I recently came across the following image from one of my favorite comics, The Awkward Yeti, by Nick Seluk:
The modes of communication have undergone such dramatic, exponential change in the past couple of decades that it makes sense that communication itself is also undergoing change. But even as language gets sometimes stripped away to basic emojis, it’s significant to examine the enduring principles of powerful word choice.
Many of us have spent just as much time in math courses as we have spent wondering the point of those math courses.
However, today, what makes mathematics most fascinating — that is, visual representations — are more widely shared and distributed largely thanks to social media. And perhaps this is how math teachers everywhere will at last be able to help their students understand “the point.”
As I continue to pursue my one-word goal of synthesis, I’ve decided to give another graphic a shot! I love the process of visually uniting the learning concepts on my mind, as well as the opportunity to sift through recent ideas from my PLN that have inspired me most. I would love your feedback on this project! (Below is the jpeg version. See the clickable version here!)
The notion of home elicits powerfully personal responses from us all. So what do our students gain when we help them inquire into what that means for more than just themselves?
This week’s provocation can be easily applied for the IB PYP “Who We Are” unit of inquiry (see more provocations for units of inquiry here), but it can also apply to other units involving geography, economics, humanities, adaptation, and change.
One word of caution however: spend more time “coaching from the side” than you do lecturing from the start. Chances are, they’ve heard it all before, and they need hands-on, timely feedback more than anything! (I’ve definitely gotten this all backward in the past, giving far too much time and energy to the initial instruction and then expecting them to put it into practice effectively).
Resource #1: “They All Saw A Cat” by Brendan Wenzel
Both the advantage and disadvantage of collaboration lies in the fact that we all have different perspectives. Enter “They All Saw A Cat” to get kids thinking about what this means.
Resource #2: 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) by Daily tous les jours
Every time I watch this, I keep forgetting that the background music was not, in fact, a professional soundtrack, but was created by these people simply cooperating with one another on the swings. Sure to evoke serious thought from your students!
Why does perspective matter when it comes to collaboration?
What makes collaboration work?
How has the need for collaboration changed over history?
This is part of a series of of IB PYP units of inquiry provocations. For more, click here.
The PYP unit, How the World Works is designed as:
“An exploration of the physical and material world; of natural and human-made phenomena; of the world of science and technology.”
I believe one of the biggest overarching concepts — stretching across the “physical and material world” –is the concept of perfection. We search for it. We strive for it. We pay billions for it. And yet, it remains elusive.
Moreover, imperfection possesses its own beauty — the persistence, the originality, the innovation.
Below are three resources that could take your class in many different directions as they explore the idea of perfection/imperfection in the world around them:
Resource #1: Unsatisfying, by Parallel Studio
Resource #2: Forms in Nature
Resource #3: Audri’s Rube Goldberg Monster Trap
Why is imperfection so much more common than perfection in the world?
How do people respond to imperfection? Why?
What is the purpose of imperfection in nature?
What is the purpose of imperfection in human’s creations?
What does the growth mindset have to do with perfection/imperfection?
The content for this week’s provocation began with me investigating all this viral talk on #FakeNews. The more I researched, the more I came to two conclusions:
1. The need for educators to help students discern accurate sources is not new, though the stakes are getting higher if we don’t succeed.
2. Rather than focusing on the current FakeNews frenzy, it’s more valuable for us to step back and examine the big concepts surrounding the issue.
So yes, this provocation is useful if you’re wanting to talk to your students about Fake News. But more importantly, it’s more useful for helping your students recognize all that online research entails: the good, the bad, the ugly, and why all that matters for them.