Saturday, December 27, 2014

Three Wannado Activities

In the preview to my upcoming book (previous blog) I mentioned that one of the challenges in changing the culture of schools is the difficulty in upgrading the level of teaching abilities. Unfortunately, that is a bit like waiting for superman (or woman) and it's not going to happen anytime soon.  Michael Fullan writes that unless the teachers are motivated to continue to learn and improve their craft not much will change.
"The key to system-wide success is to situate the energy of educators and students as the central driving force. This means aligning the goals of reform and the intrinsic motivation of participants. Intrinsic energy derives from doing something well that is important to you and to those with whom you are working. Thus policies and strategies must generate the very conditions that make intrinsic motivation flourish."*
Motivating teachers to improve their teaching is more likely to happen if the activities they do are intrinsically interesting to students.

An example of this is the famous jinx puzzle that I wrote about here.

Another example is “13x7=28” starring Abbott and Costello. (See lesson - student and teacher pages.)

A third example is to script a sequel to the video Weird Number which I describe in detail here.

In each activity the teacher presents an engaging scenario followed by a hands-on activity or discussion. This leads to some surprise twists or conclusions which are discussed and debriefed at the end of the activity.