Yesterday, I discussed creating projects for the math classes to work on next week. Part of the project will be a way to connect all the bits and pieces form a whole picture while the other part will be researching how certain topics are used in real life.
Finding that real life connection is one of the hardest things to do. Even some of the real life activities I've seen are almost contrived. So if they do the research perhaps it will mean more to them and show a better connection.
In Algebra II, the real life component will really show them that the material they are learning is used in a place other than the math class. I am hoping they find examples to show what the three possible answers mean in real life. It is so important to integrate real life examples into the classroom.
Today we spoke of triangular prisms as part of the warm-up. I told them that roof were an example of triangular prisms in real life. Many of them had a look of wonder on their faces when that triangular prisms were not something esoteric and only found in the math class.
In Geometry, they've been studying perpendicular and angle bisectors, medians and altitudes. I realize that perpendicular bisectors might be a lot harder to find real world examples for but it will help them fine tune their research skills. Sometimes in life, it becomes necessary to research certain topics which are not easy to find.
One of the things they now want in mathematics, is to help students develop persistence. So having to research a slightly harder topic is one good way to hep build persistence which is something my students lack. I hope these projects help them develop some skills.