Monday, October 19, 2009

Looking for MATH? Turn to the Comics Section.

Today I read an interesting article in one of my favorite educational magazines, Edutopia. Edutopia was started years ago by man you might know...George Lucas. His goal was to create a multimedia library of videos and case studies depicting effective teaching strategies. One of stories I came across today was the story of Mr. Yang.

Mr. Gene Yang is a math teacher in Oakland, California. His Masters in Education project focused on the use of Comics to help students learn math. His website: Comics in Education, states his strong opinion (and more than one fact) about the benefits of using comics to engage students in learning. Of course, using Comics and comic-like characters is not a new concept - we've seen it before. Think BrainPop.

I'm adding another resource to my list...another creative way to engage that hard to reach student in a new learning experience.

Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (NY)

Comics in Education (some dead links but overall good set)

Diamond Comics
Thinkfinity: Comics

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Love Lucy! In Times Square...

As someone who grew up with reruns of the I Love Lucy show, I was somewhat surprised with the t-shirts being sold after a most spectacular display of Lucy, or Dinkinesh as coined by an Ethiopian dignitary. The "I love Lucy" t-shirts didn't refer to the beloved redhead who married her Cuban counterpart in the 60s, but to Lucy, who up to a few weeks ago was the oldest and most complete skeleton of a human ancestor ever found. Discovered in the country of Ethiopia in 1974, her exhibit, "Lucy's Legacy" came to NYC this past June.

Today I had the good fortune of visiting the exhibit. What a treat! I LOVE LUCY, and Ida, and all the other pieces of our human evolution on display in this one of a kind display. An education in Ethiopian culture and history awaits!

What struck me most about the exhibit? The fact that it was truly a multi-media experience. I listened to audio, watched videos, peered through windows and glass at tools, skulls, bones and more. The ultimate experience was a room that displayed a magnificent mural depicting the last 6 million years of human evolution as seen in a 24 hour time span (dawn to dusk). Truly amazing.

I now feel like I know more than I ever did about human evolution and this...all in 2 hours. A treat for families, school children and adults alike. Here's more info and the MST. Educators will enjoy the related activities under the "More to Xplore" section of the Houston Museum of National History web page.

Houston Museum of Natural Science: Lucy's Exhibit Info

Discovery Times Square Exposition

Teacher Lessons
Lucy Exhibition

Saturday, October 17, 2009

There's a STAT for THAT

Tonight, as I watch a very well played World Series Playoff game, I realize how every moment on TV can be turned into a teachable - er change that - statistical moment. Ever wonder how to entice that very uninterested 6th grader in a game of statistics? Easy, have them compare stats on two playoff baseball teams and predict the results. Have them find and compare the best two hitters on opposing teams. The lowest % hitters, the best hitters, pitchers with the lowest ERA, define ERA. Listen you might even find you're educating a child or two.

Have younger children note every time the television throws a statistic on the bottom of the screen. Have them count the number of players that come up to bat during an inning. Have them average the number of players per inning in one game. Five games. An entire season.

Do this and you just may be able to increase the number of hours on average per week that a child spends with their parents! :)

Along with every posting I'll try and find 3 additional resources that you can explore. I call this the MST review. M for Museum, S for webSite and T for teacher lesson. Hope you enjoy!

National Baseball Hall of Fame: Math: Batter Up
MLB: Major League Baseball
Illuminations Search Term: Baseball