Dream BIG!


I was really moved and inspired by this TED talk video I watched a few days ago on this blog called Inquiry Within. I showed my students this video and they clapped at the end! After watching it, I asked my students what their dreams are. I heard various things from, making a change in the world, helping shy kids become more outgoing, starting my own duct tape wallet business, saving the oceans, coming up with a new type of clean energy and more. It was so exciting to hear their dreams. I don’t know why I haven’t asked them earlier. I challenged them to think of ways to take action on their dreams now and not wait until they are “older”.

Often I wonder if what I say to them sticks inside. My students have been blogging for the slice of life challenge this month. I suggested that they write about their dreams for their blog post today. When I came home, I was checking their blogs, and quite a few of them wrote about this TED talk. It was so encouraging to read their positive responses to the talk and hear them talk more about their dreams. Here is some of their writing!

“What I learned is that nobody can tell you that your dream is stupid. Just believe you can make a difference!!!”

“This is a poem I wrote about my Dream.

Dream even when you don’t have to,
Remember all the things you dream about,
Everyone has to dream of something,
Anyone can can believe in their dreams,
My dream is DUCT TAPE, BUSINESS.”

“I really liked this film because I thought  it expressed very good details about how to always try your best. I think it really motivated us to dream big, work hard, and to stay humble, I know what you are thinking, why stay humble? But as it said in the video “no one likes a big jerk”. I mean think about it, do you think you are a big jerk. But it also said that only you could dream big and only you can make your own history. Think about it!?

“Just now My teacher wanted me to think of a bigger dream. At first I couldn’t think of anything but then as other people started sharing their big dream I got an idea. My big dream was to open a dog rescuing business because in China there are lots of dogs that doesn’t have a home, and I want to give them a home.”

“DREAM BIG. WORK HARD. STAY HUMBLE. These words have been stuck in my head as if they had been super-glued. Today after school, I immediately turned on the computer to watch a TED video. It was called:  Write Your Story, Change History. By just one short video, I never knew I could learn that much. The wisdom of words spread into my ears. I learned that by just one helping hand, you can make a big difference. A girl born with cancer has made a big difference all around the states raising millions of money to help people with cancer. One girl. One dream. One lemonade stand. Seems normal right? But look at how much she’s done. Even us ordinary people can make a big difference in our world right now.  Now it’s your turn to start taking action to changing history.”

Another idea I have swirling in my head is to have the kids write and perform their own “TED talk” that will inspire others!

How do you inspire your students to dream big? 

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TEDEd YouTube Channel

I have always talked about what a huge fan I am of TED talks… I feel so behind. I had no idea there was a youtube channel devoted to educational TED talks until I was reading Jee Young’s latest blog post!

I just watched this talk on taking GOOD and BAD out of our vocabulary. You need to watch it, show it to your upper elementary students (heck, I might even show it to my kinders!) and tie it in with a lesson on how to add more descriptive adjectives into our writing.

Integrating technology into the classroom is vital in today’s world. Working at a school that doesn’t have laptops to check out, or iPads to use, doesn’t mean I can’t include technology into my lessons. These great videos are a good way to start.

What are some ways you integrated technology? Have you used one of these TED videos in your lessons?

The World Peace Game

John Hunter is an elementary school teacher in Virginia who is doing something extraordinary and innovative with his students called the World Peace Game. There is a documentary on his work called: World Peace and other 4th-Grade Achievements.

He also did a TED Talk about the impact this game has on his students. Make sure to watch for some extra inspiration!

What I’m wondering is how he is able to set up this game and how does he prepare his students to play this game. I tried to find more information on the webpage: http://www.worldpeacegame.org/ However, it seems like, there is no manual or way to purchase this game as of now. If you are interested in doing this in your classroom, he suggests that you create it on your own!

“Using Tech to Enable Dreaming”

I discovered TED talks around 2007 or 2008… and I thought they were insanely fantastic. Recently, I have started to watch more and more TED talks. It may replace my “One Tree Hill” addiction.

This past December, Shilo Shiv Suleman gave a TED talk that introduces her new storybook iPad app “Khoya”. Her talk is the title of this post, “Using Tech to Enable Dreaming”. The app she created sounds amazing, it puts you inside the stories you are reading and makes it extremely interactive (there are parts where you have to GO OUTSIDE-a lost art in itself- and take pictures of flowers, or the bark of a tree, or an animal, etc.). In writing workshop I just started my unit on “Fairy Tales”, and my students could not be more excited. This app really works with that unit, the only thing is that it is rated for ages 9+ due to some fantasy violence (have you ever read the original fairy tales? they were dark!). Check out her TED talk here:

Shilo Shiv Suleman’s TED talk

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. I just learned this today! Anytime you seen an x, it stands for an independent and local group organizing TED talks, which is great. I have come across some really interesting presentations over the past couple days.

What is your favorite TED talk?