I’m a big believer in boredom,” he told me. Boredom allows one to indulge in curiosity, he explained, and “out of curiosity comes everything
Halloween is coming up, and it’s a hard one to ignore in the classroom. Sure, you can always use the traditional cut and paste pumpkin activity, but let’s think about how we can capture students’ excitement and use it to deepen thinking and increase knowledge?
The typical cases are usually too simple and students fall into a sense of false security. Rather than truly mastering the skill, students develop pattern recognition that gets them through the common cases. Eliminate this problem by seeking edge cases.
Advanced learners and chess go hand in hand. In the past, I’ve used chess to introduce systems, introduce depth and complexity, and discuss paradoxes. However, since so many of my students understand the basics of chess, I decided to expose them to some chess-like games from other cultures.
Ask your students to write about their summer breaks, but remix their activities into a new genre or setting. Perhaps they vacationed at Hogwarts, Mordor, or Tatooine? Not interested in a writing assignment? Have them rewrite a Beatles song about their summer vacations.
We start the year in language arts with the theme of courage. Here are three quotes I’ve used representing different viewpoints about courage, from Shakespeare, Churchill, and Mark Twain.
The year opens with a vocabulary skill analyzing “Suffixes: -ful, -less, -ly.” I adjusted this lesson to examine how these suffixes change the part of speech of words, rather than the meaning.
You know you’re supposed to put your cart into a designated area in the parking lot, but you’d rather not take the effort since you’re in a hurry. And after all, one cart doesn’t make a difference! However, if we all take this mindset, soon the parking lot is impossible to park in, carts are slamming into cars, and businesses are raising prices to pay for all of the broken carts.
We’re supposed to rank fifteen items according to usefulness if we were stranded on the light-side of the moon. The items range from pistols to powdered milk. Some seem useful, but are actually worthless while others seem unnecessary on earth, but are actually vital when stuck on the moon. However, the structure of the activity as a website is not optimal. Let’s improve this and make it an awesome problem–solving exercise for our class.
At our school, 6th graders participate in an annual egg drop. To increase the rigor, I looked for unique scientific roles and came up with three: designing a parachute to slow the egg’s descent, testing materials to pack inside the structure, and developing the structure itself. Each of these roles will be developed into a scientific discipline.