Oak Grove Elementary School has always been a Maker type of school. Our vision is: To provide all students with a positive learning environment which empowers them to become responsible and productive citizens of the world. We focus on the tenets of respect, responsibility, safety, and kindness. Our school and district goals include academic excellence, engagement in the arts, stewardship of the environment, the development of life skills, and celebration of diversity. This vision aligns with the Maker philosophy of all students are Makers and making and hands on learning teaches the 21st century skills of collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. The programs we have in place to support this learning and vision are: garden kitchen, gardening, music and movement, Visual Thinking Strategies, Science learning in our outdoor classroom, The Grove, clay and drawing art classes. In the past 2 years we have added school-wide Maker activities including the cardboard challenge, the five minute film festival, and the hour of code. Our plan for 2016-2017 is to create a makerspace in our before and after care room.
I have been the principal of Oak Grove for eight years. Since I have been principal, we have been embracing the maker movement and philosophy with the inspiration and guidance of one of our teachers and certified Maker Educator, Carinne Paddock. We had 12 teachers participate in the two day Maker class taught by Carinne and her colleague, Patricia Amend-Ehn during August of 2015. We have implemented Maker days school-wide and shared Maker philosophy and activities to encourage teachers to create Maker opportunities for their students. Because we were already a Maker school in a sense, the shift has been an easy and welcome transition for the teachers and students at Oak Grove. Our 4th and 5th grade classes have designated Maker days in which they make goods and share them at Market Day. The entire school has participated in the cardboard challenge and the hour of code. Three of our classes, a first, fourth, and fifth grade won the five minute film festival contest. All teachers have taken part in the Maker activities during staff meetings including the duct tape clothing contest and the pipe cleaner tower competition. Together our staff has examined the Common Core State Standards in Math (practices), ELA/literacy, and the Next Generation Science Standards in relation to Maker activities and learning experiences. We have all read the book Mindset, by Carol Dwek. We believe in taking risks, making mistakes, and learning from our mistakes. We are all Makers and we believe in Maker Education!