Baby Shark: Annoying Song or Gateway to Learning?

Baby Shark: Annoying Song or Gateway to Learning?

 

If you haven’t seen this yet, you’re one of the last few people to be able to say that. But now you’re here, so:

Well, now that Baby Shark is stuck in your head, it’s time to deal with it. Walk into a room and just say “Baby Shark.” It’s a fun little game I play. Whoever is in the room immediately has a strong opinion about it, usually love or deep hatred. But because of that, the Baby Shark song stirs serious passion in people, so on Wednesday October 3rd, the #MakeItReal Chat topic was on using Baby Shark in class! Here’s the transcript for you to check out!.

And, because something that stirs this much passion quickly turns into a great opportunity for lessons and activities, I’ve put together a hyperdoc of

Baby Shark Ideas, Lessons and Activities!

gathered from excellent educators across the globe, to be added to your Lesson Bank! Share it widely, use it often, and more importantly, approach future experiences in your own classroom from this same mindset.

Move away from saying no. Move away from negativity. Move away from stifling curiosity.
The investment will pay larger dividends than you can imagine.

 

Because I Can

Because I Can

 

Yesterday at school, my wife spent the beginning of the day hugging a colleague whose best friend had passed away the day before. Cancer had taken the life of her friend, a 35 year old woman with a 5 year old son. No words needed to be spoken between them, my wife just held her while she cried. They spent first period together talking about her colleague’s friend. For a short time she’d been cancer free and decided to go back to work. When she was asked why she wanted to work again, she replied:

Because I Can


Seven years ago, yesterday, my wife was driving home from Milwaukee with our six month old son when she was hit by a dump truck. Our minivan was smashed and she was brought to the hospital with six broken ribs, a punctured lung lobe, a TBI and cuts all over her hands and arms. Our son was ok, luckily. She was in Milwaukee because she’d dropped off our friend, Jen, at the hospital. Jen’s son, Micah, had Leukemia and Jen had a cold so she’d been home so as not to potentially get Micah sick. She wanted to be back together with him, so my wife drove her to the hospital. On her way home after dropping Jen off, she was hit. The next day, Micah passed away. That was seven years ago, today. Jen has thanked my wife for what she did every year since Micah’s passing. My wife has always responded, “I would do it again in an instant.” How come?

Because I Can


Today, I implore you to think about the lives of those children you teach and colleagues you see every day, and of the lives of those you’ve loved who have passed. When I see my wife each day, and we see our son each day, we know we are lucky. Our friends lost their loved ones. How do we truly honor the lives of those we’ve lost, keep their memories vivid and act on the impact that they’ve had on our lives? By talking about them, sharing their stories, living an impacted life. Why should I honor the lives of those I’ve lost?

Because I Can

When Parents Want To Help

When Parents Want To Help

 

When it comes to math homework, parents often feel that they HAVE TO HELP their kids get everything right. Many parents take on the role of Untrained Math Teacher at home as well and can often undercut well planned lessons and units. This can often cause more damage, frustration and distress than we want. A major message of my book, Hacking Mathematics: 10 Problems That Need Solving, is that questioning is at the heart of learning mathematics, not answering. So here’s an infographic for you to share with parents who want to help their kids that will teach them how to promote questioning and will keep the learning in the hands of their kids and the teaching in the hands of their teachers.

Share and share and share!!!

 

And if you want this in another version, here you go!

Homework Help JPEG

Homework Help PDF

The Instant Relevance Podcast

The Instant Relevance Podcast

I’m excited to announce that Raymond Steinmetz (@blended_math) and I have begun the Instant Relevance Podcast. We will be sharing our thoughts on how to #MakeItReal for your students, your colleagues, your school culture, and more and are excited to welcome excellent guests to the platform to share their expertise and experience. Please share your thoughts with us in the comments here or on the podcast platform. 

The Instant Relevance Podcast is being published via Anchor, so you should be able to find it on Anchor, Stitcher, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Pocketcasts, Spotify and more!

You can follow the podcast on twitter @InstantRel. Click the link below to visit the Anchor page and subscribe through your favorite platform!

So, for you podcast addicts or relevance seekers, here is the first episode of…

The Instant Relevance Podcast!

 

Remember to use the #MakeItReal Hashtag for sharing ideas!

Connect with Denis Sheeran at Denissheeran.com

Twitter: @MathDenisNJ and

#MakeItReal Chat Every Wednesday 9:30 pm EST for 30 Minutes.

Read Instant Relevance

Laurel vs Yanny: An Educational Metaphor We All Need To Hear

Laurel?

Yanny?

Are you caught up in the new “Is it This or Is it That?” debate of 2018 yet? If not, someone played a computer saying the word “Laurel” with regard to the wreath of leaves worn on the head and heard the sound “Yanny” when they did. So, the new version of :is the dress black and white or blue and brown?” came on the scene in the inter-world.

Here, you judge for yourself.

