Every semester, I try to make improvements to each of my classes. Sometimes they're big and sometimes they're small. This helps keep the course fresh for me, and I think it's important that students see professors who love what they do. Doing new things in class helps me continue to love it.
One of the small improvements I made in my middle childhood course this semester was to include a brief YouTube clip at the beginning of every class. Of all the age spans covered in child development (infancy, toddlerhood, preschool, school-aged, and adolescence) middle childhood, or school-aged, has been studied the least. That means there are very few textbooks that focus on this period from 6 to 12 years, and there are also few educational videos focused specifically on this age. Seeing video of actual kids, though, is helpful, so my original intent was to start each class with a clip that included school-aged kids in it -- a fun reminder at the beginning of each class of just whom we are studying.
The scope of these clips expanded as the semester went on, though, and I also started finding things that would be good resources for my students, many who intend to be teachers. Over the last week, we've been talking about academic learning, and this has included a bit of information on the school-aged child's mathematical understanding.
Remember this show?
When I did a search on YouTube for math clips, I came across some great videos by Danica McKellar, aka Winnie. I remember reading a long time ago that grown-up-Winnie is a math whiz, and by golly, she seems to be. She's definitely all grown up, too.
She has even written some books about math.
Pretty good stuff. And if you're interested, this is the "Math Bites" clip that I showed in class.
A good improvement, I think.