I was so excited to receive my Makey Makey kit! All I knew about Makey Makey was that it was a cool Makers kit that could turn fruit into an instrument; I sure had a lot to learn. How could my students use Makey Makey in the classroom? What skills could they learn? Before getting started, I wanted to see how other teachers were using Makey Makey in their classrooms. Since I am on Spring Break this week, I spent yesterday morning at Starbucks, doing my initial research. I used Evernote to help me organize my findings. What I like about Evernote is that it is accessible on my phone, iPad, and laptop.
Today, I decided it was time to get started. But what did I have in my house that I could repurpose? Well, being as I am getting married in June, I have an entire closet full of trinkets, craft materials, jars, etc. While thrifting around in my closet, I came across the Pie Bar supplies:
::lightbulb moment:: FRACTIONS! My students are learning about fractions. I had my idea.
When I was learning how to use Makey Makey, tutorials were so helpful. I especially appreciated tutorials that included videos, multimedia, photos, etc. I learn by seeing how things work and tinkering around. If that’s how you learn, then I hope after you read this blog you can replicate this in your own classroom!
How to Create Interactive Makey Makey Story Problems
1.) Write a story problem.
I created a story problem about fractions in PowerPoint.
2.) Solve the story problem.
If you haven’t solved the fraction problem yet, more slices of blueberry pie were eaten.
3.) Plug in the Makey Makey kit to your computer.
There is no installation necessary – woohoo!
4.) Attach the alligator clips to whatever conductive sources you’ll be using for your “answers”.
I turned my little pie signs into answer signs by taping foil to the backs of the signs.I attached the alligator clips to the signs (the yellow alligator clip is attached to the “up” arrow on the Makey Makey board and the foil back of the strawberry sign, and the green alligator clip is attached to the word “space” on the Makey Makey board and the foil back of the blueberry sign). Next, I wanted to find a way for the blueberry sign to respond positively to the blueberry sign and negatively to the strawberry sign. This is where Scratch comes in.
5.) Use Scratch to program responses for the correct and incorrect answer.
I programmed Scratch to respond to the Makey Makey, which is a lot simpler than it sounds. I created a screencast to show you how.
6.) Quiz someone!
Ta-Da! Now, let’s put that all together.
I can’t wait to have my students create their own Makey Makey fraction story problems!
This would be a great activity to do with my students. If I had 12 Makey Makey kits, I would have the students work in pairs to construct their own interactive Makey Makey story problems. With only one kit, I would teach the students in small groups, as a rotation.
Learning how these two technologies work well together will add value to my teaching and my students’ learning. This is one example of how technology is a tool we can integrate into what we’re doing to enhance our work and doesn’t need to stand alone. Instead of finding ways to “use” technology as a separate entity (just Scratch), students and teachers should be thinking critically about how the advance of a technology, like Makey Makey and Scratch, can be combined to them do what they couldn’t do before.