Final Blog: Assessment

Over the course of this semester, my understanding of creativity has broadened immensely. I have been given the opportunity to explore the world of making and creating. With that, I’ve learned about what today’s learners need and ways to create lessons that allow for greater success in all students and am finishing up this whirlwind semester by researching ways to assess creativity.

As education shifts from “traditional education” to “maker education”, one of the burning questions many educators have is “how do we assess creativity”? This is a very valid question. It’s important to note that this transition to a more creative and collaborative environment continues to use familiar forms of assessments, such as rubrics. It was said, “students are coming to believe that rubrics hamper their creativity rather than encouraging it. That can only come from a failure on the part of teachers to use the right criteria and multiple & varied exemplars.” (Wiggins, 2012). As educators we need to reassure students that rubrics, goals, and clear expectations do not hinder their creativity, but rather, give each assignment a purpose from which students can begin their creating process.

For this reason, I believe that a rubric for creativity, as described by Wiggins, still provides meaning and guidance for student learning, but should be done with specific focuses. An example of an exemplary example (for full credit) of a creative rubric included the following description: “The work is unusually creative. The ideas/materials/methods used are novel, striking, and highly effective. Important ideas/feelings are illuminated or highlighted in sophisticated ways. The creation shows great imagination, insight, style, and daring. The work has an elegant power that derives from clarity about aims and control over intended effects. The creator takes risks in form, style, and/or content”

  • The problem has been imaginatively re-framed to enable a compelling and powerful solution
  • Methods/approaches/techniques are used to great effect, without overkill
  • “less is more” here: there is an elegant simplicity of emphasis and coherence
  • Rules or conventions may have been broken to create a powerful new statement.
  • Common materials/ideas have been combined in revealing and clever ways
  • The audience is highly responsive to (perhaps disturbed by) the work
  • The work is vivid through careful attention to telling details and deft engaging touches
  • There is an exquisite blend of the explicit and implicit (Wiggins, 2012)

Before sharing out a rubric with my students, I would first emphasize the importance of students being able to identify the goal, their role, the audience, setting, performance particulars, and the standards of criteria for the assignment. I would also take these ideas and turn them into talking points with students

By having open discussions about these topics periodically during the creative process, students will already have an appropriate mentality for assessment. This type of “gradual feedback” is something that James Paul Gee referenced in Grading with Games. “All video games are is problem solving. Video games are just an assessment. All you do is get assessed all the time. If you don’t pass you fail, the game tells you and you try again. Games are essentially forms of assessment. This something that’s the most painful, ludicrous, part of schooling. […] One thing games don’t really do is separate learning and assessments. They don’t say ‘learn and then test’. They’re giving you feedback all the time about the learning curve that you’re on” (Gee, 2010).

Below is a sample of a rubric for an insect unit project. Students are to create a 3D insect using whatever types of household items they may have. This promotes creativity, critical thinking, and incorporates factual knowledge from research and previous lessons.

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The design of these assessments is justified by the following connections to learning theories and to the ideas presented by Wiggins, Isselhardt and Gee because it includes clarity about the goal of a task. Wiggins stated that “when the student has clarity about the Goal of the task, their Role, the specific Audience, the specific Setting, the Performance particulars, and the Standards and criteria against which they will be judged, they can be far more effective – and creative! – than without such information” (Wiggins, 2012).

The benefit of including this type of creative process gives students the chance to think creatively, something that Project Based Learning (PBL) emphasizes. In a case study it was said that, “despite applications of the best reform initiatives, too many of our students still did not achieve to their potential; that authentic learning (which we believe so critical to urban student success) was largely missing; and that the fundamental issue of how to teach critical thinking was rarely addressed as an integrated element of instruction” (Isslehardt, 2013). To close this gap, it would be beneficial for teachers to utilize the PBL approach to instruction so all students see success in learning.

References

“Downloads | How To Measure Anything.” How To Measure Anything Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 June 2016.

Gee, J. P. (2010) James Paul Gee on Grading with Games. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/JU3pwCD-ey0.

Isslehardt, E. (2013, February 11). Creating Schoolwide PBL Aligned to Common Core [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/PBL-aligned-to-common-core-eric-isslehardt

Wiggins, G. (2012). On assessing for creativity: Yes you can and yes you should. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from https://grantwiggins.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/on-assessing-for-creativity-yes-you-can-and-yes-you-should/.

