Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Algebra Videos: Math + Drama = Natural Combo

On the weekend I presented at the SCDSB Push Your Learning Conference with Mrs. Boate.

Mrs. Boate was in our class in December in regards to our Graphing Stories study and video creation--and that is what we presented on!

Inspired by our discussions and actions with Graphing Stories, I have decided to incorporate more real life and creative activities into my math program. Hence, Algebra Stories!

One of the criteria in Gr. 8 math is to determine real life situations that use algebra.

I asked students to dramatize a problem scenario in life and then use algebra to help solve for the unknown. Here's an example:

There are more on our class YouTube page.

This task is a LEARNING activity more than an ASSESSMENT activity.

It focuses more on the process than on the end product.

Yes, they perform dramatically in role and produce a video! But the learning happens before that:
  • in the discussions around real life math applications, particular those that are personal and relevant and familiar, 
  • in the decisions to choose a simple or complex example (either is fine for the purpose of this exploration! Students enter into the concept at the level they are most comfortable with and we can grow form there later!), 
  • in conversations around how to translate the problem into algebraic format, 
  • in exploring how to solve that algebra once it is expression form.


I think math is a natural complement to drama, as a way to emphasize that we experience math in our own lives all the time. Math needs to move off the page (whether it be text book, work book, work sheet or chart paper, and into the world). There are so many re-enactments from our lives that could dramatize math concepts!

We need to start looking around our everyday lives and thinking: where's the math in that??

To balance out my math program, I'll be incorporating more real world math drama!

Certainly we will build on our understanding of algebra 'IRL' by considering more complex algebraic scenarios the next time we revisit this topic (which will be soon, probably April).

Stay tuned!

No comments:

Post a Comment