Friday, June 19, 2015

MaKey MaKey...What problem do you want to solve?

This has been a fantastic year of thinking, learning, growth and development amongst many of the teachers and students across the districts that I have been working.  From learning and integrating Google Drive, Google Classroom, Flipped lessons, Coding, and finally STEAM integration.  The most important item in the classroom is that students are learning, growing, stretching and reaching their fullest potential.

As this year has come to a close, one class at W.E. Cottle received a grant from Donors Choose for 5 MaKey MaKey's .  Now the name, MaKey MaKey, may sound funny but a "MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It's a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything in between".  Class 5B at W.E. Cottle had already experienced coding through the Hour of Code and through two projects in CS-First.  These students also had the opportunity to freely create their own projects in Scratch (Tardis Pi  and Google Thank You's) and had the opportunity to present these to Googler's in NYC (Cottle 5B Goes to Google).

Students were required to use their knowledge and understanding of problem solving as well as computational thinking, as well as learning a few lessons in conductivity to create musical instruments in groups of 4.  Each group had a:

  • Recorder -the note taker; responsible for recording the happenings of the day
  • Musician -in charge of creating the music/coding
  • Artist -in charge of creating the design of the project
  • Leader -in charge of keeping the group together and on track; in charge of keeping all the parts together, making sure all the parts were taken out and put away at the beginning and end of class, etc.

The students were required to use their knowledge of:
  • Science -to understand and apply how conductivity works 
  • Technology -to code and synthesize how the MaKey MaKey's  
  • Engineering -to create their instruments in a manner that would make them play
  • Art -to design an instrument out of whatever materials they deemed fit
  • Music -to create music and a musical instrument while making the computer "play" the music how they want
  • Math -to create their design and code their instrument
  • ELA- to record their progress as each day passed and predict what would occur on the next day
This was just one of the many innovative projects that has been completed across the many districts this year! 

So as we come to this year's close and next year's opening, let us reflect and think...

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