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Course Reflection

This course has been quite the learning experience for me. It took me outside of my comfort zone and gave me some great perspective about teaching today’s learners. Much of the content of this course was new and exciting for me. To showcase what I believe  I’ll take with me once this course is over, I decided to create an infographic – a new website I’m pleased to have been introduced to by this course.  A few of the main themes and module focuses have been included, as well as research-based ideas that are associated with each theme.

While this hardly covers the wealth of information we’ve learned about this semester, I tried to include what I believe were my biggest take-aways and things I could easily share out to fellow educators.

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Thanks for a great semester!

Infographic for Maker Education

The Maker Movement has been a learning experience for me during this semester. I have found myself learning more each week in this world of making that gets me outside of my comfort zone. The different focuses each week in this course have enlightened me about this way of teaching and “operating” a classroom. In maker education, students have the opportunity to collaborate, think and share, personalize their learning, innovate, be modern-day “tinkers” and builders.

The Maker Movement has a bit of a learning curve in that learning is student-centered, versus teacher-centered.  Maker Education promotes a variety of habits that are ideal to instill in young learners that would be carried on throughout their educational lives. One trait of the maker movement which I believe holds much significance is: it’s okay to fail. For this reason, I developed an infographic for teachers to follow as “The Road to Maker Education”.

new-piktochart (1)

References:

Learning in the Making: A Comparative Case Study of Three Makerspaces. Sheridan, Kimberly M;Halverson, Erica Rosenfeld;Litts, Breanne K;Brahms, Lisa;Jacobs-Priebe, Lyne. Harvard Educational Review; Winter 2014; 84, 4; ProQuest Research Library
pg. 505

The Maker Movement in Education. Halverson, Erica Rosenfeld;Sheridan, Kimberly M
Harvard Educational Review; Winter 2014; 84, 4; ProQuest pg. 495

 

Learning Space Design

My Learning Space Now

I work in a building that includes kindergarten through grade five. The K-2 classrooms include desks put into groups to create “tables” of students. Part of the struggle for my classroom is providing “comfort” and sensory outlets for young learners. Many students at age six and seven have a greater tendency for moving about, fidgeting, and needing frequent breaks in work time to maintain focus. This is where this week’s module to re-design a classroom by imagining configurations that would reflect experience design and best promote student-centered learning.

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In 79 ways to Transform learning, one of the task cards indicated to “make peace with fidgeting” (OWP/P Architects, 2010). Students need to be able to learn in a way that is best-fit for them. As in personalized learning, students need to be provided with the necessities in order for them to become successful in daily lessons. From this theory, I have redesigned my classroom to accommodate learners to provide students with options to address a diverse set of learners to promote creativity, collaboration, and discovery.

My Learning Space Vision

 

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I created a classroom that includes “modified” versions of what I already have in my room today. First are circular student tables. I feel these tables create a collaborative environment for students. The seats with these tables include cushions – a subtle addition, though may be just enough “wiggle” for students that need to move while they work. Additionally, I’ve included two exercise balls in the room to act as chairs. I’ve had these in the past and found them to be beneficial in that they don’t cause distractions to others nor to they become a distraction to the students using them.

I decided to include portable computer desks where students may be free to move throughout the classroom to work on the computer. It was said by The Third Teacher that we need to, “Look at your learning space with 21st-century eyes: does it work for what we know about learning today, or just for what we knew about learning in the past?” (The Third Teacher, 2010). Allowing students to work in a space they choose may promote creativity and encourage students to work on task in a way that’s most suitable for them.

I decided to have a bulletin board dedicated to student work only. The Third Teacher said that, “posting student work, both current and past, up on the walls tracks progress in a visible way “ (The Third Teacher, 2010). This is something teachers and students tend to do when reflecting at the end of a unit or the end of the year, however, this constant reminder of progress would be motivating for students.

Additionally, I recognize the importance of creating a classroom climate where students feel motivated and engaged, but also one where students feel at home and comfortable. First grade students have come from kindergarten where they had naptime, centers consisted of kitchen and building blocks, they could play dolls and use Lego’s. Students in first grade have somewhat of a “dose of reality” when they arrive to my classroom in the fall. For this reason, I want to build a nest as described in The Third Teacher, “children need comfort just as much at school as they do at home. Give them a soft, quiet, and cozy area to play in by themselves or with a few friends” (The Third Teacher, 2010). For this reason, I’ve added a colorful carpet and beanbag chairs for students to cozy up to during the day.

