Makey Makey Marble Maze and 5th grade

colleengravesorgMakeyMaze

#EvilMakeybook and Marble Mazes

Last year Aaron and I wrote 20 Makey Makey Projects for the Evil Genius. We had so much fun creating all of the projects and finding interesting and whimsical ways to incorporate cardboard low-tech making with Scratch coding and mashing it all together with Makey Makey.

As we wrote the projects, we didn’t really envision it as a book for teachers to use with classes, but this fall, I noticed a tweet from Anne Smith. She created a whole lesson around the engineering design process and our marble maze Makey Makey project! Check out her lesson here.

This gave me the idea to see if my 5th grade team at Mason would be interested in having their students design Makey Makey mazes…..and the answer was YES!

Early this spring, each 5th grade class spent a week in the library learning about Scratch, Makey Makey, and creating marble mazes out of recyclables.

Overview of Week Long Lesson

Day One: Students either created a Makey Makey alarm with Scratch or worked on creating a DIY switch with paper and foil. I changed the lesson up for classes depending on how much Scratch or Makey Makey experience they had.

(Note: the pencil alarm in the video below was designed because a kid in their class actually steals pencils….)

Day Two/Three: Students designed mazes on paper and then began designing a maze with recyclables. The first class stuck to building with straws and made insanely awesome Scratch tricks. The next few classes got more and more inventive with the physical aspects of the maze.

Day Three/Four: On the third day, I taught a mini lesson on creating a roll over switch with foil and a marble. Then I handed out materials for students to begin creating interactive switches Scratch and Makey Makey.

On day four, students were told to get there maze to a finished point and problem solve any Makey Makey interactions by the end of class. Check out this cool trick one of the group of girls figured out:

Day Five: Students had 20 minutes for last minute tweaks and then they were able to share their projects Makerfest style! We invited other classes to come in and play mazes. Students loved sharing their work with others and inspiring the next class to become more and more inventive in their maze making.

Check out all the of their awesome work below:

Making is messy

Just a friendly reminder that everyday was a mess. Make sure you include time for clean up and have the students be a part of the clean up process! Some classes are better about cleaning than others, but it’s an important aspect of life. Making a mess when making is normal, but students need to learn to clean up after. 🙂

Check out other schools making Makey Makey marble mazes!

One of the best things about writing books and sharing projects online is seeing other classes in other states trying out the same project. Check out these other schools makey-makeying mazes!

Makey Makey and Scratch Interactive Word Wall for Elemakers!

Join the (3)

Inspiration

A couple of weeks ago, I started creating a sound word game with one of my favorite Piggie and Gerald books, Pigs Make Me Sneeze. Around the same time, I saw a post from Tom Heck in the Makey Makey Educator group where participants in his workshop  created an invention that helps young students learn new words. It was a serendipitous a-ha moment for me! I could make my own interactive word board so that my kinder kids could be empowered to play the sight word matching game on their own!

Gaining Confidence

It’s been a pretty cool week, I’ve watched some of my kinder kids who are still getting the hang of reading sight words find confidence in becoming self sufficient by utilizing the word wall. Watch them use the sound board to find the right matches below.

Scratch Game

In case you are interested, here is the Scratch Game that I created to play the sounds. I went a little overboard making the words pop-up, but it was a fun Scratch challenge for me to attempt having my word only appear for a short time, and then go back to the Scratch cat.

(Unfortunately, Scratch won’t embed on WordPress, but make sure you go here to check out the game.)

Make Your Own!

I shared the tweet of my kinder kids on the Future Ready Librarians Facebook group and had a lot of librarians ask me how I made this interactive word wall. Maybe I’ve been hanging out with Design Make Teach too much, but I thought I’d throw together a quick tutorial on Youtube. Enjoy!

Last Note – Empower the teachers- empower the learners…

While it is cool for teachers to make their own manipulatives, it is even cooler when students can use these ideas in their own projects. My next step at school is to get my 4th and 5th graders to create interactive literacy games for their reading buddies. One group has shown interest in making sentence boards and another wants to make personalized word walls for their kinder buddies!

Let me know what you and your students Makey Makey with this idea!