Sunday, July 1, 2012

Create a Direct Connection Between ALGEBRA and the REAL WORLD For Your Students:)

Often times, students go to math classes (here algebra), do the activities/exercises, might have some exposure to how the numbers and symbols in text might be applied in the world outside of class, and possibly get good grades.  BUT, what have they really learned?  Can they explain the connection between the subject and any actual application to solving problems?

Well, the new Common Core Standards in Math will be addressing this very same issue.  Teachers will be incorporating the necessary academic vocabulary into all lessons, expecting students to use it in speaking, recognize it when reading word problems, incorporate it in writing word problems, use it when explaining how they arrived at an answer, ask specific questions on problems they had in attempting to solve a problem, and be able to understand the terms when classmates or the teacher bring them into class discussion.

For ELLs, this process may need more support from the teacher, but it can still be achieved.  Since teachers will be recycling key vocabulary in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, ELLs will not only be exposed to it, but be able to actually insert it wherever necessary.  This focus will produce students who should be able upon finishing high school secure a well-paid job or go on to the university and do well and THAT is the end goal of the Common Core Standards in Math. 

DIRECT APPLICATION OF ALGEBRA TO REAL WORLD provides students with a detailed look at how the digits in the text actually solve exciting problems in the real world.  Teachers select one item (linear equations, quadratic equations, etc.) and then click on the link that accompanies it.  There they will find lessons, mini-movie clips (some come with a dvd that must be purchased, but most don't).

Here are some of the subject areas covered:

Predict future sports records based on past statistics
What qualities or characteristics would you look for in the material that is used to make an aquarium?
Build a two-dimensional "rover" and analyze its ability to climb over obstacles as you vary the diameter and spacing of its "wheels."
Find the exact equation for a new telescope mirror with a given light-gathering power and focal length. (from The FUTURES CHANNEL which you can subscribe to for FREE).

Hope your students enjoy this link.  Also, if you are American, happy July 4th:)



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