So, if you’re wondering what it really is, the answer is Laurel. That’s not me being a jerk about it and forcing my opinion out there, but it actually is Laurel. Here’s a quick video on why, including the science of sound. 

 

Now, here’s what’s really important…that educational metaphor I mentioned in the title of the post. 

As teachers, we have an obligation to our students that is much bigger than our requirement to “Teach Content” to them. We have an obligation to listen to our students. When we listen to them, we’re assessing them. We’re assessing what they know and don’t know, how they feel about what they know and don’t know, if they can explain what they know and don’t know, and if they need us to teach or listen more.

But…

What if they’re telling us “laurel” and we’re hearing “yanny” instead?

What if we’re convinced that what they’re trying to explain, question, or share is wrong when it actually right and we’re perceiving it incorrectly because of our priming, or our training, or our temporary distractions, or…more interestingly…their pitch and tone of voice and our ability to hear it? What does that mean for how we teach and assess our students?

Now, go back to the original sound clip and listen again, knowing that BOTH words are actually in there and try, really try to hear both, simultaneously, the same way we can hear harmony in music.  If you can hear both, awesome. If you can’t, keep trying. It’s our obligation to our students to hear BOTH what they are actually saying, and what we think they are saying and to meld them together into an opportunity that truly overlaps teaching and learning.

 

And, just for fun, here are a few lesson ideas people have thrown out there to me on twitter so you can #MakeItReal while the debate is still relevant!

Create a debate over which is correct and have students cite evidence for their standpoint.

Use the Virtual Oscilloscope online to record your voice saying Laurel and Yanny, then screenshot it and compare graphs!

Do a statistical observational study (survey) stratified by age, sex, known musical ability and primed introduction (say laurel or yanny first) and present the findings.

Use the New York Times sound slider to identify when the sounds change for you.

Study how sound has been used in the past as a means of confusion, argument, and deterrent (this one’s fun. Back in 2008 a high pitched sound was played outside stores to drive away loitering kids because adults couldn’t hear it!)

Share your ideas and lessons with me at the #MakeItReal Hashtag on twitter!!!

Remember to use the #MakeItReal Hashtag for sharing ideas!

Connect with Denis Sheeran at Denissheeran.com

Twitter: @MathDenisNJ and

#MakeItReal Chat Every Wednesday 9:30 pm EST for 30 Minutes.

Read Instant Relevance

 

Why Relevance Matters

Didn’t Think Ahead…Did You?

Check this out! It’s the Winter Olympics and the New York Times Graphics department is posting amazing pictures of the events, like these!

 

I’m loving seeing these images posted, because they reveal so many of the things math and science teachers try to demonstrate for our students about motion, gravity, quadratics, trigonometry and more. So I graphed them, which I like to do 🙂

 

This one is my total favorite!!!

 

If only there was a good way to model this…hmmm…WAIT!!!!!

See???

Last year we used this same model to engage students in their momentary passion…bottle flipping. Did you?

So here’s the biggest point I have to make…

Relevance matters because when students use real life to engage in learning (bottle flipping) they will answer to the question “When am I going to use this in real life?” all by themselves. I know this because it was as student who said to me “snowboarding looks like bottle flipping.  Cool.”

Instant Relevance is more than just Using Today’s Experiences to Teach Tomorrow’s Lessons…it’s using those lessons to inspire future connections. There’s still time! How will you #MakeItReal for your students every day?

Share your ideas and lessons with me at the #MakeItReal Hashtag on twitter!!!

Remember to use the #MakeItReal Hashtag for sharing ideas!

Connect with Denis Sheeran at Denissheeran.com

Twitter: @MathDenisNJ and

#MakeItReal Chat Every Wednesday 9:30 pm EST for 30 Minutes.

Read Instant Relevance

 

Winter Olympics 2018 Lessons and Resources

20+ Winter Olympics Lessons and Resources

The Winter Olympics are upon us! And unlike Fidget Spinners, not very many teachers are banning them from their classrooms! So if you’ve been looking for activities in Math, Science, Stem, ELA, Music and more, I’ve compiled many excellent ones for you here. Click the link below for the Hyperdoc of lessons, or scroll through the embedded doc!

NOTE: If you’ve got an excellent activity, share it with me on twitter @MathDenisNJ and I’ll add it to the lessons doc!

 

Hyperdoc Lessons and Resources Link

 

#MakeItReal Moment Number 15: To The Moon

To The Moon!

I love outer space stuff. I previously posted about how I want to be an astronaut, and I still do, despite the reservations my family has toward me going to the moon (Stop Watching Apollo 13!!). So when NASA shared a photo the other day of the earth and the moon in the same frame, taken from 3 million miles away, I had to read about it. Turns out, it created a fascinating math problem! 

 

Lots of questions came to mind. What do you notice? What do you wonder? Is this true? How far apart are they? Can I prove that?

