This morning, I head off to the Western Massachusetts Writing Project Summer Institute to lead a session for Hack Your Notebook Day, using paper circuitry to show the educators a bit about the move to reclaim our notebooks as a space for thinking, exploring and tinkering. Hack Your Notebook Day is a national event, and you can even watch some live webinars during the day as various groups work on hacking notebooks, via Educator Innovator and NexMap. (Check out these resources)
Our WMWP site is participating, as we purchased an entire paper circuitry kit so that we can dive right into the topic. I’m a little nervous, because although I have done this activity with my students (see my post over at Middleweb), I have not yet had the chance to meet the Summer Institute folks, nor have I had a chance to see the entire package of materials in front of me.
(Scenes from my classroom)
But here is my plan for the day of hacking notebooks with teachers:
- Start off with a blind question: draw a simple and parallel circuit on a notecard. We’re activating knowledge here about circuit design.
- Give an overview of Hack Your Notebook Day, and how it fits into the Educator Innovator Summer to Make, Play and Connect;
- Explain why paper circuitry is something to be considered, showing connections to writing and science, and critical thinking, and design, and more – all of which are now part of our state standards, and which will connect even more when the Next Gen Science Standards get adopted by our state in the next year or so;
- Show some examples — mine and my students — and walk through the process ideas of creating a circuit layer underneath some writing, in order to light up elements of the writing (with an eye towards the possibility of more complex circuitry later on);
- Writing assignment: write a poem or short piece of prose with the theme of “light” and then illustrate the writing, leaving spaces where you want to the lights to shine through;
- Step by Step instructions on how to create the paper circuit (this will take the longest and is the trickiest);
- Showcase what has been created;
- Reflect: What have you learned? What are applications for the classroom?
I’ll be doing some sharing of how things went.
I want to point out two more resources, these from Chad, that connect with what we will be doing. These are shared over at Mozilla Webmaker:
Peace (in the circuit flow),