The paths to "Eureka" moments: Teaching Mathematics in Secondary Education

E2- Exemplify collaboration within the school

Teacher-candidates participate collaboratively and professionally in school activities and using appropriate and respectful verbal and written communication.

As a teacher, I regularly engage in activities, meetings, and school events in a positive and professional manner.

IMG_20130205_150637One way that I have been able to communicate and interact with students outside of the classroom and in different grade levels is through the creation of “Math Riddles”. In articulating mathematical concepts in a fun and engaging way, I have given students a way to put their problem solving skills to use and see math as associated with fun! Each week I have posted a new math riddle outside the cafeteria with space for students to sign their names after presenting me with the correct solution. Rewards have been given to the first few students to answer correctly. At first the riddles were solved by student in my classroom, then, after a few weeks, several students from other classes began to solve them as well.

While this is just one way to reach out and connect with the student body as a whole, (I am also volunteering with the track team, regularly participating in staff events/meetings, and collaborating on lesson planning with other math teachers and in sharing resources) I believe it is an important source of connection.

In creating the math riddles, I am making math more accessible to students as well as making creating a specific reason for IMG_20130205_150657conversations with other students. I have learned to use games and riddles such as these to present math in a respectful and engaging way. Just this week, a student presented me with a math code that he had created, after looking it over I asked if I could use it as my next math riddle. How exciting to be able to not only challenge students, but use student designed material to do so!

In addition to presenting math in a new way, this supplemental material communicates my desire to be present in the school and be more than just a teacher confined to the classroom.

IMG_20130205_150644In the future I will continue to make my presence known at the middle school through additional math riddles, volunteer opportunities, and in collaboration with school staff and students.

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