Sometimes a gem of #awesomesauce falls in your lap when you least expect it. If you are not familiar with the Rainbow Loom craze that has swept the nation and has sold over 3.5 million looms worldwide, let me provide a little context. The Rainbow Loom is essentially a loom that allows you to weave bracelets, necklaces, and accessories from multi-colored rubber bands… with very few directions provided.
In fact, all of our creations… (Yes, my son has also fallen prey to the craze and sucked me in) … have been developed by watching YouTube videos.
“Okay, I get it, TechChef…Rainbow Loom calls upon online learning… but really? Why pray tell, are we focusing an entire blog post on a craft item…?”
Rainbow Loom Math-Ness: Up until this morning, I saw this item as just that… a creative craft item. But we all know a tool is only as innovative as the purpose and intent we assign to it. One student took this tool and gave it a creative educational spin and I simply couldn’t help but share:
Rainbow Loom Educational Value: Being ultimately very intrigued and caught off guard by this delightfully educational twist, I decided to google “Rainbow Loom Math” and discovered multiple articles (listed below) citing educational benefits from this trend ranging from patterning and sequencing to hand-writing, self-learning, persistence, and even frustration tolerance:
- The Rainbow Loom 5 Reasons Kids Need it and Parents Love it
- Top 5 Reasons Why Rainbow Loom is Great for Kids
- 6 Things Your Kids May be Learning From Rainbow Looms
- Why Rainbow Loom Can Be Good For Kids’ Development
- Learning and Looming: Six Lessons Your Child Can Learn While Creating Loom Bracelets
Rainbow Loom TRANSFORMED: Truly, the Rainbow Loom is merely a tool… and the TechChef would not leave a post without a sound pedagogical connection. So let me guide you down the cookie crumb trail of transformational learning. After finding myself deep in the haze of the google bermuda triangle, I discovered this article, “And Just How Does Rainbow Loom Fit Into Library and School?”. Moments later… something snapped and the SAMR Rainbow Loom Model was born (in both Thinglink and Quizlet deck options):
This interactive graphic and linked Quizlet is in no way meant to be a definitive SAMR guide but more a way to provide relatable talking points for transforming a concrete tool into a redefined learning experience. I will tell you that I struggle with clearly delineating the SAMR levels – while the tasks move up the SAMR ladder, there is definitely some overlapping between levels…hmm… there may even be a not-so-subtle metaphor woven in… 😉
If you are interested in more of these concrete examples and tasks, visit the S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR interactive infographic.
Additional Educational Integration Ideas:
- Children From All Over the World Are “Banding Together” with Rainbow Loom To Bring Happiness to Others in India
- Measurement Unit: Rainbow Loom Day
- Fibonacci Rainbow Loom Bracelets
- Rainbow Loom Patterns
- Rainbow Loom Shapes
FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!
TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.