What sticks with you the most from grade school? Learning about volcanoes with that vinegar and baking soda experiment or the weekly spelling tests? My hunch would be the popular volcanic simulation. Well, the knowledge of volcanoes in this day and age is not particularly useful day-to-day, but that’s what we remember because we made something happen with our hands! And it was awesome to watch. And we begged the teacher to please, please let us do it again because it was so cool and we could make something happen right there in the classroom….and it was even a bit messy! Now… imagine if we could do that for fractions. Or the immune system. These topics are a bit more useful to our day-to-day actions, but let’s be honest, most of us do not have those vivid memories around learning those topics growing up.
But, what if instead we could literally split a pizza in 2 then 3 then 4 and we could actually capture the process with a camera in a way that we could play it back, visually recording and reiterating what the addition, subtraction, division of fractions looks like. Or, what if we could make little white pom poms move along the edge of the desk slowly “attacking” purple beads, again, documenting each step of the way as if we were filming an Academy Award Winning production. Suddenly these topics literally come to life and we had a magical hand in that process.
We are challenging ourselves to inspire vinegar-and-baking-soda experiments in every topic area in the classroom. And the best part is that we can inspire learning and increase content retention without even having to smell the stench of vinegar!