Maker Experiment #1

Standard

My Story Sound Book

Objective:  To create a story with sound using the Makey Makey kits.

Resources: Makey Makey kits, Bare conductive paint pens, poster board, makers/colored pencils, rulers.

Unit Idea:

1.  Students will be broken into small groups (2-3 students)

2.  The teacher will introduce the activity to the students.  As a part of this introduction, it may be helpful for the teacher to have a simple sample for the students to view (this would need to be completed before the start of the project).

3.  The first activity the students would need to complete is a brainstorming.  In this brainstorming session the students will come up with the following: General story idea, illustration ideas, and sound ideas.

4.  After the brainstorming is complete, the students will need to begin writing their stories (stories should be at a minimum 10 pages).  As they are writing their stories, the group should decide what six sounds they feel will best fit in the story (they will need to create a symbol for each sound they want represented in the story).  The writing process may take 2-4 days depending on the groups.

5.  After the groups have completed the writing process, the groups will need to create their illustrations.  There should be one illustration per page.

6.  Next the students will need to create the sound board for their story.    To do this the students will need to take the Makey Makey kit and assign a sound to the keys WASDFG.

7.  Students will trade books with other groups and read the stories.

*  This plan obviously will need more detail.  Students will need more detailed step-by-step instructions.  This project will be something that will take many days to complete. 

Theories:

The lesson idea above encompasses two specific learning theories; multiple intelligences and learning styles.  The multiple intelligence theory focuses on seven specific areas of intelligence (linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal, and intrapersonal).  Howard Gardner’s ideas about multiple intelligences are something that should be done in every classroom.  As teachers, we want all of our students to be as successful as possible.  One such way to do this is to focus on a student’s strengths.  “A number of schools in North America have looked to structure curricula according to the intelligences, and to design classrooms and even whole schools to reflect the understandings that Howard Gardner develops. The theory can also be found in use within pre-school, higher, vocational and adult education initiatives” (Smith, 2008).  The other theory is David A. Kolb’s learning styles.  This theory is made up of four key learning styles (Converger, Diverger, Assimilator, and Accommodator).  This theory is also something all teacher’s should strive to follow.  These four learning styles cover creativity, conceptualization, reasoning, and “doing things.”  In my ten years of teaching I have seen so many students who fit in each of these categories.  I believe I would have been able to reach more students if I truly focused on each students learning style.  “They also recognize that there are strengths and weaknesses associated with each style (and that being ‘locked into’ one style can put a learner at a serious disadvantage)” (Smith, 2010).  I have to wonder if we do not allow students to express themselves using these learning styles if we are creating an even greater disadvantage.  Are we really preparing them for the future?

My Reflection:

In an age of technology, teachers need to be completely prepared to throw new and interesting projects at students.  If we continue to do what has been done for so long, what are we doing for our students?  I think we are actually hurting ourselves more than anything else.  Our job now is to help students learn, retain and use the information we are teaching them.  This may mean that one student has to sing a song, one may need to make a video game, and one may need to use a traditional pen and pencil.  By trying to focus on the multiple intelligence and learning style theories I believe I will do a better job of meeting all of my students needs this year.

References:

Smith, M. (2008). Howard Gardner, multiple intelligence and education. Retrieved from http://infed.org/mobi/howard-gardner-multiple-intelligences-and-education/#multiple_intelligences

Smith, M. K. (2010). David A. Kolb on experiential learning. Retrieved from http://infed.org/mobi/david-a-kolb-on-experiential-learning/

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