Author: Christa Flores

Hillbrook School, United States - I am the coordinator of the iLab for Making, a classroom designed for analog and digital making, at the Hillbrook School in Los Gatos, California. I teach 5th graders Problem based Science in the iLab with an emphasis on material science, design, engineering and working in collaborative teams. I also teach a year long product design course to 6th graders using the design thinking process and rapid prototyping techniques made available through digital fabrication tools such as a laser cutter and 3-D printer.

Making Middle School Science

In 2011, I became the 5th and 6th grade science teacher at the Hillbrook School. That same year the school undertook an audit of the science program for areas of strength, as well as areas for improvement. Simultaneously, the Next Generation Science Standards, emphasizing problem solving and engineering, had just been released, and that spring… Read more »

Constructionism through Design Thinking Projects

Design Thinking as Constructionist Learning, Lessons from a Spring Hard Problem In the second semester of Problem based Science, my 5th graders are introduced to their “Spring hard problem.” The spring hard problem marks the end of our patterns unit and the beginning of our study of structures and systems through the lens of making… Read more »

Making and the Reggio Emilia Approach: Making the Connection

The following post was written by Jamie Bartels in responce to attending the Invent to Learn: Reggio Emilia workshop offered by Gary Stager and Sylvia Martinez at the Marymount School in New York City on February 12, 2015. He attended both as a student of early education and as newly appointed Maker Space coordinator for… Read more »

The Role & Rigor of Self-Assessment in MakerEd (Part 3) Examples

The Role and Rigor of Self-Assessment in MakerEd: Examples by Christa Flores and Carolina Rodriguez In part 2 of this blog we discussed the accuracy and payoff of using alternative assessments in a MakerEd context. In this blog we will get down to business looking at how to use self-assessment in real world project context…. Read more »

The Role and Rigor of Self-Assessment in MakerEd (Part 2)

The Role and Rigor of Self-Assessment in MakerEd (Part 2) by Christa Flores   In part one of this blog, we discussed what self-assessment is, and the relevance of using alternative assessments in your MakerEd program or school wishing to usher in more student choice into the curriculum. In this blog, we will do a… Read more »

The Role and Rigor of Self-Assessment in MakerEd

What is Self-Assessment? The purpose of teacher driven assessment is to measure whether a student is ready to move on to the next topic in a given curriculum. Often this translates to the next chapter of a text book. If the student passes the teacher’s assessment, the next step in her education is given to… Read more »

An Argument for STEAM as the Trojan Horse for ”Making”

“…in the real story of the Trojan horse, it wasn’t the horse that was effective, it was the soldiers inside the horse. And the technology is only going to be effective in changing education if you put an army inside it which is determined to make that change once it gets through the barrier.”  … Read more »

The Role of Co-Teachers in a Maker Classroom

Making can be a highly differentiated learning process for students. At times, the adult in the room may feel pulled in 10-20 different directions, if instruction needs to be one-on-one. Rather than viewing the individual learning needs and passions of my students as too daunting of a task to undertake in my curriculum, or an… Read more »