For our project we want to get the Maker Space at our school up and running. We have an amazing space with so much potential, but it is currently functioning as a storage room. It has not been used since before the pandemic. We want it to be an inviting space where students, teachers, and guests feel excited about learning in new, innovative ways. It will allow for more accessible points of entry to learning and allow students to find success in a variety of ways. Ideally the room would be used as an alternate learning space, a place for a variety of clubs to run during lunchtime, and a homebase for all the treasures of a Maker Space. Materials and resources from the Maker Space would be mobile and be used in anywhere inside or outside the school. It would promote learning through collaboration and problem solving.
Tell us about your team and your school community.
Mount Edward is a middle to low-income demographic. It is a middle-class neighborhood with a mix of traditional, two-parent, single parent, grandparent/kinship, and foster care living arrangements. The school community prides itself on relationship building and providing a variety of learning opportunities for the students who attend this school. Our team brings different experiences, different training and perspectives. We have a common goal: student success and wellbeing. We respect the importance of community involvement and celebrate diversity among our student population.
Tell us about the importance of learning through play for your team and for your students.
Learning through play engages students and makes learning stick. It engages all types of learners in the classrooms and helps make sure that all students’ needs are met. It can also be used for strength spotting – giving kids who normally don’t shine, an opportunity to shine! Often times, play gets lost in the upper elementary grades because there are so many outcomes to cover. Throughout COVID, the classrooms had to be very traditional, and student socialization was minimalized. Learning through play can build this socialization and other transferable life skills, such as perseverance and resilience, because students collaborate and overcome problems & obstacles together. Play-based learning stems creativity, free-flowing ideas, and natural interactions.
Tell us about your interest in joining the Canadian Playful Schools Network.
We see the opportunity to work with other schools and learn from others’ experiences as invaluable. The team wants to draw on the expertise and creativity of other teams, as well as, hear about others’ lessons learned, in order to avoid past mistakes. By collaboratively identifying and focusing on goals together, we can accomplish so much more!