On January 28th, The Doctor (made famous from the television series Doctor Who) visited our classroom. He was on an urgent mission from the future to stop a catastrophe, namely the failure of every student on an upcoming Mathematics quiz. He arrived via the TARDIS just before Math class began and the classroom was abuzz.
The Doctor began by surveying the room and then introducing himself in his usual cryptic manner. The students were soon aware this was not an ordinary man. Within minutes he made them aware of the dire future that awaited them it he didn’t intervene. After promptly removing all the ‘textbooks’ from the students desk, exclaiming “These are a most boring way to learn” The Doctor quickly erected old fashioned blackboards along two walls of the classroom (black butcher paper).
The students were then divided into pairs (determined by a check for understanding the previous day). The Doctor then had the partner with the least skill work out several practice problems while his/her partner coached them through any difficulties. An hour flies by pretty quickly when The Doctor is around and soon Math was over. He promised to return after the quiz to view the results. Upon entering the TARDIS, he disappeared.
Making of The Doctor:
What follows is a bit of history on how I made The Doctor come to life.
I began with building the TARDIS. This was the most time consuming part of the project. I envisioned it as a door cover for our classroom closet. After doing much research (very thankful for Google ImageSearch) I settled on the design. Thankfully butcher paper comes in TARDIS blue!
With the TARDIS finalized I then began working on The Doctor’s costume. Thankfully the BBC has an amazingly helpful section titled: How To Dress Like The Tenth Doctor (actually they have sections for every Doctor 1– 11). I used the information from this site which includes: hair, suit, tie, jacket, boots, and props. I then visited my closet and the local Goodwill to finalize my look. The props needed were standard issue Doctor Who: psychic paper and a Sonic Screwdriver. I ordered the Tenth Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver from Amazon, and created the psychic paper from household office supplies.
With all the props, costume, and door in place I was ready to give my students a lesson to remember, both in content and in delivery. They absolutely loved The Doctor’s visit. And more importantly, after another check for understanding, it was clear that where less than half of the students had learned the material the day before, fully 95% understood after The Doctor’s visit. I shared the success of this lesson with friends on Google Plus, Facebook, and Twitter and soon gained the attention of our local paper.
I’d like to thank Dave Burgess and his amazing book Teach Like a Pirate for inspiring me to hook my students in exciting and inventive ways! And now that my students have taken the dreaded quiz, it’s time for The Doctor to return and discuss the results…