate themselves.

  8. Michelle, this is a fantastic idea! I am wishing there were more days in the year, just so we could do this. Alas, I shall file it away for next year. Thank you!

  9. I love this for so many reasons! Sometimes other people can't exactly see what we are most proud of in ourselves. This gives students an opportunity to celebrate what they appreciate most about themselves, it lets them create, and it also gives them time to reflect on what they've accomplished and why they deserve the award they are giving themselves. I. Love. It.


Please share your thoughts. I love comments!