It’s the season of graduations, and Jason Mraz just released the perfect song to accompany every single one of them. I played it yesterday as my 4th graders were working on mandalas, and they left the classroom singing the chorus in unison on the way to lunch.
The song, “Have it All,” is one of those catchy tunes that you don’t have to be a music producer to predict will be an instant hit. It will lift your heart even more when you watch the video. Students from Binford Middle School in Richmond, VA, (where Mraz has mentored since last year) appear in segments of this uplifting short film. The custodian gets a starring role, too!
Jason Mraz is a master of lyrics, and your students may enjoy analyzing such lines as, “May you be as fascinating as the slap bracelet.” My favorite is the one I used to title this blog post.
Apple made some announcements yesterday regarding additional support for educators with new products and management tools. You can read about it here. As part of its “Everyone Can Create” campaign, the company released a new video, “One Person Can Change the World.” Of course, its ultimate purpose is to sell Apple products, but listening to the children narrating may make you ready to go out and do something incredible. A couple of great quotes from the short video are:
As I watched the video on YouTube, I noticed another Apple video from 2014 that I don’t remember seeing before today. This second video is called, “Perspective,” and I can’t wait to show it to my students. As Apple states in the video description, “Here’s to those who have always seen things differently.”
This adorable Kindergarten weather report has been making its way around social media. Caden Corts’ video producer father may have given him some help with the green screen work, but this kid is a natural in front of the camera!
If you have ever seen a music video by “OK Go,” then you cannot fail to be in awe of the band’s incredible creativity. In every production, you can tell that they spent a lot of time on brainstorming, working hard, and having fun. Even more notable, though, is how much math and science must be used to create these complex feats of artistic expression.
In cooperation with the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas (seriously wish this had been a thing at my university!), OK Go has designed a new website, the OK Go Sandbox, that provides resources for educators to use with students for STEAM activities based on a few of their music videos.
Each of the music videos currently featured on the site has a link to educational materials that include free downloads, challenges for the students, additional videos, and suggested activities. From making flipbooks to experimenting with sounds made by different “found” instruments, this resource explores the astonishing potential of merging science with art. Some of the challenges can be used with the Google Science Journal (a free app available for both Android and iOS).
It looks like this is a dynamic project that is encouraging advice from educators, so be sure to visit this page for more information on how to get involved.
Jody Williams, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work as the founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, knows something about activism. You can watch this RSA Animated Short in which she speaks about the importance of trying to make a difference.
Whether you agree with the students who join in the National Walkout today or not, I think that we should take heart that they are moved enough to choose do something rather than nothing. Often accused of being self-centered and apathetic, these young people will be working to make their voices heard.
You may recognize Brad Montague (@thebradmontague) as the creator of the outstanding Kid President videos. But his creativity and compassionate work with kids does not stop there. He and his wife have begun a “Joyful Rebellion” with the Montague Workshop. What began as a series of videos has evolved into 8 resources for teachers that include the Montague Workshop videos, lesson plans, and activities written by teachers. As the website declares, “Our aim is to be the Alfred to your Batman.”
I don’t know about you, but I feel like a Joyful Rebellion is exactly what we need right now!