#MakeItReal Moment: Number 6

Pyramid Scheme

For today’s #MakeItReal Moment, I present to you…Yesterday’s Foxtrot Cartoon, by Bill Amend.

Question 1: How many levels of the pyramid scheme are necessary before crossing the Million Stone threshold?

Question 2: How big would each “stone” have to be to actually be able to build one of the Great Pyramids with 1,000,000 stones?

Question 3: Based on the following information, what questions do you have?

The challenge:

What do you read or see almost every day, like this cartoon, that you could draw questions and connections from? Why don’t you?

What are three ways you could use this moment and moments like it in your classroom to add relevance to a lesson?

#MakeItReal Moment: Number 5

Is This For Real?

Do you know who DanTDM is? For my #MinecraftEDU people out there, that’s likely a resounding YES! For other minecrafters, probably a YES as well. But if you don’t follow Minecraft, or especially follow it on Youtube, you might not know who DanTDM is. Here’s a taste of what he does…Don’t watch the whole thing. This is a #MakeItReal Moment, not a #MakeItReal Session.

So DanTDM is a youtube creator who puts out videos of him playing Minecraft and other online games and settings. For some reason, my kids love him. I’ve been in one of those “Why do you like this?” “We just DO, OK?” fights with them for about a year now. In fact, I just found out that my nephew and his dad, my brother-in-law were going to see DanTDM LIVE! How the heck does this guy get a live venue!!! And it’s a big one too! I thought “He’s just going to watch minecraft and talk about it and people will pay ticket prices to see this?” And then suddenly, without warning, I realized who DanTDM is. Not in reality, but who he is to my kids, and to a lot of kids. 

DanTDM = Bob Ross

My kids knew virtually nothing about Minecraft…and then DanTDM came a long, narrating his creations as they came to life. Now they create like never before.
Millions knew virtually nothing about painting happy little trees…and then Bob Ross came along, narrating his creations as they came to life. Now they paint, like never before.

DanTDM just became real to me. He’s one of the most effective teachers my kids have.

What have you been fighting that can easily become real to you…with a little perspective?
And as usual…

What are three ways you could use this moment in your classroom to add relevance to a lesson?

#MakeItReal Moment Number 4

Definitely Make This One Real

Ok, this is a short #MakeItReal Moment. I saw this picture in an article today and immediately had buckets of questions.

According to the article I read about it, this is a building plan for NYC.
I leave this #MakeItReal moment entirely to you. Since the building is in the planning stages only, I leave the planning of how you’d use it up for grabs and will share my ideas in a later post. Read the article in Business Insider by Leanna Garfield for more information about the building plans.


And…as usual:

What are three ways you could use this moment in your classroom to add relevance to a lesson?

#MakeItReal Moment: Number 3

Watermelons! Watermelons Everywhere!


People like to send me jokes, memes, gifs etc., about math because, well, it’s a kind of defense mechanism. A lot of people have a bad relationship with math, so laughing about it makes it better. I’ve had a tendency to shrug off most of these because I’ve very likely seen and/or heard all the math jokes before. Well, for #MakeItReal Moment Number 3, I realized that these jokes are more than just defense mechanisms, they’re opportunities to learn and to engage our students!

Here’s what I got the other day.

It’s funny because it’s true.

But instead of shrugging it off, I asked some kids about it because I figured…someone was wondering “WHY?”

Here are some responses.

  1. Is he a chef making something for a huge party?
  2. Is he starting a watermelon farm?
  3. Maybe she owns a grocery store and is just stocking up!

See!?! You want to know who wonders “why” to things like this? Kids do. Give them a chance to talk it out.

What are three ways you could use this moment in your classroom to add relevance to a lesson?


Resurrection: Absolutely Relevant

Fear not, this is not a post about religion! Easter is Coming!! Easter is only 15 days away, so resurrection is all the rage in the news these days. What’s that, you say? You haven’t been reading about resurrection all over the front pages? Maybe you didn’t even realize Easter was …

#MakeItReal Moment: Number 2

Cold As Ice Recently, a friend of mine from college posted an observation of his from a shopping trip to the store on his Facebook page. As you can see, he’s correct. They don’t stock “winter water” anymore…just Spring Water. However, during our time together as suite-mates in college, our …

#MakeItReal Moment: Number 1

#MakeItReal Moments I’m starting a new segment in my blog called #MakeItReal Moments. Many of you know I host a weekly twitter chat called #MakeItReal on Wednesday nights at 9:30 pm EST. We chat for 30 minutes on the many ways to increase student engagement by increasing the relevance of …

Tech Tip: Zoom Into Specific Area On Chromebook

I’m sitting in a presentation and watching Alice Keeler present on Google Classroom at the Pequannock Google Apps Summit. She’s a Google nut, lover of all things Chrome, but a macbook user. I have no problem with that. I posted on what technology looks like over a year ago (long story …

A Puzzling New Year

I’m a big fan of puzzles. Give me a brain teaser, a number pattern, a rubik’s cube or some blocks that don’t quite seem like they’ll fit together and watch as I disappear until I’ve figured it out (this is why my wife no longer gives me puzzles as gifts). …

Instant Relevance: Christmas Tree Edition

I bought our Christmas tree today. The teenager who sold it to me at the VFW assured me it was a good one and would last the season, “no problem.” I’ll take his word for it as I’m not quite done with my Arborist degree. The kids love the day …