Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Thinker Statue

I came across this Thinker Statue at an antique shop and bought it for about $10.  The use I’ve gotten from it in my classroom is priceless.  Here’s why.

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As teacher’s, we’ve all witnessed those times when a student has that magical moment in class, when everything comes together at the perfect time and things make sense.  They have a great thought, a great idea, and if they don’t share it with someone, they are going to burst like an overfilled water balloon.  And when they share their thought with the class, It’s almost as if the scene was rehearsed the night before.  They hit their cue perfectly and nail it.  Sometimes the contribution they make to the class ends up getting applause from other students.  I’ve even witnessed an standing ovation a time or two.  Moments like these are the ones that I just want to bottle up and save for another day. 

A thought like that, so powerful, so insightful deserves some sort of reward.  That’s why I have “The Thinker Award”.  It takes just a moment to recognize the student for their outstanding contribution to class and the Thinker Statue that sits on their desk for the remainder of the period reminds them that their contribution was appreciated by all.  After that, they’re in the club and they are the envy of others.  Other students want to earn the Thinker Statue, but they will just have to wait until they have that magical moment.  It will come, they just need to be patient and let it happen naturally.  

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How Twitter Changed My Classroom (in a matter of seconds)

And just like that my students’ tweets were answered!  Running with a tweet I saw from @bobloch, I gave my students an assignment to write a product review for the online calculator at desmos.com.  The reviews they wrote were absolutely fantastic.  They wrote about what features they liked, what they didn’t like, what changes they would make and all sorts of other neat things.  I tweeted some of their opinions with the team @desmos and then we received their reply.

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I had it up on the screen as they walked into the room and my students went absolutely nuts!  Their opinions were actually being read by people (who really matter) other than me.  Will they be a little more motivated on the next product review assignment?  You bet!