Using some basic design thinking, I led each class through how we were going to create our own Maker Mat to create our pixel art. I didn't follow a specific process, but this is how I led the design part of the activity. Our theme for our Maker Mat was "Summer."
- Students worked with their table groups. As a small group (no more than four students), they nominated one person to be the recorder for the group.
- Then for three minutes (I set a timer), they brainstormed as many things that they could think of that made them think of summer. The recorder wrote down as many things as the group came up with and any of his/her own ideas.
- I set the timer again, this time for one minute. In this one minute, they had to, as a group, narrow down their large list to their top two favorite ideas.
- I then had each group share their top two ideas, which I recorded on the board in a list. If a group shared an idea that was repeated by another group, I put a check mark next to the name for each time it was repeated.
- I drew a blank 3x3 board on the wall and put a "FREE SPACE" in the middle. We then went down each item on our list and students voted on if they liked it or not. We wrote the total number of "yes" votes next to the item name.
- We then eliminated the two items with the least number of votes and filled in the Maker Mat on the board with the remaining items.
Students could complete any of the items on the Maker Mat on the board in any order they chose. As usual with task cards or when using a Maker Mat, the groups had to show the classroom teacher or I their creation before moving on to the next item.