Thanks for the Paper, Target! Here’s a Video Story Problem!

Oct 9, 2012 by

Last week my school district received a very large donation of spiral bound notebooks from the Target Corporation. 5 full palettes, stuffed with lined paper notebooks, showed up at the loading docks, and news was quickly spread through the district of it’s availability. Not to underestimate the power of teachers in need of school supplies, I ran down to the loading area to grab some footage of the paper before it had been sent off to all the buildings. The result was a rather simplistic, almost math “bookish” type story problem, although I did leave out any formula or other strategy that might help students. I simply stated the question “How many sheets of paper are there here”, and then gave them any information they may or may not need in order to solve the problem. You can view the multiplying paper video story problem below, or on Vimeo...

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Video Story Problems 101

Mar 1, 2012 by

Traditional story problems are dull, disconnected, and often don’t offer much opportunity for students to work with material and challenges from the real world that may connect with them in an affective or meaningful way. Video story problems are an attempt to capture curiosity and examples of math and science from the real world, and bring them into the classroom, where students can provide narrative structure around their learning. I’ve been blessed to present this concept for the 2012 K12 Online Conference, the annual MACUL conference in Michigan through the REMC association, and will hopefully be able to continue developing the concept in the months and years to come as school districts tackle integrating more social media and digital literacy into their learning environments in hopes of amplifying student voice. These have been great opportunities for me to reflect on why I started playing around with the concept of video...

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Lake Effect – A Video Story Problem

Feb 27, 2012 by

On February 11th, 2012, I woke up to 13 inches of fresh snowfall. The night before my driveway had all of half an inch of snow on it, and I was shocked to say the least! What multiplied my amazement even more was that an extremely narrow band of lake effect snow (no more than 5-10 miles across) was dumping this snow on my poor little town along Lake Michigan at an alarming rate. By the end of the event we had over 20 inches of snow on the ground. I managed to capture some of it while snow-blowing the driveway for the second time that day, and I turned it into a video story problem that I hope might be useful as a way to introduce the concept of weather or lake effect weather patterns in a science classroom. While I understand the powerful effect of Lake Michigan on my...

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Video Story Problem Planning Template 1.0

Jan 25, 2012 by

The Video Story Problem Channel and concept have both been gaining steam since a small group of educators started collaborating on them in the fall. Currently there are almost 60 videos of math, science, and inquiry based problems that have collected over 4,000 views! That’s close to 70 views per video! I don’t want to applaud just the numbers we’re all amassing, because the learning and work that students are accomplishing added to the new avenues educators are exploring for publishing and creating materials for their classes is really what payout here. Just take a look at this recent submission from Tyler Hart, who has managed to capture an amazing “any questions” type of open ended video story problem, in which he asks his 3rd graders to create their own word problems to this video. It was such a fantastic concept to see in action at the elementary level...

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Video Story Problem – Syrup Estimation

Jan 3, 2012 by

It’s been awhile since I created a video story problem (almost 2 months since the last one), but I’ve been thoroughly enjoying all of the video story problems being created and shared by students over on the Video Story Problem Channel. I have a few ideas in the works for how to take the videos and create a more easily replicable and practical way of integrating them into math and science instruction, but for now it’s time to get back on the horse and start creating anew. At least that’s what all the motivational blog posts and articles about starting off a new year tell me; work, work, work! I actually stumbled across this story problem while spending a lunch with the 5th grade teachers in our district, and noticed the almost obscene amount of syrup they had left over from their holiday parties before break. Don’t get me...

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