Writing Publicly

Now all 4-parts of my article about my Maker experience at my school has been posted on the National Association for the Teaching of the Young Child’s website.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

I guess my writing is always public when I add to my own blog. However, I humbly know that just a handful of people know of my blog and a handful read it and/or leave a comment.

I loved having the opportunity to be a “guest blogger” on the NAEYC website. It feels like a different kind of public writing.

I learned a few things by sharing my writing on another’s website:

  1. I enjoyed being able to show my students my NAME as a published blogger. Once I clicked on the website for NAEYC, I could show them “By: Sally Donnelly” under the blog title and also the bio-line stating “Sally Donnelly is a third-grade teacher at Discovery Elementary School, in Arlington, Virginia” It is in print, right there, on someone else’s blog!
  2. I learned from an email I received after Part 1 was posted that using the name “Maker Faire” breaks trademark rules. The email kindly asked that our school register with Maker Faire or stop using this trademarked name. We chose to stop using their trademark and instead, are having a student contest to name the 2017 June event at our school. And NAEYC agreed to change the times I said “Maker Faire” in the article to “Maker Fest”. A part of me felt annoyed by this extra hassle. A bigger part of me respected the importance of words and a group who worked to use a phrase for a movement they cared about. They cared so much that they own the trademark. Another part of me realized how much about public writing I don’t know, like trademarks.
  3. I realized that my school’s Maker Group have a specific definition for a Maker event. My broadly described definition stated in my article helped them to more clearly define what their expectations are for our school’s 2017 Maker event. They want it to be a messy process-based, problem-solving, technology project. A part of me still thinks MAKER can be seen more broadly. I think it could include a projects like the ones I describe in the article, projects related to a teacher’s own passion with kids solving a problem. With my definition, my colleague’s use of the technology of photography to make a video would qualify, as would my pillow project, using a sewing machine and old fabric. Instead, I’ve been told that the 2017 Maker team wants me to start with a problem and let students use recycled materials and technologies to solve that problem and make. So at our 2017 planning meeting, my 3rd grade team picked the project: The problem – there is an emergency and you need to make a shelter. Be sure to check back after June 12th to read about this and see photos of the results.I also plan to use my passion of reading to have my students create e-books written at an emergent reader level for our Kindergarteners to read. I’m still going to do this project. I just won’t call it a Maker Fest project.

5 thoughts on “Writing Publicly

  1. mgminer says:

    So interesting about the Maker Faire trademark. Who knew? I’m with you on the broader definition of “maker.” Why limit the possibilities of preserving time-honored creative arts? Do we only value the techie part? I bet those have been some interesting conversations!


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