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#TeacherThoughtsTuesday: Student Engagement

 #TeacherThoughtsTuesday

Student Engagement


Student engagement. Those words are the dream and the nightmare for every school teacher no matter what subject or age group. Everywhere.

Engagement is easily one of the hardest parts about being a teacher. Getting students to buy into what you’re teaching, without questioning the purpose or disagreeing with the usefulness, is the ultimate goal. Teachers dream of having students engage themselves in the content. Our goal is to have students who want to know more about the skills and ideas being taught.

Student engagement is the dream and the nightmare for teachers of every subject & age group. Everywhere.

I know, some of you are thinking, “When I was a in school we just had to sit, listen, and take notes. No one cared if we were into the lesson or wanted to know more about a given topic.” While that may be true (to a point), there is tremendous value in having a lesson where students can clearly see the point, the ‘why’, and have the desire to learn the about the topic or master the skill.

Without engagement in what is being taught the subject, whatever it may be, becomes stale and boring because there is no personal involvement. You can’t make students love math but you can make them want to find the answer to an engaging question. For instance, most of my students could really not care less about how to solve a system of linear equations, but if I ask them which cell phone plan is the better deal for a certain contract time they want to find the answer because they can see immediate pay-off in knowing how to find the answer.

Algebra is all around us, hidden in plain sight as normal, day-to-day consumer decisions.

In an age where many students can’t see the value in learning something that isn’t immediately applicable to their lives finding something they can relate to is vital. I’m not saying there aren’t going to be lessons (or even whole units) that won’t be immediately useful to them, but the more you can bring in the day to day usefulness of math the more likely they are to believe you when you tell them that they will, indeed, use math after high school. (Even if they don’t solve the problems the same way…)

Algebra is all around us; hidden in plain sight as normal day-to-day consumer decisions.

As a fourth year teacher, I’m really just starting out on my journey to becoming an effective teacher. I think if I can add a few great, engaging ideas to my lessons every term I’ll get there… 

Eventually.

Though, I’ve heard the really great teachers never believe they’ve mastered it all!


Do you have ideas about day-to-day consumer topics you think fit well into the math classroom? Have some of your own teacher thoughts to share?

 

I want to hear them!
♥♥♥ Leave me some comment love below. ♥♥♥

 

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#Thoughtful Thursday Week 4: Optimism

Optimism – /ˈäptəˌmizəm/

Noun

  1. Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.
  2. PHILOSOPHY: The doctrine, especially as set forth by Leibniz, that this world is the best of all possible worlds.

It has been a stressful few days here at the Math Lovin’ household, so this week’s theme is going to be optimism.

For some people optimism comes easily and for others it’s a struggle to move past the reality of a tough situation to see the positive. Personally, I can fall into either group depending on the day. I consider myself a realist, erring on the side of optimistic but this week it has been hard to stay to that side of the spectrum. I definitely needed some inspiration to get me through the week.

Here are a couple quotes that have kept me going this week:

We must return optimism to our parenting

Dragonling has had a rough week. She’s been having tummy issues as well as teething.
I keep thinking one morning she will just wake up with a full set of teeth ready for some steak. Seriously… any day now would be great.

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism

I think the first sentence of this one is what got me. I can be hopeful without being optimistic, and I can have optimism without hope. I prefer to be hopeful as well as optimistic, but I think it’s important to realize that one can exist without the other.

I think that about wraps up this week. Be sure to join me again next week for a special Mother’s Day edition of #ThoughtfulThursday. (Yes I know it’s not Mother’s Day yet, but maybe some of you Pinterest savvy folks needs a cute quote for project!?)

 

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