3 MakerSpace Organization Tips and Tricks
A makerspace is a great tool for igniting student imagination and curiosity. While in the makerspace students are encouraged to create, tinker, explore, discover, and invent using a variety of tools and materials. Unfortunately, if those tools are not well organized, and students are not properly taught how to use them, the result can be chaos.
The following are three organization tips and tricks for keeping your makerspace organized so that your students can continue creating and you can keep your sanity.
1. Set Students Up For Success From the Start
Just like with any new routine, procedure, or classroom material that you introduce to your students there needs to be some training provided by the teacher. Spend some time with your students setting up routines and expectations before just letting them "jump in." Be sure to discuss things like how to treat the supplies, how much of the supplies they are allowed to use, and what should happen if the procedures aren't followed.
2. Label, Label, Label!
My husband may have made fun of me as I meticulously cut out and laminated each of my STEM Supply Labels and taped them to each bin. While the teacher in me does love the organization, I also know that students need that organization as well.
There are many purposes to having your makerspace materials labeled. For example students aren't wasting time searching for supplies since the labels tell them exactly where to look. Also, if every material has a specific labeled place there is a better chance that when students are finished with a material that it will end up back in the assigned spot.
3. Use Dot Stickers
Within your makerspace there are materials that students can use freely and keep, materials students can use but need to put back when they are done, and materials that can only be used with adult supervision. To differentiate between these materials one organizational hack is to use dot stickers.
For example your might put green dot stickers on materials such as pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks to designate that students can use these materials as needed and keep them. On the other hand you might put yellow dot stickers on materials such as hole punches and staplers to show that students can use these materials, but they need to return them. A red dot might be placed on materials such as glue gun or 3D printer that require adult supervision for safety or due to the high cost of the item.
Use these three organizational tips and tricks to allow for more making time for students and less teacher stress.
To help set you up for success with your makerspace we would like to invite you to our FREE Makerspace e-mail course to receive tips and free resources to get you started.
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Interested in Learning More About MakerSpaces?
Check out our post Making the Most of Your MakerSpace!
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