Larry and Stu have been teaching high school math for 10 years. They take a load off in the teachers’ lounge at lunchtime.
Stu: What do you mean, Larry?
L: We gotta make math real-world.
L: OK, see there are these Russian Dolls. And, oh yeah, these escalators. And there’s a whole mess of these graphing stories. Kids watch these videos and they make a graph showing the relationship between time and height, or time and distance, or heck-there’s even one on time and time!
S: Sounds interesting, Larry. Tell me more.
S: No idea. But, OK, kids ask the question. Cool. Then what?
L: Well, then you give ‘em whatever information they need to solve the problem. And you let them work, or maybe some days you lecture. But the point is, they’re motivated to do the work because they asked the question and they identify with the context.
S: Good. Go on….
L: OK. Then after they answer the question, you don’t just look in the back of the book for the answer, you show the answer in the video. They see the results of their calculations. If they’re right, they get validated. If they’re wrong they know they’re wrong. They get that math solves real problems.
S: Nice. Do we do videos every day?
L: No. That would get old. Once every couple of weeks or so.
S: What do we do in between?
L: Well, what we’ve always done.
S: Oh, so not all of Math Class Needs a Makeover? Just 10% of it?