Implementing my Vision

Items needed to implement my vision can be found on Amazon in a varity of options. A list of my running fees are below:

  • $20 exercise ball chairs (need 2) or bumpy seats $12
  • $35 portable computer desks (need 3)
  • $25 bean bags (need 2)
  • $9 rug
    • Total: $204

This design could be implemented in stages. The adaptation to my classroom that I believe would be most beneficial would be the exercise balls or bumpy seats to be placed at tables. This is something that I’ve already had in my classroom and feel would be a great way for students to “fidget” without becoming distracting to their neighbor or distracting themselves form their learning.

This assignment has gotten me to think about what students need today. “If we truly believe that creativity is an essential ingredient in a child’s development, then we need to shift completely away from the “cells and bells” model of school design. So the other fundamental question we should be asking is: Does this learning environment support a child’s natural instinct to learn through creation and discovery? (Michael Waldin, BMD and Trung Le, OWP/P).

References

Bean Bag Chairs Kids’ Chairs & Seating – Walmart.com. (n.d.). Retrieved June 15, 2016, from http://www.walmart.com/browse/home/kids-chairs-seating/bean-bag-chairs/4044_1154295_1155958_1156032/dHlwZTpCZWFuIEJhZyBDaGFpcnMie
Isokinetics Inc. Brand Exercise Disc / Balance Cushion – 14″ Diameter – For Exercise and Therapy – Many Color Choices. (n.d.). Retrieved June 15, 2016, from https://www.amazon.com/Isokinetics-Brand-Exercise-Balance-Cushion/dp/B000WQ4Z94/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8

Mainstays Kids Boy Block Nylon Accent Rug, 30″ x 46″ – Walmart.com. (n.d.). Retrieved June 15, 2016, from http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-Kids-Boy-Block-Nylon-Accent-Rug-30-x-46/45418663

OWP/P Architects, VS Furniture, & Bruce Mau Design. (2010). The third teacher: 79 ways you can use design to transform teaching & learning. Retrieved from http://thethirdteacherplus.com/s/Ch2-TTT-for-Web-0y6k.pdf

The Third Teacher. (2010). TTT Ideas Flash Cards. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/v25rRA

Maker Lesson Plan

Materials 

Students will need:

  • A computer with the Scratch computer coding
  • A Makey Makey Kit
  • My prototyped game controller
  • “time cards” including the written time (3:00, or 3 o’clock)
  • Computer for Stop the Clock
  • iPads for Telling Time app by Avocado learning

Common Core Standard: 

CCSS.Math.Content.1.MD.B.3 Tell and write time in hours and half-hours using analog and digital clocks. For this particular lesson, students will be focusing only on telling time to the hour.

Driving questions:

  • How do we read an analog clock to the hour?
  • How can students build upon their knowledge of telling time through other mediums and relate to their learning?

Lesson Time: This is designed as a three day lesson. Day one would take about 45 minutes to complete, while days two and three would run about 60 minutes each.

Before the Lesson: Students will have listened to the story, The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle. In this story, students are introduced to telling time to the hour through a very busy spider who describes many different events happening to her throughout her day.

Lesson Sequence:

Day 1:

  1. Introduce the parts of an analog clock with an anchor chart to be completed with students.
  2. Students will begin by practicing identifying the parts of an analog clock. Students should use the terminology including “clock face”, “hour hand” and “minute hand”.
  3. Once this has been established, students will receive their own clock manipulative to practice making the correct time as I call out a time to show.
  4. Students will practice this as a whole-class. As I describe a scenario, “school starts at 8:00am. Show me 8:00 on your clock.”
  5. As I describe each school scenario, I’ll add a sticky note to our daily schedule on the board so students have examples to follow for during buddy work time.
  6. Then students will be able to work with a buddy. Partnerships will echo this same process. One student will say “lunch starts at 11:00. Show me 11:00.”
  7. Each partnership will share out three times to have their buddy make. This collaborative time will be monitored to ensure accurate time is represented as well as correct vocabulary.
  8. Collect clock manipulatives will be collected and students will be introduced to the Makey Makey game controller.
  9. Students will recognize the left, right, up, and down arrow keys on the paper plate.
  10. Students will understand the computer program, Scratch, is meant to be a “game board” with a Sprite character that is capable of moving in those given directions.
  11. Students will be asked “what time does school start?” Upon their response, I’ll model moving game Sprite to touch the “8” on the clock face from the Scratch program using my game controller.
  12. Students will be asked “what time is snack?” Upon their response, I’ll model moving the Sprite character to touch the “10” on the clock face.
  13. Students will be asked “what time is lunch?” and a student will be called up to use the Makey Makey controller to move the Sprite to “11” on the clock face.
  14. A last example will be given to show “what time is special?” where a final student will move Sprite to the “1” on the clock face.
  15. Lesson will conclude for the day after student examples

