Here’s the perfect constraint for March! Writing with the digits of Pi.

# Differentiation TechniqueGet Ridiculous

## Read The OverviewGet Ridiculous!

One technique for finding complexity in a topic is to look for the edge cases, the outliers, the really big or small versions.

## Specific Examples of “Get Ridiculous”

## Just How Much Pasta Could I Cook…

So, just how much pasta could I cook in an Olympic-sized pool?

## Rewrite It, But Don’t Use “E”

Here’s an interesting way to move students past mundane patterns in their writing. Ask for a rewrite, but without a letter (or two).

## Could we fit 1,000 kids on the playground? 10,000?

If your students can find the area of a square then, armed with Google Earth, they can also figure out how many students you could pack into your school’s playground.

## Getting Ridiculous with Parts of Speech

Here’s how you can add some spice to an otherwise dull study of parts of speech.

## Thinking Like Equivalent Fractions

Go across disciplines by asking students to write a story about fraction equivalence.

## Calculating the Volume of Laptops

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.

## Fill ‘er up with Clam Chowder!

Sure gasoline seems expensive. Until you try to fill your car up with other liquids!

## Making Awful Graphs

Sometimes we can learn a lot by doing something the wrong way. Here are six ways your students can purposefully design awful, misleading graphs.

## Finding the Fun in “It’s” vs “Its”

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).

## Thinking From *Anything’s* Perspective

How a small change, with very little effort on the teacher’s part, leads to a delightfully complex task that can suitably challenge students of all ability levels.

## What if you lived in Vegas but worked in San Francisco?

Is it possible to *save money* by commuting to San Francisco from Las Vegas?

## Academic Love Letters

We’re going to take the Academic Valentine idea from earlier, and extend it into a full blown love letter – just in time for Valentine’s Day!

## Prime Number Explorations

Students learn about prime numbers early in their careers, but the true, quirky nature of these numbers isn’t really explored unless kids go on to become math majors. Here are three fun prime explorations suitable for even young students.

## Exploring Palindromes in ELA and Math

Palindromes are one of those fun ideas that some gifted kids just latch onto. We’ll check out palindromic words, phrases, and even numbers in this article.

## Interesting Spelling: Homographs & Homonyms

Many students blow past grade-level spelling and vocabulary at a young age. Unfortunately, a common technique to “challenge” them is to find harder and more obscure words for their spelling list. Instead, let’s take advantage of the built-in complexity of common words with multiple-meanings.

## Studying Ambiguous Sentences

This type of sentence has great possibilities for classroom application because of its two different interpretations. It’s a perfect tool to: demonstrate careful reading, showcase the need for editing while writing, and encourage creativity and divergent thinking.

## A Millionaire By Doubling Pennies

How long will it take to get a million dollars if you start with a penny and double it?

## Garden Path Sentences

Garden Path Sentences seem to begin one way, but quickly fall apart, forcing the reader to start over and interpret words in a new way. A simple example is: “The old man the boat.”

## Get Students Out Of Creative Ruts

Sometimes students need a little structure to force them into a more creative state of mind. Here are a few ideas for interesting writing prompts

## Goldbach’s Conjecture

Our look at math conjectures continues with Goldbach’s Conjecture, which states that all even integers greater than 2 can be written as the sum of two primes. Is this true for all cases? Another authentic, unsolved question.

## An Academic Twist on Valentines

Want to have some February fun? Let’s merge the idea of “going together like milk and cookies” with curriculum to create Academic Valentine’s Day cards!

## Math Project: Disneyland Parking Structure

Let’s develop a math project to challenge students who have demonstrated a mastery of multiplication and are ready to explore its applications. We’ll count the parking spaces in the Disneyland parking structure!

## Halloween: Characters Dressed As Characters

What if characters from film or literature dress up like other characters based on some parallel such as: conflict, trait, accomplishment, etc.

## Multiple Perspectives: Right And Wrong At The Same Time?

It’s essential to teach our students to think flexibly and consider multiple points of view. Flexible thinking leads to product innovation, diplomacy between nations, and advances in science. School, however, often encourages students to settle into a “one right answer” mindset.