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If you’re reading this, then you’re likely a podcast listener, but have you ever used podcasts in your classroom with your students?
Today you’re in for a treat because I am interviewing a gentleman by the name of Jerry Kolber. Jerry is going to give you some incredible ideas on how to use creative mediums such as podcasts to increase engagement and spark curiosity in your classroom!
Jerry Kolber is the co-founder of Atomic Entertainment and he’s a producer who has launched shows such as Queer Eye, iAMOTHER, Brainchild, and Brain Games.
He’s also the voice behind Who Smarted, a podcast that’s aimed at children aged 6 to 10. Each episode teaches something new to kids through humor, stories, and even interactive games. Within just one year, they’ve hit 3 million downloads for the show.
Beginning his career within the production auditing department of New York Undercover, Jerry dove in headfirst when it came to working in the entertainment field with networks as varied as Disney, Bravo, HBO, National Geographic, Animal Planet and MTV. Overall, Jerry has written, produced, supervised, and run over 400 episodes of various premium television and streaming content pieces.
Today, Jerry is focused on education - specifically changing the game to create a system that helps children learn without stamping them all out of the same mold along the way.
Teachers if you don't already know about the Who Smarted Podcast, you’ve got to check it out! It’s pretty amazing. In this podcast, Jerry uses elements such as sound effects and storytelling to invite children into imagination. He’s taken his amazing background in TV and turned it into “edutainment” for kids.
I always love to say that kids have one foot planted in reality and the other in imagination. Whenever you hit that sweet spot of bringing facts into story and imagination, you've got a winner. This is what he does in the podcast, so I can see why kids, teachers, and parents are loving it so much!
Jerry says, when you introduce kids to a new topic, you aren’t necessarily trying to teach them everything about the topic. You’re trying to get them excited about the topic! As teachers, we always want to ignite curiosity. If you can get kids curious about something, oh boy…the train has left the station! They are hooked and excited to learn.
I know that you’ll love hearing Jerry talk about how to make learning more fun for kids, and also more enjoyable and easy for teachers and parents. Teachers like you always have an endless to-do list, and one way that you can cut down on some of your planning is to grab Jerry’s free lesson plans, which were written by educators for educators. There are 52 of them! You can sign up for those free lesson plans at brainchildshow.com.
You can also sign up for the Who Smarted Podcast’s free newsletter that sends you more information about each episode and additional activities. It’s a great way to extend the learning at school or at home. You can sign up for the newsletter at whosmarted.com. Enjoy!
I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.
Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor
Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.
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