Day 2 and 3:

  1. Parts of the clock anchor chart will be reviewed. This includes the “face”, hour and minute hand, and appropriately stating the time using the word “o’clock”.
  2. Students will work in four 15 minute centers:
    • Makey Makey Scratch Game
    • iPads: Telling Time app by Avocado Learning
    • Computers: Stop the Clock website
    • Clock manipulative: using clock manipulatives and flash cards
  3. Students will rotate among four stations during this 60 minute lesson either working independently or with a partner
  4. Students that have mastered telling time using analog clock cards will be given the word-form time cards as an extension or challenge to the lesson
  5. Students working with the Makey Makey controller will take turns pulling time cards from the deck and matching it on the Scratch “game board”
  6. Students will be monitored throughout lesson to ensure accurate times are being shown on clocks

Assessment:

I would be able to informal assessments will be made throughout the three day lesson. While students work with a buddy, I will be monitoring the class for accuracy in telling the time to the hour as well as using the correct terminology for this lesson. I would also be assessing their engagement with this lesson’s content and active participation with their buddy.

To assess that students have mastered the skill of telling time to the hour, I could assess in a few ways. One formal assessment that would determine the success of this lesson would be for students to complete a telling time “exit slip” at the conclusion of the three day activities. A summative assessment would be presented at the end of the math unit covering telling time (Unit 2 of Everyday Math). This math assessment follows district requirements.

In order to assess student success with the Makey Makey game controller, I would observe students using the game controller and watching their usage of the arrow key features on the prototype. Accurate navigation of the Sprite character would ensure a successful understanding of the Makey Makey design approach to reinforce the concept of telling time to the hour through the use of a creative medium, the driving question of the lesson.

Lesson Rationale:

Creating a lesson in which students are able to work with a particular skill presented in multiple ways promotes personalized learning. Personalized learning has large role in the success of a student at any grade level. The reasoning behind implementing various telling time activities will allow a wider range of learners to become successful in the way that best-fits their needs.

This particular lesson offers a range of pathways to success. Students will participate in a lesson in which they can relate to. By identifying parts of our school day, each learner will be able to make a connection and deepen their comprehension of the way in which the time in our day changes with each new activity. Secondly, students will be working with hands-on manipulatives. This type of addition in any lesson gives students the chance to operate and manipulate their learning. Students will recognize the way in which the hour hand slowly turns, as the minute hand rotates around the face of the clock. Students create this transition between hours on a clock and will spark their curiosity, including how many hours are in a day? How many minutes in an hour or how many seconds in a minute? Students would then become the leaders of the lesson and have questions answered through visual aids including this one from StoryBots on YouTube:

These concepts, while not necessarily a focus within the lesson, sparks student engagement and encourages students to think critically – what are the smaller tick marks on the face of the clock, how do we count minutes on the clock? These questions lead to the next skill for first graders to master: telling time to the half hour. I believe that this lesson follows the Understanding by Design (UbD). The very first step in this process states to identify desired results, “What should students know, understand, and be able to do? What is the ultimate transfer we seek as a result of this unit? What enduring understandings are desired? What essential questions will be explored in-depth and provide focus to all learning?” (Wiggins 2011). I believe that the design of this lesson speaks to this style of instruction and my students will become more successful in their skills if this strategy was utilized in all lesson planning.

