Framing a lesson is important to me. Marking the roll is necessary, but leaping straight into a task like that doesn’t always sit right. I like the culture of the classroom to be established each day, and I think the kids I teach appreciate this.
I try and do this in varied ways; sometimes I’ll share a story, sometimes I’ll use a quote related to a theme, sometimes it’s a picture, and quite often it’s a short video. Something inspiring that helps my students understand its relevance to what we are learning, something that will fire those brain neurons, something that frames our lesson.
Today I used this.
“The power of simple words” helped my students understand that word choice is important in their writing, and they needn’t be fooled into thinking that the more complex the word, the better the choice. It framed our lesson beautifully; they are involved in a creative writing task right now. We watched the video, had a short discussion, and they settled down to some solid writing time as I circulated and read their drafts.
Serendipitously, I often find quite wonderful links to content like this via my Twitter stream. This was the case a couple of days ago, when I saw that the creators of the TED site, that wonderful warehouse of inspirational videos, had developed TED Ed. Here’s their mission statement:
TED-Ed’s mission is to capture and amplify the voices of great educators around the world. We do this by pairing extraordinary educators with talented animators to produce a new library of curiosity-igniting videos.
Right now, they are now looking for educators to contribute great lessons. The TED Ed team will have their animators work with the content to help that lesson amplify beyond the walls a teacher’s classroom. You can nominate an educator, suggest a lesson, and nominate an illustrator to help bring these lessons to a wider audience through their YouTube channel and a new site to be launched in April.
Now, to thinking. What do I teach well . . .