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The Joy of Watching a Lesson Come Alive

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Number one on my love list of teaching is spending time with my fantastic students. High on my list is also my love of designing and creating learning activities for my students. I get such joy in seeing my designs come to life in the hands of my learners. Recently, I designed a pinball machine using a pizza box, Strawbees, Makedo screws, and an optional micro:bit scoreboard. The full directions can be found at:

I got to test my new learning activity with my summer campers during my Toy Making camp. As is usual, when kids get to jump in and try the activity out for themselves, they far exceeded my vision and expectations for it.

As I observed the campers making the pinball machine, I found such joy in witnessing:

  • 100% engagement. All students were actively and joyfully engaged. It reinforced my belief that there is a human need to create. I wrote about this in The Magic of Making: The Human Need to Create.
  • Their creativity. I was in awe about the directions they took with this; how much they added their selves to the base project.
  • Their ability to create the project without direct instruction. About half of them were able to just fly with it without my assistance; by just studying my prototype.
  • Their eyes light up when their projects worked as they envisioned them.
  • Their interest in their peers’ projects.
  • How valuable experiential learning is. I wrote about this in The Imperative of Experiential and Hands On Learning:

Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

July 3, 2022 at 11:27 pm

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