Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Math and Laughter
Every Monday evening after I finish my graduate math ed. course at 7:30pm a small group of students from my undergraduate math ed. course bursts into the classroom to complete their weekly lesson plan assignment. Their task is to come up with a Bridges lesson plan based on the topic of the previous week's class. For example, this week the topic was how to teach Measurement concepts and skills to K - 6 students. The Bridges math program is the one used in most of the local elementary schools where the students complete their school classroom experience. As I leave my office to go home for the night I can hear the students chattering excitedly and laughing as they complete the activity. As a teacher, it's a great feeling to know that a) they are really meeting as a group to complete the activity as required, and b) that they really appear to enjoy what they are doing. One of my goals in the course is to demystify math education and make it as user-friendly as the other subjects children learn in the elementary school. I would love to call the course Teaching Math Arts so that it paralleled the Language Arts course but I think that would probably be too radical. In the meantime I try to accomplish the goal of making math user-friendly through assignments such as the Math eNotebooks where the task is to find and celebrate math in the real world. Look, for example, at all the math on the Vermont Statehouse plaque in the picture above.