Getting Classroom Thrifty With MaKey MaKey

Standard

MaKey MaKey, most simply put, is an invention kit for all skill levels.  The pieces are very simple in that you have the MaKey MaKey control board, one USB Cable, seven alligator clip cables, and six connector wires.

MaKey MaKey Kit Contents

MaKey MaKey Kit Contents

For this experiment, I was instructed to visit a thrift store to find different items I could use with my MaKey MaKey kit in order to create something for effective use in the classroom.  In that instruction, I was told that the creation does not necessarily have to be implemented, nor successful, but just to dream…. Simple enough, I thought!

20131103_121959

Upon my v20131103_130246isit to a local thrift store and the Goodwill near my hometown, I found the usual; clothing, outdated housewares, toys, broken down electronics, and various odds and ends.  My trip to the thrift stores, although beginning with good intentions, was a fail.  I found a few possibilities that would work with the MaKey MaKey, but nothing that I couldn’t live without.  My next resort would be the basement of my home, the “catch all” for my family’s stuff.  My basement is like a thrift store on steroids!  I was bound to find something, of which I did, Play-Doh!

20131103_13013220131103_13005320131103_130137

With my findings and my MaKey MaKey kit, I am going to turn around the exit slip procedure in my classroom to a more effective, fun, and greener way to get instant feedback.  Details about my MaKey MaKey Exit Slip Machine invention is below.

Rationale

Exit slips are an excellent way to formally assess my students daily and gain instant feedback regarding my teaching.  Exit slips are a basic survey, questionnaire for students to complete as they leave the classroom.  Prior to MaKey MaKey, I used Post-It notes.  I proposed a question, the students would answer on their Post-It and post it on my classroom door as they left.  There were many problems with this method, 1) The Post-Its were knocked down by my students coming into my class for the next period if I didn’t collect them right away, 2) I was wasting a lot of Post-It notes when I knew there had to be a better way, and 3) I had no way to view the data collected as a whole, nor could I put the information in data graphs to gauge student achievement to refer back to.  This invention changes all three of those and I hope it helps you do the same in your classroom.

Gather Needed Items

  • MaKey MaKey Kit
  • Laptop
  • Excel Spreadsheet
  • Five Post-It Notes
  • Sharpie
  • Play-Doh

Process

  1. Take out all items from MaKey MaKey kit.
  2. Place five connector wires in the back of the MaKey MaKey board where you see the letters W, A, S, D, and F.
  3. Connect one end of the white alligator wire to the connector wire coming from the “W” spot and the other end to a Play-Doh button.
  4. Connect one end of the gray alligator wire to the connector wire coming from the “A” spot and the other end to a new Play-Doh button.
  5. Connect one end of the yellow alligator wire to the connector wire coming from the “S” spot and the other end to a new Play-Doh button.
  6. Connect one end of the green alligator wire to the connector wire coming from the “D” spot and the other end to a new Play-Doh button.
  7. Connect one end of the blue alligator wire to the connector wire coming from the “F” spot and the other end to a new Play-Doh button.
  8. Connect one end of the red alligator wire to the down arrow holes on the front of the MaKey MaKey board and the other end to a Play-Doh button that is shaped differently from the other Play-Doh buttons.
  9. Connect one end of the black alligator wire the the ground position on the the bottom of the MaKey MaKey board.  The other end will be help by the Exit Slip Machine user.
  10. Give your buttons labels using the Post-Its and a Sharpie (My labels will be letters that each alligator clip represents.  This may be different for the use of your individual machine, depending on your classroom needs and expected responses.)
  11. Open an Excel Spreadsheet
  12. Connect the mini USB to the plug in on the MaKey MaKey board and the other to the computer.
  13. Test the buttons to make sure all have a solid connection (it is very easy for the alligator clips to come out of the Play-Doh if not firmly in place).
  14. The Exit Slip Machine is now ready for use!
20131103_171327

MaKey MaKey Exit Slip Invention

Question to Ask Students:  In regard to the writing process for a Descriptive Essay we discussed today, how comfortable are you?

Response Key:  (I’m going to use the letters that correspond to the wires and their buttons. You may also use colors in relation to student responses.)  I also recommend posting the response key near the Exit Slip Machine for student reference.

W=  Without a doubt, I’ve got it, 100%

A=  Absolutely, I feel fairly confident.

S=  “Sort of”….

D=  Duh, definitely need some more help.

F=  Fail, epically!

Once the students press the button for their response choice, they need to hit the down arrow button and hand the ground wire to the next person.  Once all responses are inputted in for that hour, just switch columns for the next class period or day.  You can quickly gain feedback for the next class period and alter the way you teach the content.  At the end of the day, you have all the data for reflection and can easily create a graph to show student progress throughout a unit of content.

Obviously the Play-Doh may not be the best choice of buttons for the exit slip response due to the fact that it dries out easily.  If I were to improve this invention I may choose buttons that represent the responses in a better way.  This method eliminates open ended questions, but serves its purpose as a quick formal assessment.

Conclusion:

The Exit Slip Machine is very easy to make and can be easily adapted to fit the needs, questions, and procedures in a variety of classroom settings.

Summary:

  • The Exit Slip Machine invention creates a fun way for feedback.
  • The invention is much greener than the traditional Post-It note response system.
  • Data can be gathered and saved to gauge student achievement and improve teacher effectiveness.
  • The Exit Slip Machine invention is very simple and inexpensive.
  • The procedure, once perfected, is simple for students to understand.

References:

“MaKey MaKey: An Invention Kit for Everyone – Buy Direct (Official Site).” MaKey MaKey: An Invention Kit for Everyone – Buy Direct (Official Site). N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Nov. 2013. <http://www.makeymakey.com/&gt;.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s