Monday, June 13, 2011

Stories and Pictures

I'm going to a 2-week Digital Electronics workshop soon, and since I didn't want to show up with no remembrance of anything electricity, I thought I'd better brush up. I didn't want my "brushing" to be too painful, so I found this book to help me, "The Manga Guide to Electricity".

Super cheesy, right? I'm not a "manga" person at all, but I figured it would be a "fun" (?) way to review.

Well, what do you know. It works! I think part of the effectiveness, for me anyway, is that when one of the characters is explaining various aspects of electricity, he links it to a picture and/or something I know. Now later on in the book when that aspect is referred back to, I conjure up that picture in my head and can see the story line and know what he's talking about. I can keep things straight instead of just plowing through various equations and thinking, now what equaled what?

Then I got to thinking, wouldn't it be fun/interesting (possible?) to have a running storyline (or a few) in, say, geometry. Then when you're teaching a new topic, there's pictures the kids can refer back to or some link that connects it to what they know. I guess ideally it shouldn't just be random things because maybe that adds to the memory retrieval problem.

What would it look like? Would they each develop their own story, sort of like that "here's a sentence and let's pass it around and everyone add another sentence and let's create a story" type of deal. Oh, maybe that's it. Every night someone new would be responsible for adding to the story. We could have an online geometry story that would be a work in progress all year. The kids could go back to it whenever they wanted to review.

Logistics: Would each class have their own story? Would we have one total? What if a kid flakes and doesn't do their part, how is that remediated? Blog? GoogleDoc? Other? Homework grade? Extra quiz grade? No grade? How many times a year will a student have to add to the story? Is there a way where they can sign up for a schedule?

It's just crazy enough for me to want to try it next year.


  1. Yeay for stories! I can't wait to see what you come up with.

  2. Thanks, Sue .... I'll be curious, too :).