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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Videos as Visual Writing Prompts – Part 2

Dec 2, 2011 by

Back in October I shared a few of my favorite videos from Vimeo, and mused about allowing your students to use them as visual writing prompts. The idea was simple. Rather than just give students a piece of text, or some script with which to base their creative writing, why not pull inspiration from another form of creative expression; digital media. To my delight, I actually got a few people that tried it! Daniela left a comment on the original post shortly after I shared the idea: I tried this with my students last week. I pulled the 1st, 2rd, and 5th video on our nine computers (three computers per video) and asked them to choose one of the three. After they choosing their topic of interest, we went to our school garden and, in between the trees and all the nature, my 6th graders began to write a...

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Video Story Problem – Water, Friction, and Force

Oct 27, 2011 by

In my never ending quest to find an engaging way to bring the real world into the classroom, I captured some video of my children and I playing with one of those massive rolling granite sphere water fountains. I’ve never really been intriqued by the tiny little desktop versions of these fountains, where a small amount of water is able to “float” a tiny granite sphere the size of a baseball, and then allow it to rotate freely. The stones usually fit in your hand, and the entire effect seems clunky and¬†obvious. However, when you come across a stone sphere that’s more than half your height, and most likely weighs several hundred pounds, you realize there’s no possible way any one person could cause it to move or rotate with one hand. Yet all it takes is a little bit of gurgling water to set it in motion, and...

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Brief and Shallow Investigation of Careers in Art

Oct 21, 2011 by

It’s Friday, I’m burned out, and this video single handily restored my energy! It’s brilliant in its honesty, sincerity, and technique. I have a feeling that if you happen to be a student in Tricia Fuglestad’s classroom, you’re blessed each and every time you find yourself in a creative mood with a teacher that not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. Just take a look at her video for proper “glue safety” in the art room, something that’s near and dear to my wife’s heart as an elementary art teacher. If you want to see a teacher practicing great 21st century skills by opening up her classroom to the world, go check out her wiki, FugleFlicks, and check out some of the creativity that she brings into her...

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Videos as Visual Writing Prompts

Oct 7, 2011 by

If you teach poetry, creative writing, or are just looking for a way to help your students find inspiration for writing, you need to watch the following time-lapse video. I’ve never really considered myself a writer (beyond my blogging that is). Most of the work I produced for various writing courses was always a bit mundane, formulaic, and rather juvenile. Even when asked to write to a prompt, I would usually find a way to slip into my typical patterns before too long, pretty much destroying the purpose of the prompt. I’m not sure that I would have pushed myself harder had I been given visual writing prompts like the movie above, but I do know that quite often the written prompts I received wouldn’t provide my “inner writer” with enough of a “frame” to hang my ideas and writing on. I typically needed a bit more scaffolding that...

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