I encourage you to resist the temptation to dismiss this video as silly, as soapbox-ing, or not worth your time. Instead, watch the video in its entirety and reflect on its message.
I think the video sheds light on (and makes light of) some important issues in the classroom. I don’t agree that the Common Core is “the” answer. I’m not one to think a single approach is ever the best course of action. However, this video has engaged me in worthwhile reflection about learning, curriculum, preparing students for post-graduation, and more. I hope this prompts reflection for you, too.
I’d enjoy receiving your thoughts. I invite you to share them in the comments section of this post.
Former Cal quarterback Joe Ayoob sets world distance record for throwing a paper airplane. I saw this during SportsCenter and I instantly started thinking about all the learning and fun that could be generated with this video clip. The STEM teacher in me just loves this sort of thing.
Use friendly competition as a motivational strategy and challenge teams of learners to design the paper airplane that will travel the greatest distance. We are seeing greater emphasis placed on design and engineering in STEM areas on a number of fronts (Common Core Standards, recent grant RFPs, etc.). This would be a way to provide students with practical experience with design, project management, and more.
Consider cranking the discovery learning up a notch by providing non-traditional materials available, too. Will an airplane made of an entire sheet of newspaper travel a greater distance? Does the addition of paperclips to a plane’s design impact results?
Think way outside the box and challenge teams to work together using only non-verbal communication. This can really spice things up and promote creativity and higher-order thinking. My students always enjoy this and usually astound me with their creative communication strategies.
Let’s not overlook some of the more traditional connections. This can be an organic way to provide students with practice with measurement using both standard and non-standards units. This could be coupled with data collection, data anlaysis and the presentation of results through graphs and tables.
Those are just a few connections. Please share your ideas in the comments.