This lesson also relates to the 21st Century learning theory. Their website states that, “When a school, district, or state builds on this foundation, combining knowledge and skills with the necessary support systems of standards, assessments, curriculum and instruction, professional development, and learning environments – students are more engaged in the learning process and graduate better prepared to thrive in today’s digitally and globally interconnected world” (Partnership for 21st Century Learning, 2016). This means that there is significant and beneficial value to implementing four different stations that all address the same content areas. Telling time is a foundational skill that has a global relevance. By becoming familiar with telling time, students can determine parts of their school day, home life, identify AM versus PM, and understand elapsed time.

Visual support and instruction:

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This is the anchor chart that would be created at the start of day one. This would allow students to understand the parts of a clock and the appropriate terminology.

Here are two different types of clock manipulatives that students will use during the three day lesson.

These are the clock flash cards students will use when working with the clock manipulative as well as the Makey Makey kit and Scratch “game board” to move the Sprite to the appropriate hour.

Additional support:

How to operate the Makey Makey Game Controller:

  1. Connect four different alligator clips to the arrow keys on the Makey Makey device
  2. Match the designated up, down, left, right arrow keys to the corresponding “arrow” squares on the Makey Makey game controller
  3. Connect the Earth alligator clip to a watch that’s touching your skin or hold the earth alligator clip in your hand so it allows movement
  4. Open up Scratch “Game Board” and press green flag to so Sprite becomes active

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References:

Framework for 21st Century Learning – P21. (n.d.). Retrieved June 11, 2016, from http://www.p21.org/our-work/p21-framework

Sthec2. (n.d.). Retrieved June 11, 2016, from http://resources.oswego.org/games/StopTheClock/sthec2.html

(2013). Time: “Seconds, Minutes and Hours” by StoryBots. Retrieved June 11, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEStq1e1Qrc

Teachers Pay Teachers. (n.d.). Retrieved June 11, 2016, from https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/FreeDownload/Telling-Time-to-the-Hour-Freebie-1849495

Time Match {FREEBIE!!}. (n.d.). Retrieved June 11, 2016, from https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Time-Match-FREEBIE-631787

Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2011). The Understanding by Design guide to creating high-quality units. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Foundation of Learning: Personalized Learning

The article Implementations of technology enhanced personalized learning: Exploration of success criteria, concerns, and characteristics focused on the importance of personalized learning. This article discussed the reasoning behind this “movement” of personalized learning. It said, “There are limited resources that are forcing school districts to ask teachers to provide instruction to large classes, which forces teachers toward assembly line teaching (Rasberry, 1991). This style of instruction allows teachers to teach many students, but does not take into account the unique learning styles or background of each individual learner. Learning theory has shown various ways in which people learn, such as Project Based Learning, Constructivism, and Individualized instruction” (Gallagher, R. P. (2014). This leads to students falling further behind in grade level expectations and a greater gap in student achievement.

Teachers are swamped with pacing guides and standardized assessments to ensure we’re covering all of the standards students are expected to master. This notion of “covering” all the content is one in which I question. One could say that it’s been checked off the list as “covered”, however, was it really “fully covered” with all students? If the answer is no, how do I approach ensuring success for all learners?

This was addressed through personalized learning. Personalized learning’s first description was learning styles. “Research continues to show that people have diverse learning styles (Guild, 2001). Learning style diversity can be identified and included in planning for instruction (Stronge, 2004). Utilizing student specific learning styles in the instructional planning is more effective than providing a single mode of instruction (Green, 1999). As such, an understanding of learning styles is important to the definition of personalized learning” (Gallagher, R. P. (2014).

The second description was called adaptive learning. It stated, “In some cases, adaptive learning has been defined as allowing the student to choose their own path to mastery of specific learning objectives. In other cases, the definition has been narrowed somewhat, noting that learning should reduce the focus on specific learning objectives and allow learners to choose not only their path to the learning, but even what the learning might entail” (Gallagher, R. P. (2014). This related back to the TedTalk by Richard Calcutta. He described ways schools were implementing this type of instruction with the help of technology through what he called “adjusted pace”.

Calcutta spoke of a school using computers that identified where students were to work for the day and on which skills. Based on an end-of-day three-question quiz, in conjunction with homework grades, students were working with their own customized learning to skill mastery. This example really defined the difference of differentiated instruction and personalized learning for me.

