In My …. Training Center

Prompt 1:

  • HOW real-world learning CAN/DOES mesh with Common Core Standards

The traditional learning style in the mathematics classroom has often been a variation of the ‘kill and drill’ method. Students are usually forced to memorize algorithms, substitute values, solve simple equations or dissect word problems looking for keywords or phrases. The word problems are often dated and irrelevant to the current student likes or dislikes. I don’t know how many word problems I have read or altered that ask students to find the cost of a cd. “A cd? What’s that?” Or cellular plans that have a flat rate plus a fee for ‘x’ text messages. I’ve heard too many students say, “You mean you had to pay for each text message?” Don’t get me wrong, it opens the door for discussions about how things were in the olden days. But it doesn’t relate the content to their life and therefore the information is lost.

Using real-world learning scenarios will allow students to develop a deeper understanding of the content and they can utilize the content outside of the classroom. An example from the text talked about students discovering a bee-hive. My first thought would have been to call someone to come and remove the hive. By posing a few questions, the teacher turned the situation into a learning project and allowed the students to research bees, interact with members of the community and market a product. An activity that likely had the students engaged from beginning to end and gave them experience that will stay with them forever.
Completing this reading/blogging assignment has me considering the level of mathematics I’m currently teaching in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Training Center. Often my examples are basic and rarely above a level 2. I can make the excuse that my students are low level and begin 6th grade at a 3rd grade level. However, that shouldn’t keep me from applying real-world applications that can accompany the content. In the past, I have assigned a large project that requires students to order from a menu, calculate the total including tax and tip. After they treat themselves, they are then given a budget and instructed to invite their families out to eat (fictionally-due to income reasons). After their families order, they must complete the same calculations. It is a fun activity but it can be extended. Going forward, students may have to determine food cost, overhead fees and other business related expenses.

Prompt 2:

2 thoughts on “In My …. Training Center

  • I have done almost the same project in my class with the restaurant scenario. I had them “go on a date” with their partner and calculate a few different scenarios. I love that you took it a step further to apply an income and budget! I also love that your classroom is the S.H.I.E.L.D Training Center. It may not be “real-world”, but it is allowing the students to relate to your love of Marvel and relating to your students is always super important.

    • What’s up girl! I was talking to Mike yesterday and said… Kilgore? How do I know that name? Then I looked at your blog. Duh! My teaching partner. I guess I was just so used to Tracey.

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