Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Club for Creativity - Week 3 & 4

It's hard to believe our club is almost over ~ here's a summary of what the students created in the last couple of weeks:

Day 5 ~ More Brush Bots...

We took out our brush bots from last week and added some craft items and "found" items to modify them. It took some patience to determine how to get the add-ons attached to the brush bots. Some students found that small rubber bands, tape, or glue worked best.

One student added a marker so the brush bot
would draw on the paper.
Some of the modifications made the brush bots turn in awkward ways. A few students found that extra materials helped slow down their bots so they were not spinning in a crazy way. Stickers, plastic pieces, chenille stems, small cups, string, and feathers were a few of the popular items.

Part of the fun of the brush bots was the fact that these little vibrating creations were unexpected - the students didn't know what they would do and where they might go, which was also what made them extremely fun!

..........and some bridge building with Sphero

I brought my Sphero to school on Day 5 and we had a little fun with it during our sign-in/snack time. After a few of the students became frustrated with their brush bots (we had a few battery issues), I challenged them to build a bridge for Sphero to drive over (without crashing to the floor). So some students gathered up handfuls of craft sticks and bottles of wood glue to design and created some bridges.

Day 6 and 7 ~ Makey Makey

If different students were holding parts of the Makey Makey,
they made a connection by High 5's which was a neat realization!
The fourth graders at my school have 1:1 Chromebooks this year, which was great for using the Makey Makey kits. We had easy access to the Chromebooks, and even though we only had 4 kits, the students worked well together to take turns and also do group activities to make a bigger circuit. Most of the time I introduced the project and kit, explained the pieces and where to get more information, and then just allowed them to explore.                                                                                                                          When students explained that something wouldn't work for some reason, I continued to ask them the basics: "What makes it work?" "What might you be missing?" "Is the circuit complete?" "What can you add or take away to notice a difference?" These types of questions helped them try to solve the problems independently or as a group.

Marshmallows worked, but proved to be a
little too sticky for the clips.
The students explored a variety of games using the Makey Makey. Some of these included Bongo drums, Pac Man, online piano, and Mario Bros. Students brought in a variety of materials to attach to the alligator clips including pennies, celery, carrots, marshmallows, and gummy worms. We quickly discovered that the marshmallows were really sticky! But the other materials all seemed to work very well.                      
Everyone in the group took part to make the game work!
This student kept working on the online piano
after the rest of his group moved on to another task.
He made it work with a combo of carrots and pennies. :)
The students pleasantly surprised me by what they were able to do. I think part of this reason was that I allowed them to have choices and make decisions as well as make mistakes. They learned more about what they could do themselves than if I prescribed each and every thing that they had to do or try. They left this week just as they had other weeks --- so talkative and positive about their experience. Mission accomplished!

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