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A Different Kind of Webspiration Wednesday

Webspiration Wednesday normally consists of teachers gathering together in the library to watch and discuss an inspirational video or TED talk, followed by discussion about its implications in our classrooms.  Today was a different kind of Webspiration Wednesday. On March 10 I got a late night phone call that one of our second grade teachers had died.  I was convinced that I was hearing wrong, Val was only 53 and I saw her that morning.  She wasn’t feeling well when she got to school, so we called her  a sub.  Being that she is a teacher, she came back to school at 4:00 to write up sub plans and get everything ready for her absense the next day.  Her husband and 7 year old daughter were with her, and gave her 5 minutes to get her plans laid out.  Of course 5 minutes turned into 30 as she set out plans, answered emails, and wrote a morning message for her students at the board.  As she was finializing plans, she collapsed.  Paramedics weren’t able to revive her.   Our school body went into a state of shock and mourning.  The next day we had no school.  Teachers gathered and cried together, and we asked a lot of questions about how best to minister to grieving kids.  We brought in grief counselors and came together with our students the next day to help the students process the loss in any way that we could.  As a school body we felt utterly depleted.  An amazing thing happened, schools from  around the country came together to support us.  My PLN on Twitter immediately sent articles and podcasts for how to help children through the grief process and offered words of hope.  Jason Schmidt (@jasonschmidt123) had his students write notes of hope, encouragement, and prayers for Val’s little girl.  They arrived the day of Val’s funeral.   A neighboring school showed us love and encouragement by providing our staff the opportunity to come together over a catered lunch.  Today we broke bread together.  We talked, and laughed, and reminiced together.  We don’t often get that opportunity with staggered lunches and busy schedules.  We were inspired today not by a video talk, but by the love showed by others.   Thank you all for your inspiration, words of encouragement, and hope.

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HIP2B²: Science/Math edutainment magazine and videos

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Evaluate, inspiration, Interactive book, Math, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 11-02-2011

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What it is: HIP2B² is an edutainment site that aims to show students that subjects that are generally labeled as “difficult” or “hard” can be fun and are important to our future success. HIP2B² is a website, digital magazine, and TV show that work to equip learners with vital life skills including analytical thinking, problem solving, and a curious mindset.  The goal is to encourage curiosity in science and math in everyday life.  The magazine is a high-quality quarterly publication that is free to view online, the magazine uses the Issuu platform for the digital viewing.  You can see an example of the digital HIP2B² embedded above. The TV show can be viewed online, powered by YouTube.

How to integrate HIP2B² into the classroom: The HIP2B² videos and digital magazine are a fantastic way to invigorate a sense of curiosity and discovery in your students.  The digital magazines are really well done, students will eagerly read through them.  Each of the digital magazines is focused on a science or math topic such as mysteries, senses, the environment, technology, origins, animals, safety, food, intelligence, and much more.  Students can view the digital magazines all the way back to June 2007.  Use the digital magazines as inspiration for science and math inquiry.  Students can read through the digital magazines on a classroom computer set up as a reading center, as a class using an interactive whiteboard or projector connected computer, or individually in a lab setting.   Do your students get silent reading time in class? Allow them to use the computers to read through the HIP2B² digital magazine.

In the video section, students can learn about “tricks” of science like invisibility cloaks and floating paperclips or more serious science like nanotechnology and extreme weather.  These videos can be used to introduce a topic or science/math concept or to illustrate a concept.

Are your students working on science and math that encourages analytical thinking, problem solving, and curiosity? Why not have them create their own HIP2B² inspired digital magazine.  Students can put together their own magazine using any word processing or publishing program and upload the finished product to Issuu to share with the world.

Tips: For those of you who don’t have access to YouTube in your building, you can still use these awesome videos in your classrooms with a little bit of pre-planning.  Download and save YouTube videos so that you can show them at school without accessing the YouTube site. UseKeepVidYouTube DownloaderHDKick YouTubeSaveVid, or Zamzar.  Some of these tools will even let you download at school if you know the YouTube url.  The downloaded video should have no trouble playing at school!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using HIP2B² in your classroom!

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