for the Tinkering…
I took a pen and paper, to start drawing my best memories from my last trip! not only to use my memory but also my creativity in thinking how it looked like!
I tried skills on drawing and kept thinking about possible applications that can improve the travelers’ journey and also how kids can learn from different countries (history and geography) when they are drawing about a place they visited.
for the Tinkering…
I had been wanting to experiment more with this little bottle cap creature I made last semester. My background is in art, and not at all technology, so just making it was a challenge. I haven’t had a lot of time for anything outside of work responsibilities lately, but, the other week I saw a teacher making a poster with glitter, and it caught my eye and gave me the inspiration to pull out this little robot and try to get it to draw with glitter. I attached legs, made out of toothpicks, thinking the fine tip would make a nice drawing instrument. I gleefully poured out the glitter on my desk, thinking that most other teachers and parents would be shocked at this. Thankfully, I grew up in a home where messes in pursuit of creativity were not discouraged (as long as they were cleaned up after). After experimenting with the wobbling movement of the creature on its new legs, I noticed that The design is it made in the glitter were very hard to see, very fine lines, as it made by a tiny rake. I decided to add a little bit of foam on each of the legs, and it made quite a difference in the drawing, as pictured here. It was fun to experiment this way, especially because it something that is outside of my usual media and skill set, but also because it was related to something I love, which is art and drawing. And the glitter was just fun! If I had more time, I would experiment with different kinds of feet that move the glitter in different ways, making different patterns.
I am thinking about how to do an activity for first graders that involves engineering with paper, and what building tips I could give them. Would be happy to hear from anyone with thoughts on this! I spent a few minutes making a mini-marble machine with mini paper cups and tape. It’s definitely still in first draft stage!
Really amazing!! Thanks for sharing your creative arts!
Looks very nice, indeed! Your creative idea would help the students become creative learners!! However, I think a first grader may not be able to do perfectly. In this case a teacher should help them, encourage them. And gradually, children will be able to create a masterpiece! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
For this weeks activity, I decided to tinker with scratch. I have never heard of this website before doing this course and I find it to be very interesting. Although this is week 5, scratch still feels new and unfamiliar to me. I went under many different tabs and clicked on random things not really knowing what would happen. I had fun exploring the website and seeing all the different things I could make the characters do. I think this website is a great creative outlet for anyone who wants to create and try new things.
My tinkering project was in completing the Favorite Things project on Scratch. I love Spanish and desire to teach it to others so that they can communicate on some level with Spanish speakers around them. I first thought that I would just make a few characters say Spanish words and they viewer could memorize them on the screen.
But then I reflected on how I learned Spanish. I traveled to a Spanish speaking country (Guatemala) and practiced the phrases I had learned in real-time conversations. I thought it would be interesting to reflect that in my Scratch project.
I am definitely more of a planner and dramatizer, so Scratch was incredibly out of my comfort zone at first. However, once I started I could not stop! I had fun creating new characters and using pictures from my travels to create the settings of the story. I figured out how to make the project more interactive through question and answer, and I even added my own voice so that the viewer could hear the correct pronunciation of the words. When I came across issues, such as the question and answer blocks, if and then blocks, and the lagging, I searched for help on other Scratch projects and practiced dragging blocks in new places to see what would happen. I discovered how complex the process could be and it was so exciting! I also learned a simple concept of coding–to keep the coding line simple and small! I was experiencing lagging because my sequence was pages long. So I learned how to problem solve through this process and created a product that I would love to expand upon in the future. While I am not generally a tinkerer, this process helped my discover that side of myself and I would like to explore it further!
This week I tinkered with changing my oil in may car. I thought it was going to be an easy process of just letting the oil drain out but it didn’t work out that way. I needed to change my oil and oil filter. I have changed my oil before so changing it wasn’t the hard part it was getting the old filter out. I explored a lot of ways trying to get it out before I YouTube how to get it out. My oil filter was in a small spot with wire cords over it and it used a certain tool to get it out. Once I went and brought the flexible tool it made the rest of the process very easy. Next time I think I might try rebuilding an transmission on my old vehicle.
Something that is really fun to play and tinker with for me is food! I have recently changed my diet to a plant based diet. This has been a fun challenge to explore many other types of food and experiment making different meals and finding other things that my taste buds love. Today I decided not to be confined to a recipe and experiment with different fresh flavors and ingredients in my kitchen. I call it my mexican rice bowl. It was fun tasting and trying things, at first I played it safe and went with things I knew went together but then my creative juices started flowing. Why not try a homemade salsa? Why not experiment with different toppings? A couple batches didn’t make it but it turned out to be a great homeemade meal with things right in my fridge. I think this is a good idea to tinker with food a little more often to jsut engage in the creative process and have more fun. I feel I learn more and deeper when tinkering with food than following a recipe. I had to think about every little detail from the taste to the smell and it helps me to remember detailed things about my ingredients and findings in my future.
This is a super cool idea, especially with a material so practical that we use everyday! Love your creativity!
This week I chose to use the scratch website as the platform I experienced with. Creating projects with my name and my favorite things came as a challenge for me. Sadly, I have never considered creativity to be a forte of mine. Growing up, in my education, creativity was never watered or nurtured, therefore it never grew to be a strong focus in my life. Figuring out how the website works by itself involved a lot of tinkering and trial-and-error for me, let alone creating the projects. Eventually, I feel I got the basic hang of it, although I had to be quite gritty to stick with it, as it definitely posed as a challenge.
