Continuing our series on long-term success, we look at the art of wondering. Often our gifted kids wonder deeper and longer than others. But do they wonder about math?
It’s easy to fall in love with chasing the newest technology to use in the classroom. But sometimes, the perfect tool is a plain old calculator. We’ll be using this tool to develop curiosity about math.
I love collecting intriguing images and videos – things that stop me in my tracks and pique my curiosity. I always figure that if it fascinates me, students would probably be interested also. Often, these visuals work as wonderful hooks for a lesson you need to teach.
Let’s look at a way to encourage and scaffold curiosity in our classes using a “Book of Unanswered Questions.” Begin by sharing intriguing objects or images and asking your own questions. Give kids a chance to find answers to their questions. Then encourage students to bring in their own intriguing conversation starters. Finally, move students towards curriculum based questions.
Sometimes you encounter that math student who is simply interested in numbers. Here are some famous (and not so famous) sets of numbers that have curious properties.
We’ve seen some awesome logic paradoxes, now let’s examine a few visual paradoxes that would make great mental warm-ups for your class! The penrose triangle, penrose stairs, impossible cube, the blivet, and the Möbius strip! Plus, download a powerpoint to share with your students.
We learn best when we’re interested in what we’re learning about. In a standards based classroom, however, it’s difficult to authorize science research about nuclear power plants when the science standards cover the parts of a plant. Rather than let students loose completely, consider giving them freedom within your grade-level curriculum. Allow students to generate questions and use those questions to drive your instruction.
As teachers, I spend a ton of time searching for inspiration to enliven my lessons. But sometimes, inspiration hits as soon as you leave the desk and books behind. Friday my wife and I took a trip to Disneyland and saw this unbelievable (literally, it seems like magic) intersection of art & technology.