Classroom Conversation Starters


How to Build a Toaster From Scratch – TED Talk – One of my class favorites!

I know that classroom time is a commodity, but I also believe that if you want to motivate your kids, you have to get them engaged. I’m lucky; I have computers in my class, so it’s fairly easy to get my kids engaged. But sometimes, I feel like we need to just talk (to build relationships), so we turn off the computers and discuss something weird, crazy, thought-provoking, or beautiful.

I scour the Internet every day for weird and wacky material to expose my kids to things they may otherwise never see. Over the years, I’ve amassed a huge set of links about child entrepreneurs, terrifying bugs, crazy art techniques, and other off-beat stories that I found interesting. At least once I week, I expose my kids to something strange…. and they LOVE it.

The first few weeks, the most common question was, “What does this have to do with computers?”

“I don’t know. What do you think?” I answer.

And the fun begins.

I believe these topics not only expose kids to things they might never see, but also gets them thinking creatively. We get an added critical thinking and problem solving bonus when I encourage them to draw the line to technology; I have no end game in mind. I simply want to see where they go with it.

The results are amazing.

If you want to give it a try, but aren’t sure where to start, here’s a few of my favorite links. Feel free to stop by periodically; I add new links all the time.


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