At StoryMakers.us, Inc., we believe learning should be fun…for children and adults! Our interactive provocations and learning engagements invite you to become participants in a StoryMaking inquiry experience. You will enact the learning practices of the Makers’ Movement and identify as a Maker as you become a storyteller, a sculptor, a builder, a collagist, an artist, or a writer.
We can’t wait to work with you and inspire wonder and awe as we investigate everyday materials, tools and attachments and watch you transform them into beautiful and thought-provoking ideas, projects, stories, gifts, or whatever it is your heart desires. You will learn how to inspire the same curiosity and excitement in your children as they imagine, play, make and share their everyday stories.
Come join us as we build a StoryMaking community, making the everyday stories of our lives together, and in the process learn how to develop a maker’s mindset in our children that aligns with the requirements for 21st century learners.
All virtual and face-to-face professional development services are aimed to inform and transform an educator’s practice by:
- Providing hands-on experiences so adult learners understand the foundational research behind StoryMaking and how it incorporates the Maker’s Movement learning practices.
- Using the curriculum resources available to plan and implement StoryMaking units.
- Offering ongoing support to prepare and create maker spaces that inspire early learners to play and make their stories.
All professional development services can be customized to meet the goals, mission and philosophy of your organization. Most of our workshops are full-day experiences, but we also can adjust to your needs and offer 3 or 1 hour versions of the trainings listed.
Contact us below if interested in scheduling a conference call to discuss pricing and to schedule a customized training or keynote presentation for your educators
Workshop: What is StoryMaking?
Leading Children through Making the Stories of their Everyday Lives
This workshop provides an overview of StoryMaking. We will describe the StoryMaking Cycle, show examples of what each of the different parts of the cycle (imagine, play, make, and share) look like and sound like, and demonstrate what the learning practices of making are with student samples. We will also share our documentation processes and documents. After this workshop you will have a good idea about what StoryMaking is and know how to get started.
Workshop: A Makerspace can Be Any Place
This workshop will provide an inquiry experience for teachers to turn ordinary centers/stations (housekeeping, playdough, blocks, etc.) into makerspaces with minimal cost and simple steps. We have a multitude of photographs to demonstrate how to do this and show what it looks like. We will scaffold the teachers as they design and set up makerspaces for the upcoming year for integrating children’s literature, open-ended main materials, question stems, loose parts, tools, and attachments into their current spaces. They will be able to transform traditional spaces to productive and engaging makerspaces. Ideally, each teacher will have access to our text, Makerspaces: Remaking Your Play and STEAM Learning Areas, as we use it as a reference tool in planning and learning.
Workshop: StoryMaking Units of Study
Investigating and Making Books though Tinkering with Materials
We have developed five units of inquiry to expand your implementation of StoryMaking throughout the year. Each unit will focus on a writing genre, social emotional skill and exploring a specific category of loose parts (e.g. nature, paper, plastic, metal, textile). This professional development sessions are designed throughout the year for you to be ready to implement that unit in our curriculum immediately upon returning to your learning space. We will explore the particular material, investigate its form, function, and uses in each makerspace, and model some of the lessons found in each of the phases of inquiry. There will be time for you to live an inquiry experience in each of the makerspaces, and plan for your set up and next steps.
Making Meaning by Reading and Illustrating Our World
Our most recent research involves supporting children in reading their world by understanding the meaning in wordless picture books. In this training, we facilitate educators in learning how to guide their children through an inquiry cycle where they first identify the art element (e.g. color, line, shape, texture) observed in the wordless picture book and describe what meaning the illustrator is communicating. Art makerspaces are designed with loose parts so participants can tinker with this art element concretely during play. We introduce an artist who also uses this element and then provide an art medium (crayons, watercolors, chalk, paint) for participants to then apply their understanding of how they can also use this art medium to communicate their own meaning in their artwork. This innovative training allows educators to welcome back art into their classrooms while also providing deep understanding with developing reading comprehension skills with their children.