How few colors can you use to fill in a map so that no neighboring regions are the same color?
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Here’s how you can add some spice to an otherwise dull study of parts of speech.
The bracketed tournament isn’t just for college basketball. Set up a tournament to determine best president, state, element, or literary character and challenge your students to make interesting judgements.
The first unit in our writing program was always teaching the coordinating conjunctions. It always felt goofy teaching this to 6th graders – especially a gifted magnet class. I mean… do they really not know the difference between “and” and “but”?
When we ask kids “which one is not like the others”, our cleverest students love to find ways to pick the non-obvious answer. So why not use this as a framework for pushing students deeper into our content.
Go across disciplines by asking students to write a story about fraction equivalence.
So once your students can calculate volume… what do you have them do next? In this math project, kids will look up historic laptops, calculate their volumes, and note how technology has changed over time.
Use a two-dimensional scatter plot to dig into the nuances of several synonyms.
Sure gasoline seems expensive. Until you try to fill your car up with other liquids!
One mark of an advanced writer is their use of figurative language. An on-level writer might use figurative language correctly but will rely heavily on clichés. An advanced writer will surprise us with interesting, often more nuanced use of figurative language. And nowhere is this more apparent than with alliteration.
Sometimes we can learn a lot by doing something the wrong way. Here are six ways your students can purposefully design awful, misleading graphs.
Want to encourage students to find unexpected connections across content? Here’s a quick framework based on the most important terms from both bits of content.
Do your students realize that addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are all examples of the same idea: an operation? And that it’s quite possible to create a brand new operation? Let’s do it!
How do we differentiate a dull lesson like “its” vs “it’s”? I decided to push it to an extreme (and include some unexpected novelty).
We’re not doing a fluffy art project here. Kids are developing a realistic, made up creature that could have actually lived in a particular biome.
Discovering what is interesting and unexpected about a triangle’s angles. What twists have I unintentionally spoiled for my students over the years?
The calendar is a source of fantastic factoring problems with many social studies add-ons. Why 12 months? Why 30 (or 31 or 28) days? Why are weeks 7 days long? Why don’t they fit into the months (or the year!)? Why did we do this to ourselves!?
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?”
I used to create extension menus, thinking they were an essential tool for differentiation. Overtime, I’ve changed my thinking. Here’s why.
“Engagement” is a nice by-product of a well-designed lesson, but it sure isn’t our actual goal as educators.
The Ethics prompt of depth and complexity fits so easily into the humanities… but what about ethics in math?!
Here’s a fun thought experiment your students are sure to get a kick out of: when something is slowly replaced over time, is it still the same thing in the end?
I got to work with several groups of students (of many ages) and I tried out this task: building a tournament to decide who was the most resilient historical figure or fictional character? Kids came up with some amazing ideas.
This quick clip of Steve Kerr coaching Steph Curry gives us insights into how we can mentor our most advanced students.
There’s lots of faux-differentiation out there. In this article, I catalog a few anti-patterns: tactics that look like differentiation, but are actually quite the opposite.