Over the summer, Ned Dressel reached out to me to collaborate on a project he wanted to complete in stages throughout the school year. His goal was for students to create something that answered the Essential Questions for each unit. I liked that he gave the kids a long list of tools they could choose from that best fit the content as well as their skills and interests. We added more options to the list after I shared some other types of media other 6th graders had created in other classes.
Each of his 4 classes had a variety of final products… attempts at stop motion videos, “white board” videos, screen recorded Google Expeditions used with in a video app with green sceen, ScratchJr animations, Keynote presentations with animations, 3-dimensional models, as well as a few additional variations. Many of these were options students were familiar with and we guided them to push themselves to try out some of the new features as well.
One student elected to create a MakeyMakey presentation using Scratch. What was interesting to me about this was she couldn’t remember how to do it and was a little nervous that she could pull it off. But she still tried. I admired this student’s tenacity and willingness to re-learn.
For a teacher who has never had a student create a MakeyMakey presentation in their class, it may seem a little intimidating. With some reassurance from me that she could definitely complete it in the two class periods they were given, Ned gave it the ok and was anxious to see the results. We were both so impressed at the 6th grader’s final product. The best part was that during her presentation to the class, she got the whole class to stand in a circle holding hands (or touching elbows) to demonstrate her project.
If all students in the class were required to create a product using the same tool, a moment like this would not have happened. This student gained confidence in trying something new, and her teacher got a chance to be impressed with a tool he was not familiar with.
The presentation day was enjoyable for students as they got to see their classmate’s creativity and be entertained by the variety of final products. All students had access to creating something great for this project because they got to pick how they showed what they know!