I believe that I am a hacker in my own professional practice. Keeping my students happy while learning is probably one of the goals I hold close to my heart. Another goal I consider important is making sure that my students find personal connections or meaning to what I am teaching them - whether it may be in Math, Science, Social Studies or Language Arts. I actually overheard one of my students ask her specialist teacher ,"...but why are we learning this if we aren't going to use it in real life?" - That was truly a lollipop moment for me !
We just got back from a field trip for our Product and Development and Persuasive Writing unit . My teaching partner and I decided to take learning outside and allow the kids to experience what we are teaching in the real world. We brought our students to California Pizza Kitchen where they had a chance to create their own pizza in an assembly line, learn about different resources by looking at the restaurant's ingredients and understand product pricing by looking at resources. For our persuasive writing unit , each group of kids were asked to make ad posters for the restaurant to persuade customers to dine there. The ads are going to be displayed outside the restaurant and voted on by customers for 1 week , the winner will then get a gift certificate from the restaurant. This trip really empowered our students. Not only did they get to understand product and development firsthand, they also got to use their own voices to persuade other people.
Thank you John for sharing this video and thanks everyone, for all your wonderful responses in this thread. I enjoyed reading them!