Tuesday, August 16, 2016

One time in math class... (as a teacher)

One of my favorite things that I used to do with my Integrated Math 3 classes was to take them to Hershey Park, an amusement park near our school.  Our Physics department takes hundreds of students to physics day at the park each year.  Students ride the rides and collect data during the ride to answer physics questions.  However, algebra 2 is a prerequisite for physics, so only the best math students enroll in physics.  This eliminates all of our other math students for having the chance for a fun day of applied math.

The integrated strand was for our lowest achieving students.  There was a higher than usual failure rate, so although there were only three classes in the sequence, most of the students were seniors.  I chose to take these students to the amusement park for math day because I wanted them to have a fun experience related to math.

The park worked with several local education institutions to come up with this document.   There are lots of activities at various levels for students to complete.  Each year, I chose a handful of these for students to complete, allowing for some choice.

We drove school vans to the park as there were only about 30 students enrolled in this level of math so we didn't need a bus.  I gave the students my google voice phone number so they could contact me in case of an emergency.  We met for lunch and at the end of the day when they turned in their work and we went back home.

It was awesome to provide these students an fun day.  They had always been overlooked because they were not high achieving.  The kids always had a good time, and they always managed to complete their assignments for the day.

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