So I created a Google slides doc that contains both an I See Math question (used as a simple intro warm-up) and a full 3-Act Math Task that can be used from scale factor to the Law of Cosines! It’s scrolling below for you to see, and here is the direct link to the file for you to use!

 

Share your ideas and lessons with me at the #MakeItReal Hashtag on twitter!!!

Remember to use the #MakeItReal Hashtag for sharing ideas!

Connect with Denis Sheeran at Denissheeran.com

Twitter: @MathDenisNJ and

#MakeItReal Chat Every Wednesday 9:30 pm EST for 30 Minutes.

Read Instant Relevance

Do or Do Not. There Is No Try

Fear not! This is NOT an anti growth mindset post. If you’ve read much of my writing at all or seen any of my math related tweets, you know that I’m all for building a culture based on growth, especially in the math classroom. This is more of a post about pulling up your bootstraps (or in this case, roofstraps) to do what no one expected you to do. Knowing my penchant for the relevant, an old friend from high school, now colleague in the world of education, Freya Mercer (@EduFreya) pointed me to this article yesterday:

 

For some, seeing a snowmobile strapped to the roof of a Ford Focus might be par for the course (my Minnesota friends?) but for those who left comments on the article…not so much. In fact, as of the writing of this blog post, the news outlet’s facebook post has 956 reactions, 902 shares, and over 1000 comments. But this isn’t a post about things going viral, although it could be. In the comments people ask great questions. What if one of the straps broke? What if it slid off the top? How did you get it up there? How will you get it down? Why didn’t you rent a truck? There are outcries toward his lack of safety concern and support for his ingenuity. In fact, he’s an active participant in the discussion!

It’s Wednesday, which means that tonight at 9:30 pm EST I’ll host the first #MakeItReal Chat of the new year. Please join in for 30 minutes if you have the time! Our chat is inspired by Freddy Muhlberger and his Snowmobile Gumption.

My #OneWord2018

As I filtered through the options for what I’d like my One Word to be for 2018 I kept coming back to a point where I was confused a bit by my own word choices. Did they define me? Could I redefine them? Did they even mean what I wanted them to mean?

 

My word for 2017 was Preflect, a word I made up. It means to picture yourself after an event, a conversation, or even the whole year, looking back on that time. What do you want to see when you reflect on it? Preflecting is the idea that if we put ourselves into that future self, looking back, that we can affect the present by making the future we want to happen a reality. I like that word, and from now on will probably keep it as an “always word” in my OneWord arsenal.

 

But 2017 has given me a lot to think about when I reflect on it. And as I reflect, now, my OneWord2018 has become clear. 

 

This word is a very cool word because it’s got a lot of different uses as parts of speech and different definitions. Here is how this will be my word for 2018.

 

Events in 2017 have given men across the country a lot to think about, particularly when it comes to the way in which they treat women in all aspects of life, from the workplace to the social world to the home. The first way that CONDUCT will be my #OneWord2018 is that I will make sure that in all areas of my life, I will never disrespect or mistreat the women in my life. My Code of Conduct will be unquestionably clear, and some extra special women in my life, my three daughters, will see their father act as an example for their future interactions with men.

The second way that CONDUCT will be my #OneWord2018 comes from science. I was making bacon and eggs this morning and thought about how the frying pan conducts heat. Metal conducts heat because it has delocalized electrons that are free to move around and transfer heat as they touch each other. 

In my work with teachers, both at my job and within my Twitter PLN, I sometimes feel as though I’m forcing an idea on someone, or pushing too much for a particular change or action. But if I let the conduction of heat be an example, then what I need to do is continue to be the heat source, providing the energy and constant presence necessary for the ideas or changes to naturally flow from one part of my school or PLN to others. 

 

Lastly, many of you know that music is an incredibly important part of my life. The third way that CONDUCT will be my #OneWord2018 will be how I approach leadership. In my family, my job, other roles I have in life, I will lead like the great conductors. At times, broad gestures with dramatic effect will be necessary. 

Other times, nuance and focus will be the only way to lead.

I hope to be able to conduct to the point that I no longer need to conduct. To build trust among those who work together so that a simple acknowledgement can be a leadership gesture. Take a moment and listen to the Haydn Symphony No. 88 as conducted by Leonard Bernstein. After a moment, you’ll see what I mean.

 

Outstanding, isn’t it?

So, for my #OneWord2018, I choose CONDUCT.

My conduct will be of the highest character.

I will conduct educational heat and energy.

I will conduct those I lead like the great orchestra conductors. 

I’m looking forward to 2018. I hope you are too.


Share your ideas and lessons with me at the #MakeItReal Hashtag on twitter!!!

Remember to use the #MakeItReal Hashtag for sharing ideas!

Connect with Denis Sheeran at Denissheeran.com

Twitter: @MathDenisNJ and

#MakeItReal Chat Every Wednesday 9:30 pm EST for 30 Minutes.

Read Instant Relevance