My son wanted pizza for dinner last night - it was his night to cook. He’s 8 years-old, so he always wants pizza. I want him to eat healthier than that, so I have to find ways to make us both happy. We decided to play with it. First I made a crust by pureeing some cauliflower, and mixing it with egg and seasonings. Then I mashed it flat into a pizza pan, brushed it with olive oil, and baked it until it was browned and a sort of crusty. He had no idea what it was made of or he wouldn’t have eaten it. Then we started playing with building the pizza. We had some leftover grilled chicken, so we pulled it with our hands into tiny pieces. We used mild salsa for the base. Topped with the chicken, mushrooms, black olives, zucchini chunks, and cheese. We had so much fun, and were able to talk about what made each item a healthy choice or a moderately healthy choice. We also talked about the textures of different items. It was great exploration for both of us. After we ate it, we talked about what we would do different next time. The crust was tasty, but not the right texture, so next time we think we’ll try almond flour. You never know! We had so much fun trying, that it really wasn’t a big deal if we didn’t have success the first time.
What a neat idea! And with the flour and water paste, the kids can make nearly anything!
For this activity, I chose to tinker with the several pieces from nature pictured below:
Here is my final project:
As I collected materials, I began to see images of what I could potentially create, When I picked up the stick with green pine needles, I saw a little stick man. When I started building him, I realized that the gum balls were too large for eyes, so I looked for more materials that would fit the bark body and found acorns.
I definitely felt playful through the tinkering process and exploratory as I thought of ways to make the materials stick together. A combination of pine needles and tape did the trick! For future reference, I would probably bring other adhesives to help hold the pieces together. Also, working alongside a group of people would help to spark ideas off of one another during the crafting process. Overall, I really enjoyed engaging in imaginative and constructive play!
As I was thinking about what I could tinker with, I thought of the egg cartons I had available. Then I thought, what could I make? After pondering this question for a little while, I decided to tinker with the egg carton and try to make an alligator puppet.
These are the materials I started with:
However, as I started tinkering with the egg carton and putting it all together, I discovered I needed some more materials. The first thing I realized I needed was binder clips to help hold the paper down to the carton so the glue could dry. Then I discovered I needed a way to keep the top and bottom together, so I go some rubber bands and cut them. To secure them to the carton, I tried the craft glue I had been using. When that did not did work, I tried white duct tape. That did not work as well as I wanted it to, so I used a stapler which worked much better, so I stapled the rubber bands on the top and bottom. I also utilized the stapler to secure the eyes on the alligator’s head. For the tongue, I used the craft glue to secure the paper. Finally, to color the eyes and the nostrils, I used a sharpie.
Here is the final product:
This project was so much fun, and as I was working on it, my leftover materials sparked an idea for another puppet, but that is for another day. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be creative and imaginative in my play while practicing my problem-solving skills.
That is so creative! I love how you used objects in nature to be creative. That would be a fun activity to do with children and see what they make!
I used a deck of cards and tried to build a tower. I then used plastic cups to build a high tower as well. I wanted to see what would be more efficient and sustainable. It was a great brainstorming process. The plastic cups were obviously more sustainable and less hectic to build compared to the deck of cards.
I realised that I constantly tried to figure out different ways to make the cards stand. I was metacognitively thinking about the process and how I can make it better. I would like to re-try this activity using different methods.
Growing up my sisters and I loved tinkering with different materials (boxes, twist tie, popsicle sticks, etc.) to make houses and various buildings along with furniture for our dolls. We always had so much fun. First, we started by figuring out what we wanted to build, from there we would discuss what we thought the building or object should look like. Once we finished the planning stage, we got all of our crafting materials together and started to build, occasionally stopping to adjust the design if needed. When the building phase was complete, we would move on to decorating using cloth, markers, and other materials. Remembering this process, I decided to try and make a doll chair out of construction paper.
About a quarter of the way through I realized that the way I had initially planned to build and support the structure was not going to work. As a result, I had to change my design. After a few minutes of contemplation, I realized that I could brace the structure by taking a piece of paper and running it down the middle of the chair starting at the back. Then, similarly, I took four more medium strips of paper and placed them on the outside of the seat and taped them to the base and legs. Through these two adjustments, I was able to make the chair more stable. I then proceeded by adding the back of the chair. When I was done, I tested the durability of the placing a stapler on it. After about two seconds the structure collapsed. I stopped to consider what had just happened and then once again adjusted the design by weaving additional pieces of paper together and attaching them to the bottom. I then placed the stapler on the chair a second time and found that the other pieces of paper had braced the structure just enough to hold the stapler.
I enjoyed the entire process of finding materials and figuring out what to make. I was also surprised to discover how much problem solving and correcting went into what seemed like such a simple activity. Through this activity, I was reminded of what a great teacher play can be.
I love that you chose to use items from nature, it is so creative. I would love to see what this would look like if you were to do it with a class.
I like that you tried the same activity using different materials as each one is slightly different and may vary the results. I also love how you mention how you began to “metacognitively [think] about the process” (problem-solving); it is incredible how we almost automatically start doing this.