Ms. JoAnn Dickerson
Riverside Applied Learning Center
3600 Fossil Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76111
November 26, 2018
Dear Ms. Dickerson,
I have been a teacher at Riverside Applied Learning Center for seven years and I have been able to teach some of the fifth graders in first grade and in Pre-Kindergarten. In my teaching style, I integrate the applied learning process. I love that applied learning involves “learning by doing” and that we are able to build on real-world skills in our classroom. In my classroom, the students are creating most days and are excited about the work they are doing in Makerspace.
In recent years, my classroom has been impacted by the lessons learned from the technology classes I have had the opportunity to attend. During this last summer, Beverly Burks gave us a quick overview of Makerspace. My curiosity of this concept has led to an area in my classroom where the students are now designing and creating projects. I feel like Makerspace can prepare students for the real world and maybe introduce them to their future career. One such example from my classroom is a young boy, Keaton, who built a rocket during Makerspace rotation. He loved making the rocket, but now he wants to take it apart and design it so he can improve it. The skills that he is using and developing are critical and problem solving.
Can you imagine that all students would be able to experience this excitement and joy of learning?
I propose that Riverside Applied Learning Center start a Makerspace room and be a pilot for the Northeast Fort Worth ISD elementary schools.
Rendina (2017) defines “Makerspace as a place where students can gather to create, invent, tinker, explore and discover using a variety of tools and materials.” Makerspace creates an environment where students are able to design and invent projects. They start with a design in mind and use the materials like recycled arts and craft materials. This gives students an opportunity to engage and take ownership of their learning. They are able to explore and work on their own projects. Collaboration is a great way for students to work together and find leadership strengths. They are able to be innovators and problem solvers. When they make, create, and design projects, students are able to use the top level of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning- Creating (Do/ Construct- Kinesthetic/ Experiential.)
As you consider the proposal of Makerspace for all of Riverside Applied Learning Center students, here is a list of suggested materials that could be used for this endeavor:
*Legos (With a Lego Wall) *Coding Materials (Ozobots, Bee-Bots, Little Bits)
*Recycled Materials *Green Screen
*Arts and Craft Materials *iPads and Chromebooks
*Other Materials for Makerspace
In conclusion, a Makerspace room would allow the students to be at the center of their own learning. As an Applied Learning Center, all students at Riverside Applied Learning Center would be “learning by doing” and will be on real-world skills in Makerspace. My hope is that this would inspire the district to have a Makerspace room or other option for all students to be able to create.
I look forward to an opportunity to discuss this proposal in greater details.
Rendina, D. (2017, October 09). Defining Makerspaces: What the Research Says. Retrieved from http://renovatedlearning.com/2015/04/02/defining-makerspaces-part-1/