Wow

I’ve been fortunate to have a few of those ‘wow’ moments in my lessons last week, but I can’t claim that all of them were the result of anything that I’d planned.

I knew I’d get a ‘wow’ when I used our hand held voting keypads for the first time. These are similar to the ones used on TV shows: you offer the students a choice of answers and they vote by pointing a little remote control at a sensor. Unfortuantely our system offers a limited choice of available answers which is a bit restrictive – and I didn’t want to limit myself to multiple guess questions. However adding some mini-whiteboards into the mix and using the voting keypads to keep scores opened a whole realm of possibilities. The students were amazingly impressed by this bit of kit and loved using it, but that wasn’t any real surprise – however it did make the lengthy preparation times for those lessons seem really worthwhile.

Another wow arrived when a student found – but refused to believe – the claim on my website that you could cut a hole in a piece of A4 paper that was big enough to climb through. So I demonstrated, firstly with a sheet of A4 and then a with a postcard sized sheet. (Why do I never think to set the video up when doing these things?) That provided an unforeseen ‘wow’ moment. Another satisfied customer.

The Möbius strip joke* raised the obvious ‘What’s a Möbius strip?’ question. So we made some. Wow. (That’s a big wow by the way.)

But the biggest wow of the week was nothing to do with my teaching, nor with any of my students having an inspired moment of discovery, learning or insight.

No, it was my most recent choice of desktop wallpaper that many of them captivated:

South Bank Graffiti I

Obviously I like the photo (or I wouldn’t have used it), but it shouldn’t be the most interesting thing in my lesson. What’s that old adage about never work with children?

*What’s the joke you ask? Enjoy:

Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?
To get to the other… er… um…

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