Saturday, January 5, 2019

Coding in the Content Areas - Makey Makey Interactive Learning Board

Four yeas ago when I worked for a different district, I stole an idea from Brad Gustafson of creating Mobile Makerspace Carts for his elementary school. Back in 2015 I read THIS POST by Brad which became the foundation for creating STEAM classes at each of our elementary schools and purchasing LEGO WeDo, Spheros, Makey Makeys, and other STEAM tools to integrate into our elementary schools with coaching and support provided by me. (I have quite a few posts about integrating STEAM and the tools here on this blog). 

This year, I found Brad's updated post on his Maker Carts - CLICK HERE and shared it with my new district's leadership and we took our first step in getting the carts started in our 7 elementary schools. The first tool is the Makey Makey. Each school will receive a STEM Pack of Makey Makeys. We chose Makey Makeys to start because we have Chromebooks and we thought this would open doors for teachers to see innovative uses for integration of technology and making into their learning environments.

My first project is pictured above The Singing Christmas Tree. First I found a teacher who was willing to experiment and play with the idea I found on the Makey Makey Facebook group. Mrs. Rennie has a second grade class with a very diverse population. Here is what we did:

  1. Hour 1 - Introduce the Makey Makeys to the students (How To blog post here: CLICK HERE)

  1. Hour 2 - Use Scratch to teach the students how to code sounds then transfer that code to the Christmas songs (Watch this HOW TO video 1 Students Code Sounds - CLICK HERE and watch this HOW TO video 2 Coding Christmas songs - CLICK HERE)

  1. Put the tree up and connect the Makey Makey and Chromebook

The best thing about collaborating with April and Kelly was the ideas they thought of that use this activity as a foundation. One idea is a Growth Mindset bulletin board where students record growth mindset quotes into scratch and then use code to play them when the bulletin board is touched. Each student can read and record their favorite quotes and then open their Scratch code and connect it to the Makey Makey and bulletin board. Another idea is an interactive student of the week board using the Makey Makey.  There are many other projects in all content areas which can incorporate coding, physical computing and reading, listening, and speaking skills. The possibilities are endless and I'll be sharing more here.