While reading from Personalized Learning Practice, Technology use, and Academic Performance in K-12 Learner Centered Schools in the US, I gained a better understanding about the world of technology and it’s correlation to personalized learning. “The National Education Technology Plan also emphasizes the pivotal role that a technology system plays in PL by providing personalized instruction, continuously assessing students’ learning, and tracking their mastery of skills and competencies, and it is argued that a well-designed technology system based on PL design principles can enhance all students’ learning, including students from low- income communities and minorities” (U.S. Department of Education, 2010). Sturgis and Patrick (2010) (Lee, Dabae, 2014). By implementing this personalized learning approach in instruction students would be able to master skills with greater efficiency in instructional time as well as address wide range of learning styles.

The research on personalized learning sparks ideas and questions for me. I see the value in personalized learning in education and recognize that, like said in the TedTalk, technology creates creators. If this is true, how can I implement what skills students master in a way that relates to them so that their lessons are more meaningful?

References:

Gallagher, R. P. (2014). Implementations of technology enhanced personalized learning: Exploration of success criteria, concerns, and characteristics. (Order No. 3628787, Pepperdine University). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, , 161. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu.proxy2.cl.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.proxy2.cl.msu.edu/docview/1561139616?accountid=12598

Lee, Dabae. “Personalized Learning Practice, Technology use, and Academic Performance in K-12 Learner Centered Schools in the U.S.” Order No. 3712588 Indiana University, 2015. Ann Arbor: ProQuest. Web. 4 June 2016

Thrifting

A week of exploring!

Quick link to my  video demonstration of my creation (also posted at bottom of blog).

For this week’s module, we were told to explore/play with a few different things. The first tool I played with was Evernote which is a great app and website for organizing and sharing notes on the web. This website isn’t one that I’ve looked into much before this class, which surprises me. I’m someone who thrives off of to-do lists and constantly adding sticky notes to my desk. Of course, there are probably thousands of other classroom applications for Evernote.

I see Evernote becoming a more frequently used app for me personally as a graduate student as the semester continues in order to keep my thoughts and ideas collected in one place. It’s also beneficial because it’s an app that can be downloaded for free and go wherever I do – perfect for those random ideas that pop into your head. I think that Evernote would be great for working with coworkers on collaborative lessons or even for school functions. My school has become more focused on using Google and all it’s features but Evernote may provide more features that teachers find useful – clipping researched base articles or work chatting. 

It was time to move into exploring my maker tool kit. For this week’s focus, it was important to learn about repurposing, playing, creating and making. I feel that this mindset is something teachers are constantly working on within our lessons. As our classrooms get filled each year with new students, so too does the learning style and need of each child. It’s important to take the time to look into innovative lessons and adaptations that could be implemented in daily lessons so that all learners have a chance to succeed. 

STEP 1: Thrifting

Step one for thrifting involved a small scavenger hunt around my house. My goal was to utilize the arrow features of Makey Makey and knew I’d need about four objects to execute my idea. I finally settled on a “small game controller” made by a dessert sized paper plate and aluminum foil as the arrow keys. I felt this was appropriate because I believe it would be a “controller” my first graders could hold comfortably.

STEP 2: Repurpose 

The Makey Makey kit was my top choice because I believe it can be used by young learners and could envision using it in some of m my lessons. It seemed to be fairly straight forward and versatile enough that students would be motivated to use it. Using the new game controller I developed, I thought about what I could create that would be applicable to my classroom setting and curriculum. Some of the thoughts I had related to math: time and money or even and odd sorting or for practice of phonemic awareness. spelling or identifying sight words.

I thought that one of the examples provided in this module that created with Makey Makey was a very practical creation. The fist pump to check for understanding was so universal and could be such a great way to informally assess student understanding. This creation is one that would boost confidence in learners as their understanding wouldn’t necessarily be “publicized” in class with a thumbs up/thumbs down in front of their classmates. This sparked my thinking even further as I brainstormed exactly what I would create that applied to my own classroom.

TEP 3: Prototype

I took a peek through some of the suggested apps and websites that work

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Playing with coins to test out the Makey Makey kit.

well with Makey Makey and determined that Scratch would be the best-fit for my first graders. To understand the program little bit better, I ended up searching for some tutorials through trusty YouTube. I found this video (one in a four part series) to be particularly helpful in working with Scratch.

