Category Archives: Teaching Tools

The Getty Museum Twitter Challenge

I am getting a huge kick out of seeing responses to the Getty Museum Twitter Challenge to recreate a work of art with things you have at home.  You can see their invitation to participate in the tweet embedded below.

The creative responses have been mind-blowing, and another example of how adding a few constraints can often motivate people to be more innovative than leaving things completely open-ended. I’ve added a couple below.  Here are some of my favorites (and you can see more by clicking on the above Tweet):

deskwithdog
images from @GettyMuseum
holdingdog
images from @GettyMuseum
diana
images from @GettyMuseum
vet
images from @GettyMuseum
surrealism
images from @GettyMuseum

You can learn so much about our culture and the past by comparing these pictures.  They are definitely a collection that should become part of the historical archives, allowing future generations to see our ingenuity and sense of humor during this time of crisis.

If you want to talk about some of these masterpieces with your students, the wonderful educators at the Smithsonian just put out an excellent video called, EZ PZ: How to Engage Your Students with Project Zero Thinking Routines.

Chronicles of COVID-19, Part 5

Here is one of the latest entries from Our COVID-19 Diary by Kids Around the World.

ECE LFH 2020 Diary (1)

I’ve seen a large contingent from New Jersey, which is actually where I was born and lived until I was 10 years old.  Some other trends I’ve seen – almost everyone has a pet, most students seem to miss going to school (although there are a few who are loving this educational model!), and many students are enjoying the extra family time.

I hope that we will get more entries this week!  See the above link for how to access the diary and troubleshooting tips.

Quarantine Can’t Keep Us Down!

I’ve noticed that a popular activity during our COVID-19 pandemic right now is scavenger hunts.  My favorite scavenger hunt app is Goosechase, which I wrote about in January of this year.  Although I don’t currently have students, I immediately thought of this app when pondering how I would engage my students during online learning.  I considered making a GooseChase for other teachers and families to use, but a few others have beat me to the punch – and done much better jobs than I would have done.

First of all, Goosechase itself has begun a “Community Cup 2020” that is open to all to participate.  It runs from now until April 3rd, with new missions being added each day.  (Apparently the first day included a mission for people to do their best Batman impression, and the video compilation of select submissions is super cute.)  The page describing the contest also includes a how-to video in case you are new to Goosechase.  Since this is an app that asks for photos and videos of people doing (usually) silly things, please be conscious of privacy issues, especially for minors.  

Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta have also created their own special pandemic-inspired Goosechase.  They tweeted that they have one called, “Quarantine Can’t Keep Us Down,” which ends tomorrow, March 26th.  You can download the app and do a search for that game title to participate.  It has so many missions that I couldn’t count them, and it would definitely be a fun activity for the whole family.  According to @BGCMA_Clubs on Twitter, this is just the first of an educational series of scavenger hunts, so follow them on Twitter if you are interested in participating in future hunts.

For teachers who are interested in making your own Goosechases, the company is offering free-of-charge upgrades to the Educator Plus tier of the GooseChase EDU platform for the duration of the shutdown for all teachers.

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https://pixabay.com/photos/wash-hands-corona-disinfection-4941746/

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Cincinnati Zoo Facebook Lives

If you can’t go to the zoo, the zoo will come to you!  Each weekday, at 11 am (EDT), the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is presenting a Virtual Classroom experience using Facebook Live.  From what I can tell, a couple of the previous experiences (meeting alpacas and bathing an elephant) are archived on the Facebook page.  According to comments, requests have been made to also make them available somewhere else so that people who do not have Facebook can still view them.  You can also find some archived videos along with lesson plans on this page.

The Cincinnati Zoo is also providing Facebook Live Safaris.  These are happening at 3 PM (EDT) each weekday, but you can also access past videos along with suggested home activities on this page.

There are many more, but I’m trying not to overwhelm readers with too many resources in one post.  Thanks to all of you out there who are keeping our students engaged during these tough times!

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Image by mmcclain90 from Pixabay

Chronicles of COVID-19, Part 4

For those of you who are keeping up to date with our COVID-19 Diary by Kids Around the World, today’s update is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices being made by many to help stave off the spread of this horrible pandemic.  As you can read in the entry below, some first responders cannot live with their families during this time because their work opens them up to being infected every day.  Let’s thank Mary, her family, and all of the other people who are doing so much to help us during these scary times!

P.S.  If you want to have your student add to the diary, please read the post linked above.  It gives important information about how to share it, and why some may be having technological issues.

ECE LFH 2020 Diary

Project Zero Thinking Routines

UPDATE 3/30/2020:  Here is a link to a video where Smithsonian educators demonstrate use of the Thinking Routines with a piece of artwork.

You would have to drill down a bit into these resources that I posted about from the Smithsonian for “A Woman’s Place” to find this excellent compilation of Thinking Routines from Harvard’s Project Zero, so I thought I would give this page of free downloads its very own post.  Although the routines are specifically aimed toward discussing works of art, you will quickly see that these questions are adaptable to many different situations, and that they will elicit deep thought about any topic.  One of my favorite Visible Thinking Routines is 3-2-1 Bridge (here is a post I did on that, which includes a free template).

I also like the: Artful, Global, and Agency by Design Thinking Routines that are included on this page.  For example, I’ve added one of the Global cards below.  Imagine applying these questions to the current pandemic, and what answers you might receive from your students!  Some might find literal beauty in the microscopic image of the virus, while others may see the beauty of human nature being revealed as people jump in to help their communities.

truth and beauty

If you are preparing curriculum for distance learning, I hope that you will consider adding some of these to get a more detailed understanding of the thoughts your students are having while they learn.

Smithsonian Distance Learning Resources

I recently mentioned the Smithsonian Learning Lab in this post , which features some great lessons for Women’s History Month.  Now, the incredible educators at Smithsonian have a page of links to resources they have specifically curated for distance learning during this time of quarantine.  It includes information on how to use the Learning Lab, links for learning more about COVID-19, and resource collections with a national audience in mind.  In addition, there are D.C. specific lessons (which are separated by grade level, and can certainly be used whenever they fit in any curriculum), lessons for caregivers to use with children, and resources for tweens and teens.  The last two categories also include games and maker activity links.

Thanks to the Smithsonian for providing these well-organized spreadsheets full of links that will appeal to any age group and in any subject!

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Image by Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay