As a middle school math teacher, I was constantly looking for ways to incite my students’ interests in math. Unsurprisingly, and without fail, my students were always the most engaged when the lesson felt relevant and meaningful to their life, and when it centered on food. However, I often found that such lessons were incredibly time consuming to create. I always wished that there were vetted resources to refer to that incorporated food into the lesson. Who doesn’t like to eat and learn at the same time?
My wish has been granted. Below is a list of interactive lesson plans and videos from PBS LearningMedia that use cooking, baking, and grocery shopping to teach students mathematical concepts. If you want to make your lesson a little messier and more fun, bring in food for your students to work with and eat at the end of class. These lessons also serve as a great way to introduce students to topics about healthy eating and nutrition. Bon appétit!
Ratio and Proportional Reasoning: Food Labels Lesson Plan and Interactive Materials: Grades 5 – 8 In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students watch videos, and complete interactive activities to learn how to use fractions to interpret food labels and make healthy eating choices.
Multiplying Fractions by Whole Numbers: RecipesLesson Plan and Interactive Materials: Grades 5 – 8 In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students watch videos and complete interactive activities involving recipes to learn about fractions, and learn how to perform certain operations with fractions.
Big Sale Interactive Game: Grades 6 – 7 In this interactive activity, students learn how to solve unit rate problems to determine the best deal per ounce of grocery items. Students also learn how to recognize how math concepts, like rate and ratio, can be used in everyday situations.
Cake DesignerVideo: Grades 3 – 9 In this video a cake designer describes how she uses math in her recipes and designs. Students will relate the importance of mathematics to the field of cake designing.
Katie O’Mahoney is an Intern at KQED Education and a student in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. She has also worked as a middle and high school math teacher in the Bay Area.
Check out three of our favorite resources focused on visual arts in education:
Red Studio is the Museum of Modern's Arts interactive and collaborative project with high school students in New York City. Exploring "issues and questions raised by teens about today's modern art, working artists, and what goes on behind the scenes at a museum," the site features interviews with artists and opportunities to make digital art. The image above was creative in Red Studio's REMIX interactive collage tool.
Art Babble is like YouTube for art videos. This site was developed by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and features videos from partners including KQED, PBS's Art:21, The San Jose Museum of Art, Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, and many more, including national and international organizations. Videos are organized by medium, location, themes, and time period. There is a special section specifically for educators with classroom-appropriate videos and resources.
Art Education 2.0 is a Ning networking web site initiated by professor and educator Craig Roland. It hosts a robust collection of resources and offers many opportunities for idea sharing and networking among fellow arts educators. Membership is free, and there are currently over 12,000 active members who upload ideas, videos, and photos to share with their global community of colleagues.
Not the most uplifting way to start a blog post, huh? It's all true, though. And few people are more aware of it than the teachers and students on the front lines.
On March 13, teachers, education advocates, and a number of students filled the theater at Laney College in Oakland to address the problem, ask important questions, and share thoughts on how best to tackle this ongoing crisis in American education. The forum was part of American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen, an initiative spearheaded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), in partnership with America's Promise Alliance and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Local public radio and television stations (including KQED) in 20 impacted "hub markets" where the high school dropout crisis is most acute, are convening teacher town hall events to raise awareness of, and bring attention to, the issue.
Moderated by Snap Judgement host Glynn Washington, Tuesday's event centered around a panel of seasoned Oakland educators who spoke passionately about the extent of the crisis from their unique perspectives. While specific opinions and suggested courses of action varied widely, all participants were united in their insistence that a whole generation of young people are being left behind, and that urgent change is desperately needed.
Below are some of the overarching themes that shaped the discussion:
Strong student/teacher relationships are crucial
Students need to know that teachers care; that they know them; that they listen to them
Teachers must create support systems for their most vulnerable students, and provide lasting mentorship
Teachers need to encourage creativity/critical thinking among their students
It’s the role of educators to spark students’ minds, help create change
Much of today's conventional educational approaches focus too much on basic skills, and not nearly enough on creative skills and real-world job skills
Teachers are critical to student success, but there is often too much responsibility placed on them. The community support factor can't be ignored.
There is a serious lack of stability in the teaching force, and this directly impacts the stability of students; teacher dropouts encourage student dropouts
Teachers have questionable access to basic resources, which affects the length of their teaching commitment
There is a lack of consistency in the educational system; a constant flux in procedures, goals and approaches makes it harder on everyone
For many students entering high school, success is predetermined (there is still an unofficial form of tracking at play)
In many cases, students need to be taught “how” to be in school and "how" to learn; it shouldn't simply be assumed that this is inherent knowledge
There is a lack of relevance/meaning in most standardized curriculum; this results in a lack of student engagement and retention
Too often ignored in the education debate are the crucial impact of poverty, nutritional health, and basic resources on educational achievement
I got caught up in a mob scene, became an indentured servant and helped Phillis Wheatley write a poem with the top resource being viewed by California educators in PBS LearningMedia:
Mission US is a multimedia project featuring free interactive adventure games set in different eras of U.S. history. The interactive, "For Crown or Colony?" puts students in the shoes of Nat Wheeler, a 14-year-old printer's apprentice in 1770 Boston. As Nat navigates the city and completes tasks, he encounters a spectrum of people living and working there when tensions mount before the Boston Massacre. Ultimately, the player determines Nat's fate by deciding where his loyalties lie.
Mission Us is an opportunity for 6-8th graders to jump into Revolutionary Causes in Social Studies. My 3rd grade son liked it more than Mario Brothers Wii.
Applications are now open for the 1st Annual KQED Science Youth Media Festival, hosted at California Academy of Sciences on June 10, 2012, 3-5pm.
