This afternoon I worked with a group of teachers and we discussed ways to make junior high math classes more engaging for students. I shared Dan Meyer’s video, Math class needs a makeover . They really enjoyed the part where Dan shows how to take a textbook question and break it into four layers, then reorder these layers to pose the question in a more authentic problem-solving way. I have shared this video with many teachers from Kindergarten to grade 9 and, even though Dan’s examples are from middle or high school, teachers can imagine how this approach can be adapted for their students.
Then I shared the WCYDWT (What can you do with this) section of Dan Meyer’s blog. There were several examples, such as the Toaster Regression, Ctd. or the Grocery Shrink Ray, that the teachers thought would be appropriate for all students. They are going to try some of these sample problems and see how it goes.
Some of the problems, though, were beyond junior high level but we agreed that we could offer many of them to students as extensions. We also thought it would be exciting to challenge some students to create their own WCYDWT investigations. Now, just to figure out how to create videos and animations as well as Dan!