A reader wrote in, asking how to differentiate for a task like reading analog clocks. What to do with a student who has mastered this skill?
Last time I showed how to use the Wikipedia Wormhole to find interesting topics for research. Now we’ll look at how to form interesting questions to investigate those topics.
Learning about idioms is simply a fun activity that students will enjoy far more than writing spelling lists out five times each. Researching idiom origins is a great example of assigning gifted students less, but more complex work than their grade-level peers.
Last time, we discussed a few ways to help students search Google. Google helps us find related websites, however its ranking system does not necessarily return the most reliable pages. The final step requires our human mind to make difficult decisions that computers can only approximate. Simply choosing the top result is not enough. We must teach our students to evaluate websites.
We begin our year with an ancient tools projects. Students build the tools that early man would have access to. Naturally, many students want to build spears. We type “spears” into Google. Guess what comes up? That’s right: page after page about Britney Spears.
We decided to promote creativity and curiosity through student-led research and experimentation. Students developed guiding questions and created hypotheses. They are now ready to dig into resources, find answers, ask new questions, and report what they’ve learned. As the teacher, what are your responsibilities?
Since we’re just introducing Curiosity Fridays, we’re all going to investigate chess. Now, chess is an enormous topic that people devote entire lives to. We’ll need to refine the topic. Enter Google’s Wonder Wheel
Merlin Mann stated that employees’ motivation increases when they get to “build a robot” once in a while. That is, do something creative beyond regular work. Can we do this at school? Offices have “casual Fridays,” can we have “curiosity Fridays?”