#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 our content and our student’s experiences. In the spirit of the chat I’ll be posting much shorter #MakeItReal Moments more frequently than regular blog posts. And in the spirit of Instant Relevance, I’ll be attaching a¬†guiding question or two to each one. I hope you enjoy them and are willing to share your own with me in the comments and on Twitter!

Here’s #MakeItReal Moment Number 1

I was in NYC recently when I came across this. It’s a giant metal “balloon flower.” As a former professional clown myself (true, ask me if we ever meet) I appreciated this quite a lot. It turns out to be a piece of art by famous artist Jeff Koons called Red Balloon Flower. Being a big fan of art and of math, this stood out to me as a great example of scale factor. So many questions came up:

How long would it be if stretched back out like a balloon? How much air would it take to blow it up? How many times larger than a regular balloon flower is it?

So I leave you with this fantastic Red Balloon Flower, by Jeff Koons, and one question. This will always be my #MakeItReal Moments question:

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

Let me know what you think on twitter. Use the hashtag #MakeItReal every time! 


  1. Mass, density, volume for science (even chemistry teachers). Invite a friend balloon animal clown artist into your classroom and have kids figure out the density of air inside their balloon animal, then compare it to the air outside. If hiring the clown for the day is too expensive, then become one. Either way, it’ll lead to release of dopamine in students’ brains, which leads to higher motivation and focus! I am 100% serious and now have to write a blog post about it. See what you’ve done Denis!?!?! I’m loving Instant Relevance brother!

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