This year, my schedule allows for me to see students at two distinct times over a 6 day cycle. Once for a complete 45 minute period for their library special, during which I run circulation and teach research skills, and once for a 20 minute half-period, during which I’ve started a low-tech makerspace.
For the months of September and October I gave the children building materials and let them go to town. By the time November rolled around, they were ready to take on something a bit more challenging, and I was ready for a bit more structure. Enter….drum roll please…. makerspace challenges!
I also offered a prize to the contenders: they could get their names up on my leaderboard! I used a canva business card template to make a simple name card, and print out the winners each day to add to our bulletin board in the hall. There are two titles available: Challenge Champ, which means they completed the challenge, and Undefeated, which means they tried over and over, and didn’t give up. I conceived of this as a consolation prize, but it has become a rare and much sought after title!
There are 5 challenges this month, and each class got about 3 tries at them. Any one challenge is designed to take 10-20 minutes of a student’s time, and be difficult enough that they may not complete it in the first attempt. I used the same challenges for grades 3-6. At first I played with the idea of tweaking the challenges to be less difficult for the younger grades, but on the whole they were up for the challenge. Without further ado, my challenges!
P.S. A note on challenge #4: This was the toughest to crack, almost no one succeeded. The shape looks like this. Can you do it?