One of my goals in math is for my students to understand that there is more to math than getting the right answer. I want my students to develop a love for math and see the connection to the real world. This is not how math was taught to me. I memorized formulas and solved problems without always understanding what I was doing or why. Now as a math teacher I want my students to see there are multiple ways to solve problems and reach the answer. So to start the year I read excerpts from one of my favorite books, Math Curse, by Jon Scieszka. The character in the story starts to see everything as a math problem. We then discussed that math really is everywhere in the world around us. Students completed the statement “Math is…” Through our discussion they realized that math is used in art while drawing lines and angles, in cooking, and in reading maps to name a few. Ms. Clark, our music teacher, was thrilled to see the connection made to music with “Math is in music when you add the note value.”
We will carry this forward as students apply our math curriculum to real world experiences. In our first real world task students were asked to become landscape designers! Each student created their own garden to scale. A perfect way to connect ratios and proportions to the real world and allow the students to see that there was more than one correct way to complete the task.