Friday, January 4, 2013

How to enrich kids lives in math?

I spend a lot of time, probably more than is healthy, thinking about making math class more engaging, more exciting and most importantly more of a learning experience.  To that end I talk to professionals about incorporating application (Tasks) as the start of the learning process, not just the end project.

As a K-12 coordinator and supervisor of teachers, this is such a drastic shift that the timeline to incorporating front loaded tasks into the curriculum is painfully slow.  Is this because the CCSS, RTI, etc... have all hit big at the same time?  Is this because teachers teach what they have always taught?  Is this because the expectations in a classroom are so tight in regards to timelines that teachers physically cannot fit it in?  Is it because in certain years of math the application is not the easiest to re-create or to even come up with (the stepping stones in Algebra 2).

We could come up with hundreds of excuses but the plain truth is that enabling students to see where and how the math could actually be used is, to steal from commercials, "priceless."  Without that authentic application students struggle to retain information.

I could go on, it is a frustrating day and my venting is always the need for better instruction quicker.  Any thoughts?