When has a teacher not heard the phrase “When am I ever going to use this?” from his/her students? Students inherently need to make the connection of what they are learning to their real lives. If they can see the connection, they will take more of an interest in what they are learning.
That’s the premise behind our HP Catalyst Initiative project: Business Math @Conestoga: Math is Everyone’s Business!
After all, Math IS everyone’s business! It’s all around us and we use it everyday. Even if we aren’t explicitly using math, we are using the skills that learning math teaches us.
As a Business Math teacher, I am able to find examples that show students where the math they learn is used in real life business applications. Through our HP Project, we are striving to make the links stronger through connections with local Entrepreneurs who share how they use Math in their businesses.
For high school teachers, it can be difficult to make the connection to real world use for some of the math that is taught in school. This is especially true when the student is not moving on to a college or university program that relates to math directly. I recently found an link on twitter to an article that talks about the life lessons that Math teaches us. You can find the article here. Next time you are struggling to find a concrete example of how students would use the math your teaching in their lives — connect it to some of the examples in this article.
Once again, the people at Dyknow thought I had something interesting to say about some of the things I do in my classroom (in this case – outside my classroom). Here’s the link to the Blog post:
As part of my HP Catalyst Project: Business Math @Conestoga, I’ve spend the last year trying out different tools to help me better connect with my students.
Check out my first of a two part series blog post that I wrote for the folks over a Dyknow that describes some of the Tools I’ve been using with my class.
Part 2 comes out next week.
For many teachers, spring cleaning happens in the summer while we’re “off” school. This year I decided to not only clean, but to do a purge of all those items I’ve been keeping around thinking that I might use someday. I had things in my kitchen that I couldn’t remember the last time I used them!
Once I got rid of all the excess, I had lots of room in my cupboards and now things are organized and easy to find. It got me thinking… I have to do the same with my school supplies. The only way I am going to get my office organized and keep it that way is to be “ruthless” when filtering through everything.
I’ve been teaching for 12 years. Every year I throw out old notes, tests and assignments, but I also keep a copy of anything I think I will use again. Little by little, the filing cabinets get full. Do I really need notes from a course that I taught 10 years ago? Even if I taught the course again, would I use the same teaching methods, notes and tests?
Every year we learn about new tools and activities to use in our classrooms. Time to evaluate our methods, get rid of the ones that don’t work for our students and make room for the new ones that do. Time to purge!