Collaboration and Chaos


Another back-to-back activity/recess block survived!  It was crazy in here today!  It felt very chaotic, but at the same time, everyone was behaving (a bit of noisy laughter; a remote control car that “escaped”; but nothing worrisome), and they cleaned up at the end.  I think folks coming through might see the chaos more than anything, but what I see, or at least try to see, is the creativity and learning going on underneath it.

I put a call out last night to faculty for old, busted or outgrown electronics.  The remote-control-car-modification crew has been having so much fun with that project, I figured they could probably get a lot of mileage and learn a lot from taking some things apart and using the components for their own creations.  Today, we received an old laptop!  And promises for an old, non-working iPhone and a busted sewing machine.  We also had a broken old tape/CD player returned to the library, and I turned that over to one of our Makers for tinkering.  She had it cracked open in no time!




The remote control car crew continued their work.  The car is getting faster!  “Significantly faster,” as one of the kids said.


And, lastly, this group of boys started a new project.  They worked mostly today on making the propeller for a fan, using wooden sticks covered in painter’s tape, all connected to a motor/battery combo.  I’m not sure what their plan is (something involving the fan and a pretty involved wooden frame), but one of them kept saying, “a boy can dream big!”  I love that they are dreaming big, and working together.  I love to hear, “Mrs. LaMontagne!  It WORKS!” from across the library.



My main challenge right now, I think, is keeping that chaos at a reasonable level.  We are getting more and more kids using the Makerspace, which is what I want, but I am hoping that organized activities (which will start in a few weeks; I plan to offer one just about every day, and of course kids will be in other activities around the middle school) will space out the energy a bit.

The other challenge is that the same periods that are Maker-heavy are the ones that are book-recommendation heavy, and I don’t want to lose that part of my job. I love talking books with kids!  My reading class visits (which are regular for grades 5 and 6) will help me keep a foot planted in that world of books, but I love the informal conversations around books that pop up during those activity/help periods.

I’m sure it will all balance out, but right this minute, I’m grateful that it’s Friday!  The chaos is a lot of fun, but it’s exhausting for an old introvert like me!



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2 responses to “Collaboration and Chaos

  1. dianalrendina

    Love all the tech take-apart – you’ve got a great program going for your kids. It’s hard to balance the chaos – I’m still struggling with that in our Makerspace.

  2. Pingback: The fun returns | Librarian in the Middle

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