Elementary applications for the GF

Hey Folks,

I am a kindergarten teacher and am highly anticipating the arrival of the glowforge. I don’t know how many primary school teachers there are out there but I was wondering about ideas for classroom use. I work with my kids on several computer programs including sketch up and various paint programs so designing lessons around those will be fairly straight forward.

I also had an idea to take care of letter tiles we use on a weekly basis with the kids. As we learn to sound out words we use plastic tiles and they tend to get really dirty and I don’t like to use them when we have a cold going around. So in our lunchroom we have a plethora of cardboard handy so I can just cut out a set for each kid and then send them home. I have tried to do this with paper before, but they didn’t hold up too well over the course of a week.

Any ideas from the community would be fantastic!


Is this for kindergarteners only?

I’m not sure of the learning expectations/lessons plans at that age.

Are the kids learning about primary/secondary colors? @smcgathyfay did some experimenting with toner ink the other day. I wonder what would happen if you mixed powder together from different primary colors - if it would make a secondary color. That would be a neat experiment (could replicate with paint, but hey, why not use a laser?


Yes…mixing the powders probably will give secondary colors…didnt get the chance to play today but have ideas on Wednesday…


That could be a fun and interesting idea. We did a color day but this could be a final project or something that they could take home after we learn how to make secondary colors.


Oooo keep me posted. Color day was a blast so adding something like this to it would be awesome.


Well similar to the letters I could see cutting cardboard numbers and + - = signs for basic counting and arithmetic.
How about puzzles with simple words on them?

Tell us a bit about the kinds of lessons you do in a week and maybe we can be more helpful?


Cutting geometric shapes out of cardboard, just for fitting together like puzzle pieces and playing with, might be fun. Placing notches into the facets of the shapes, so that they can be plugged into each other for building, could also be a good time. (I’m an engineer, which is basically a kindergartner with more expensive toys, and would really dig such a thing)


Cutting interlocking puzzles of sight words would be pretty cool, I think.

I was trying to think of ways for the kids to be involved - experiments, find a problem - let’s figure out a solution. It’s hard to think back on a kindergarten level! Curriculum, lesson plans and/or core expectations would definitely help.

GF has 2 year old we’ve taught to count to 20, knows ABCs, etc so trying to think of the development in 2 years and I can’t wrap my head around it because so much changes so fast!


I love playing with the Glowforge with kids! One of our engineers has a daughter who, at two, is probably the youngest to interact with the Glowforge on a regular basis. On laser thursday she’ll be hanging out, eating applesauce, when someone hits the ‘print’ button. She shouts, “It’s lasew time!” (with that pronounciation) and runs over to watch. She asks for specific things (animals etc) and loves to see them come to life.

Just one safety caution: be sure not to leave it unattended. Perhaps a rolling cart so it can come in, be used, and then be rolled out again.


I’m hoping that is a regular phrase heard around here come… October? :wink:


The forge will live at my house most of the time but I may bring it in. Or I found out that our school has also purchased a GFpro for over in the high school wing of our building so I could probably use that as well.

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Thanks for the response @jkopel! The lessons over the course of the year are pretty diverse because of the level of the development of the students over the course of the year. We do use math manipulatives on a regular basis so adding more/different would be great or maybe a rigid mat for each student to show their addition.

Over the course of the year we have lessons (in reading) on transportation, community, animals, how we build, and traveling around the world. In math we begin with counting to 1-100 (rote), then move on to composing (putting 2 numbers together) numbers to 20 and then decomposing (showing how a number can be made of two other numbers) to 20, we also do sorting, positioning, graphing, shapes and solid figures.

That is the overall rundown of the year without being overly teachery and giving you the entire scope and sequence lol.

Hey @jcberry that is a great idea. One of our standards is to use shapes to build other shapes/solid figures. With this idea we can do both.


I’ve been meaning to share this post I ran across last week. Perhaps useful in this context…


High respect for your efforts. Igniting a new intellect, seeing the light come on.
Those developing minds are the future - making yours, a most important job.
Dang! Wish I had been exposed to lasers in kindergarten!!


I too wish I had been exposed to lasers in kindergarten, but then again I’m sure I would have used it for something entirely inapproperate or burnd the building down :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

@Drewperman I’m so pleased by the effort you are taking to introduce things like the GF to these young people.


“No Mr Bond, I expect you to learn…”


Soooo awesome…wish in my day…well…we had stone axes…they had this type of tech…:thumbsup:


I look forward to watching the kids design something then bring it to life. In kindergarten cutting skills can get in the way of bringing ideas to life. We will still be working on those skills but we will have this as a tool as well.


Something resonates in me with wanting to do a hand turkey for thanksgiving - but utilizing the built in trace function. New take on an old tradition perhaps but think it would be cool for the kids to see their work transformed in such a way.