I began the prototyping process by playing around with the arrow buttons. I knew that this would be the primary focus of my creation. Using coins was an obvious first-try since there’s four arrows and identifying and counting coins is a big part of first grade math lessons. This was where my patience and experience were tested. I had watched a few video tutorials of how to use Scratch, however, it still proved to be a bit challenging to get the arrow features to work. Once I did, I knew that I’d stick with it for my final creation.

How to build my prototype:

IMG_8160

Final prototype game controller.

  1. Find a paper plate that’s small in size to act as the game controller. I used a dessert size paper plate because I felt it would be one my students could hold with better grip and use.
  2. Cut out pieces of aluminum foil to act as arrow keys. Space cut pieces of foil far enough apart so that they’re not touching and are close enough to be clamped onto by the alligator clips.
  3. Add tape to the back of the aluminum foil pieces so that they stay in place on the paper plate “controller”.

    Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 7.59.19 PM
    Creating the arrow functions on Scratch.
  4. Using Scratch, create one Sprite that will act as the main character in the game. Program that Sprite to have the ability to move left, right, up, and down with the Makey Makey arrows.
  5. Search CreativeCommons for both a clock face with numbers and a minute arrow hand. This will then be imported as a part of the “background” on the Scratch game.
  6. Optional: Add a background from the library of images provided by Scratch.

 

*Note: Prototyping Fail:

I wanted to mention that I my above “how to” was after my first failure. I followed a similar process, however, instead of using tape, I used a glue stick. I thought it would provide a smoother looking appearance so I added glue to the back of each circular cut out of aluminum foil. What I discovered was that the glue counteracts the electricity and produces a “defective” controller. Lesson learned!

IMG_8161
Game controller fail.

This prototype could be used in my teaching context as a way to enrich students in their understanding for both telling the time, but also to use Makey Makey to help them with problem solving skills. This not only addresses a math content standard, but it also would give students to become “hands on” in their learning. I could use this creation as a center in my classroom for a partnership to work together to move the cat to the correct time as a team. My prediction is that this type of “playful learning” would spark motivation (and curiosity) in my students and give me even more potential avenues to pursue with Makey Makey and the types of ways I could adapt it to my lessons.

Here is a video demonstration of my creation.

Play it on Scratch!

 

Resources:

File:Clock-hour-12.svg. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2016, from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Clock-hour-12.svg

Clock position. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clock_position

WeVideo Remix

This first assignment asked us to create a remix using WeVideo that represents some aspect of Maker Culture or the idea of Making that resonates deeply with you. I initially began this process by brainstorming which aspect of making connected most with me. As I brainstormed, I felt that the part that resonated most to me is the theory that “we are born makers”. This was something that was shared in the Ted Talks video with speaker, Dale Dougherty, who emphasized the idea that everyone is a maker. Truthfully, this mindset was one that I didn’t believe applied to me initially. Sure, I create lessons and activities for my students, but I didn’t believe that I would be considered a maker.

Upon reflecting from the Ted Talk, I was able to apply this new knowledge to the way in which children develop curiosity in life, playing and touching, experimenting and doing. Being a first grade teacher, I see so many young students motivated to learn more, share their curiosity and create things using their imagination. As I made these connections, I recognize the importance of giving my students, and myself, the chance to create – and to fail.

My WeVideo highlights the theory that we are born to create. I included audio from the Ted Talk speech and added videos of young children playing, making and exploring. I also included the “end result” or the possibilities of outcomes with children who are explore their creative/maker side with videos of innovative inventions and professions in which children may pursue if given the chance to explore it’s qualities at a young age. Working with WeVideo wasn’t too challenging once I got the media imported. The most challenging aspect was finding the video clips and downloading them to import. I initially was using YouTube but found that wasn’t user friendly. I found Flickr to be one of the most compatible for this assignment and was able to find videos that applied to my remix.

Here is the link to my video. WeVideo Remix: We’re Born Makers

 

Resources

Gabe and the Playdoh Ice Cream Maker.” Flickr. Yahoo! Web. 20 May 2016.

“Ollie Baking.” Flickr. Yahoo! Web. 20 May 2016

“Emerson Encounters Lego.” Flickr. Yahoo! Web. 20 May 2016.

“We Are Makers.” Dale Dougherty:. Web. 21 May 2016.