Deadline for submission: April 15, 2012
The theme for this year's festival is Nature and Environmental Science. We are looking for videos produced by youth who are either in middle school or high school about the following topics:
We are accepting submissions from youth who have made digital media projects either in school, an after-school program, summer program, or independently. The project format must be self-contained and able to stand alone. Presentations such as PowerPoint, Prezi, etc. will not be accepted. The projects must be published on a video hosting site like YouTube, SchoolTube, or Vimeo. The length of the projects cannot exceed 15 minutes and they must have been produced AFTER April 15, 2010.
Youth whose entries are accepted to the festival will receive iTunes gift cards. Grand prizes include the possibility of the showcasing the winning videos on KQED QUEST, a two-day internship with QUEST’s production team, and Apple mobile devices.
Before submitting your project, be sure to post the video on a video hosting site like YouTube, SchoolTube or Vimeo, and make sure that your video is public (we will not be able to view or judge a project that is set to private). To submit your project, fill out our online entry form below. Be sure to read the guidelines before filling out the form. You can download a copy of the entry form HERE to review it.
KQED Science Youth Media Festival is to showcase the work of middle school and high school students (ages 13-18). If you are younger than 13, please have a parent, teacher or instructor submit your project. All communication will be sent to the email listed in the form so please be sure it is active and checked often.
Teachers: For classroom projects, please submit only the "best" one or two to the KQED Science Media Festival for consideration. In other words, if your students are creating similar projects on air pollution, please submit only one or two projects to the Festival.
Create and keep a complete, high-resolution copy of your project, as this is required for all winning projects.
Entries must be received by 11:59pm PST, April 15, 2012.
Entries must represent work that was completed after April 15, 2010.
Please note that a completed materials/appearance release will be required for entries accepted to the KQED Science Youth Media Festival. This form must be printed and signed by the youth and his/her parent or guardian.
All entries must be submitted online using a preferred web hosting partner or other media hosting provider (e.g. SchoolTube, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.). All entries MUST have a valid, public URL that our judges can access.
There are a number of necessary skills that are essential to learning the process of making slideshows with audio. Like most multimedia productions, we can organize these skills into a common workflow or process which can be organized into three phases: pre-production, production, and post-production. We will review these phases and point you to some excellent resources that can be of great assistance.
The process begins with pre-production. During this time, the media producer develops the concept or idea. It should be time to brainstorm the purpose of the project, its message or argument, the intended audience, and perhaps the structure. It's always a good idea to research other multimedia projects that may inspire or influence the work. This worksheet (Media Planning Worksheet) is a great way to get started with a slideshow project. This worksheet can also help educators create a focused project assignment in thinking about what is required of students. In the classroom, it's a good idea to get students to use this worksheet and come up with a paragraph explanation or synopsis of their project along with perhaps an understanding of what they will need to record and what they will need to acquire from the internet or outside sources. Once the planning and understanding of the project concept is established, pre-production also includes developing storyboards (Storyboard Template), shot lists, and even a list of URLs of media resources like images and/or sounds. All of this work should culminate into a script where the media producer knows exactly what will be seen (visual material) vs. what will be heard (sound). If there is a voice-over narration that accompanies the project, then this is the time to write what that voice-over narration will be and to match images to the various parts of the narration. Here's a script template to use during this process. And here's an example of how the script looks from one of our QUEST slideshow scripts.
Once the script is complete, that marks the end of pre-production. The script is the blueprint for the project, but it does not mean that it cannot change. The media producer should allow flexibility during the process as some ideas do not seem to make sense or feasible once production begins or some ideas give way to better ideas.
During production, the media producers record or find all the necessary media assets for the project -- images and sounds. Some images may be found online, some may be shot by the media producer either in the past or for this specific project. Likewise with sound, there may be sounds that will be found online or recorded. For example, most likely the media producer will record the narration. That means this process includes any combination of the following: downloading online images, taking pictures, scanning images, downloading online sound effects or music, and recording voice-over narration.
Here's a great worksheet (Media Log for Slideshows) to use while finding media online. It helps the media producer log the assets that may be used in the project. Most importantly, it references or cites where images and sounds where found so that the sources can be included in the end credits as a list of citations. This is very important if you are using material that is copyrighted.
This worksheet (Slideshow Resources) lists a bunch of good resources and tips before beginning a project. It includes links to various tutorials for video editing software or sound recording applications, as well as tips for how to take good quality photos.
It is best to prepare a project folder on your computer's desktop. Inside the folder the media producer should have two other folders - one for images and the other for sounds and music. Here's a great video educast that explains the process of doing this for a Mac and using iMovie.
Part of production includes working with iMovie to record your voice-over narration. Here's are two great video educasts that presents a basic overview of iMovie and how to create/record audio narration. (Note: this is a playlist that hosts 2 videos).
Production ends once all of your images and sounds are imported into GarageBand and iTunes, and you have recorded your voice-over narration.
Post-production is the process of crafting and sequencing your images and sounds in iMovie or your video editing program of choice. This does not mean that you can't redo your voice-over narration or go out and record or collect more images. It is quite common to back to production once in post-production. It involves developing a rough cut which is like a rough draft of your project --This version may look as such: the media producer has put the images in a sequence - maybe not all the images, maybe not timed to the right rhythm or pacing, maybe no effects or transition or music. Eventually, the media producer works to finesse this project by adding or subtracting the length of each image in the sequence; adding effects to the images; adding transitions; adding titles; adding music; mixing the sound levels. Finally, once the project is finished, it is ready to be exported and published.
Here are a series of videos that explain how to do all of these techniques in iMovie. (Note: this is a playlist that hosts 5 videos)