On November 16th grade 3 students at Hillside School in Needham showed off their programming skills to an excited group of teachers. Maria DeCicco, the district’s Instructional Technology Specialists demonstrated how to keep her students, busy, engaged and motivated. They traveled from station to station working in pairs as they wowed us with their understanding of Scratch, Makey, Makey and Bee Bot. The teachers became the students as these 3rd graders explained what they were doing and how they did it. Makey Makey is an invention kit that takes over the functionality of the space bar and other keys, while the conductive objects become the computer’s new keys. Using Makey, interfaced with Scratch students used the conductive material to control the Sprite and showed us how to play a virtual piano using playdough.
Learning Tours  offer teachers a wonderful opportunity to observe innovative instructional technology practices.
Former Instructional Technology Specialist, Needham, Newton and Lexington Public Schools Professional Development Committee, MassCUE
– Mary Werlin ( firstname.lastname@example.org )