Sunday, March 22, 2015
MACUL: Student Showcase
This year I met my goal of bringing a student showcase to MACUL. Except. Well. I didn't bring just one. This year MACUL held their first ever MakerSpace, and I had a group of Thinkers showcasing their skills there, too.
The upside? It was INCREDIBLE watching my students shine on both Thursday and Friday.
The downside? I scheduled myself out of actually going to presentations this year! Between presenting three sessions, and hosting two showcases? Yeah.
Was it worth it?
Absolutely and completely YES!
The Student Showcase on Thursday was amazing! I had five of my third grade Thinkers there, and they were presenting their learning adventures on Minecraft. Here's the thing with this group - because I was presenting right up until 11, and the Student Showcase kicked off at 11, that meant they were on their own for set up. Yes, their families were there, but the kids were really the ones driving the bus. And drive they did!
By the time I made it upstairs, not only did they have the laptops up and running, the table cloth on the table, the trifold they created prominently displayed, AND they organized themselves so that each of them was responsible for one aspect of our Minecraft experiences. That in itself blew me away! But the way they responded to the audience? They. Were. On. Fire!
Then, Friday rolled around, and I had five more Thinkers on board. Four of them were my current third graders, and one was a returning Thinker, currently in sixth grade. The topic for Friday? Scratch and TinkerCad. Two things you don't generally see out of third graders.
Once again, the kids were on fire. They were the only group of students presenting on Friday, and while we were only scheduled for an hour, they presented for nearly two! To see these peanuts explaining ThinkerCad, and how they use it to design things for our 3D printer..... and demonstrating how Scratch is for more than gaming, you can also make movies....
I shed more tears at this year's MACUL than one would think possible. From the moving opening keynote to the two showcases. I felt like a proud parent watching my kiddos shine!
Best part? They've already volunteered to come to Grand Rapids next year for whatever it is we decide to showcase then!