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 and have any people done better?
Differentiation TechniqueFind What's Interesting
🏛️ Read The OverviewFind What's Interesting
By leveraging a point of contention, we can get students interested in just about any topic. Yes, even boring old spelling has controversy we can exploit!
🌻 Specific Examples of “Find What's Interesting”
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?”
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?
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?
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.
Paradoxes and illusions are a great area of study to blow students’ minds. I recently discovered an amazing artist, Kokichi Sugihara, who creates and films optical illusions using just paper and balls.
A quick, but challenging discussion topic for any age: “Is it always fair to make decisions based on a majority vote?”
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.
Here are even more amazing paradoxes to baffle your students: Buridan’s Bridge, the Bootstrap Paradox, and the Barber Paradox.