As you may know, my 32nd birthday is coming soon. (want to buy me a present? check out my wish list here)
Today marked the last day of MAP testing for my 8th graders. Instead of moving onto the next chapter in our text-book, I decided to give my students a “brain break” and show a movie.
Of course, my time at Ritenour Middle ingrained into me that any movie must be tied to the curriculum and be justified in a lesson plan. I definitely don’t miss that but it does make me think about what I show. No Cars or Despicable Me in my classroom. I am usually disturbed when I see a movie being played in a classroom that is not directly related to the course content.
Anyway, I headed to our awesome library yesterday afternoon to pick out a video worthy of showing in my math classroom. I walked away with 3 VHS tapes!!! Apparently the math movie genre isn’t booming and there are not any current up-to-date options. I settled on “Math …Who Needs It?” It was produced in the 90s- when I was in middle school. It is older than my students. The glory days of the 1990s hair and fashion was shining in this video. The “modern technology” is not so modern anymore but the kids got the picture in the sense that, regardless of their future goals, math is going to be relevant.
What made me feel old is the fact that in one clip about how rock stars use math, the video features Billy Joel. Most of my students have never heard of him. One student asked if he is blind. Another student asked if he is a real singer. A third told me that she thinks her grandma went to one of his concert a really long time ago.
On a positive note, my classes with total stinker kids (you know the ones that bug you all year) were totally into the video. They were awake and leaning in to watch. And I didn’t even assign a worksheet to go with it. Woohoo!
How do you feel about movies in the classroom? Do you show things that are older than your students?