What Problems Do You Want To Solve?

As a little girl, my parents and teachers used to ask me “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Oddly enough, it was a paralyzing question. If everything is possible, how do you choose? How can you even choose what, when you don’t even know why? “What Problems Do You Want to Solve?” Refugees. Clean Water. Literacy. Poverty. Climate Change. Clean Energy. Trash in the Oceans. Air Pollution. Housing. Bees. War. Parking. Transportation. Depression. Cancer. Nutrition. Diabetes. Bullying. Etc. Etc. Etc. What if, instead of asking kids what they want to be, we started asking them what problems they want to … Continue reading What Problems Do You Want To Solve?

We need to think differently

Problem Based Learning. Project Based Learning. Challenge Based Learning. I’m having an existential crisis. Questioning everything I do. Am I and my fellow math teachers still relevant? //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js This week’s readings got my head spinning and sent me on a mad web-searching frenzy. Who cares about rational functions? What even are rational functions? What is the purpose of education? What are they doing in Finland? Why do we still divide schools into subjects and departments?  We need to think differently. That’s the message I take away from this week’s readings. We. Not just me. We. Here’s what I know: I talk too much. I … Continue reading We need to think differently

The Power of Numbers

Numbers when combined with images are powerful and can be used to influence change. This is no big secret, which is why so many people use infographics to spread their message. In Grade 9, we call our exponents unit “The Power of Numbers”. In addition to standard exponent laws and scientific notation, we use dimensional analysis to teach the concept of changing units. Our culminating project has kids researching the recycling problem at our school and educating the school population as to the potential problem in an attempt to increase recycling. We start the project in the school’s basement. The custodial staff … Continue reading The Power of Numbers

Impact

BIG IMPACT. small impact. No matter–just make a difference. The world is made better one step at a time, and technology makes it easier for us to reach out. Perhaps you heard of Kevin Curwick, a Minnesota teen, who decided to fight cyber-bullying at his school using Twitter. He started @OsseoNiceThings in 2012 to spread kindness throughout his school one tweet at a time. With over 4500 followers, it’s clear that this simple action has made a big difference in his school. Talin Scherping always puts others before himself. Whether it’s out on the field or in the classroom, he’s … Continue reading Impact