Education has embraced the maker movement and the creation of “makerspaces” in schools. But what is “making”, and how would one ever do that in math?
From my perspective, “making” is just the creation of things. Making can be simple and quick, and making can be long and involved. But let’s just cut to the chase: if you ask your students to grab some simple craft supplies like scissors and string and build something that improves understanding and engagement, you are “making”!
But is math only about making “stuff”? Of course not! Math is about making sense of things, making connections between ideas, making mistakes, making visual representations, making verbal explanations… Let’s face it. We “make” all the time in math, whether consciously or not.
How do you know if you are ready to “make” something in math? If you are willing to deal with a little mess in your classroom, if you can let students get a little loud and excited as they become more engaged, if you don’t mind following where the discovery may lead your students, then you are ready to start “making” in math!