Maker Experiment #1

Course: Math

Grade Level: 6th

Topic: Review of Basic Math Facts (+, -, x, ÷)

 

In order to integrate my makey makey into my classroom, I had to imagine how I could see this device enhancing learning for my students.  At first, I experienced difficulty in relating this to the topics and objectives taught in class.  Then ideas began coming to me.

My last blog post focused on centers for a kindergarten classroom because I had trouble relating it to my own class.  I then came up with the idea of making game centers in my classroom with the makey makey.  There are always fast facts and mental math concepts that I want my students to brush up on and master so that they do not struggle with new concepts that contain these elements.  Therefore, I have created this lesson to reinforce their mental math skills and promote scaffolding in the future.

To introduce the makey makey the first part of the lesson would contain the math basketball game.  Here two players can compete where a mouse and a left click button would be necessary.  I would create the mouse with a toy mouse of some sort connected to the makey makey and for the left click, a basketball would signal when the shot would be released from the players hands.

After demonstrating how this works and allowing the students to try, I would use a constructivism approach next.  The constructivism approach means to allow students to build on previous knowledge developed from past experiences.  Meaning, my sixth grade students come to me and they are supposed to be excellent at adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.  Unfortunately, students always need to reinforce this skill, specially following summer break.  To enhance their previous skills, I would have my students get into groups of three or four and let them know that they can either work together or take turns with the task.  Next, I will have them go to mangahigh.com.  A recent study showed that the work environment requires graduates to have skills to work collaboratively over distance and time (Kohut & Yon, 2013) .  I would then have them find a game to play from that website and also create a game pad using the makey makey.  This would allow for them to practice basic mental math skills.

Each game played on mangahigh requires the use of the numbers 1-9 and an enter key much like the figure below.  Therefore, I would have them create a game board that they can step on much like the dance games that are popular now.  For connectivity to work, students would have to shade in the numbers with their pencil and connect each number to the makey makey as well as create an enter key with an object of their choice.  Once it is connected correctly students may begin reviewing the concepts by playing the games all while using kinesthetic learning to step on the corresponding number answers.  Research shows that students reacted positively to the exercise and showed an improvement on their scores at both assessment periods (Melander & Wortmann, 2013).  

Through this review students can relearn the math facts that they forgot as well as have fun playing.   Feel free to let me know what you think of this review activity.

 

References:

Constructivism. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructivism_(learning_theory)
 

Kohut, G. F. & Yon, M. G. (2013). Student Perceptions of Cognitive and Social Learning in Global Virtual Teams: A Pilot Study. The Journal of Effective Teaching13(1), 19-32.

Melander, L. A., & Wortmann, S. L. (2011). Activating Theory in the Introductory Classroom: Erving Goffman Visits Wisteria Lane. The Journal of Effective Teaching11(2), 75-86.

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One thought on “Maker Experiment #1

  1. The idea of makeymakey game centers is the future. Your link to the basketball game was cool but left me curious what you meant by using a toy mouse for the controls. Utilizing gaming into our curriculums and providing knowledge based on interesting triggers and innovative techniques is crucial to effective motivation in our classrooms. I would like to see your core idea of simple makeymakey game centers implemented into schools. A room specifically utilized for creating things that would be filled with all kinds of objects and devices that could stimulate the maker culture and creations would be amazing. The constructivist learning theory is one that i tend to follow as well. I enjoyed your post.

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