Creating Centers with the Makey Makey Kit

My assignment this week was to explore my makey makey kit and come up with an idea of my own.  Through exploring, I watched a YouTube video where a boy and his dad create a robot costume.  This really helped open my eyes to new ideas.  After watching the video, Thinking Creatively: Teachers as Designers of Technology, Pedagogy & Content, I could not stop thinking about how to integrate this technology into the classroom.  This video shows how important it is to allow our students to be creative and use technology to build on the skills that we teach.  Our future depends on allowing our students to play and create new ideas that are novel, effective and whole (Mishra & Koerler, n.d.).  That is when my idea was derived.

My idea to integrate makey makey into the classroom seemed to fit for a pre-kindergarten or kindergarten classroom.  Although I teach middle and high school students, I could not figure out a way to integrate into my own classes yet.  My creation would consist of five centers in the classroom, each containing a makey makey kit.  The centers five centers I chose are listed in the diagram below.

Image

Center 1: Rhyming-This center would have objects attached to the makey makey kit that would say the name of the object when touched.  For example the six items at the table could be a cat, dog, bat, spoon, log, and a moon.  My idea stemmed from my findings at a thrift shop that had a ceramic cat and a stuffed dog. Students at this center could place the rhyming objects next to each other.  Potential problem: Having to move the objects would cause the wires to cross and tangle, also not sure if items picked could conduct electricity (although I am sure there is probably a way to ensure it).

Center 2: Music-This center I though would be a great start to playing music.  I really liked the piano idea on the makey makey website.  Therefore I would take a simple song like Mary had a Little Lamb (since it has only 4 chords) and connect the makey makey to four colors using colored pencil.  I would then have a play sheet that the students would have to follow but I would change the colors of the notes.  For example:  The red color when pressed would match to the first cord in the song and the yellow to the second and so forth.  Potential problem: This could be a complicated process for that age and might have to be modeled first and the students might just end up playing the music not the actual song, but that is still exploring.

Center 3: Shapes-This center would just have objects that attached to the makey makey that would say their names when touched.  For example: a box would say rectangular prism when touched and a 4×6 picture would say rectangle. Potential problem: Once again the connectivity of the object chosen.

Center 4: Counting-This center would be where the use of four different types of fruit connected would be fun.  For example: If a student touches the banana a recording would count to ten and then say you try.  If you touch the apple the recording would count to ten by two’s to introduce/reinforce skip counting and then say your turn.  An orange touched might skip count by fives.  Potential Problem: If there are multiple students working at this center and they are all touching a fruit they might not be able to hear well or repeat the counting.  However, if students are told that they have to take turns and one person must select a fruit at a time and they all repeat the information it could remove this problem.

Center 5: Animals- This center could be done in a few different ways.  Students could have animal objects connected so that when they touch the animal a recording would say the name of the animal and also the sound it makes.  It could even state what type of food the animal eats or where it lives.  Potential problem: Once again this would have to be a take turn center or else there would be a lot going on at once.

I hope you enjoyed my creation of centers using the makey makey kit.  While trying to think of a creation I tried to think of how I could relate it to a classroom.  I am very proud of what I have thought up.  Please leave comments on how you might change this so that it would work a little better.  Thanks for viewing.

References:

Koehler & Mishra (2008) Howitz, S.  Teaching Creatively: Teachers as Designers of Technology, Content and Pedagogy.  [Video file], Retrieved from Vimeo http://vimeo.com/39539571

Little Tikes Music Sheet [Online Image].  (2013) Retrieved on July 8, 2013 from http://www.littletikes.com/kids-toys/Mary-Had-A-Little-Lamb.html

Scuba Pupp. Robot Halloween Costume [Video File]. (2012) Retrieved on July 8, 2013 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbcO5lvFu88

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