The project I assigned this past Monday is spawning some really awesome learning. The project asked students to talk about the material they'd studied and provide real life examples I saw certain students take responsibility for their own learning.
I saw several students who went to YouTube to find videos on the material itself or videos on real life uses. One student discovered that linear equations can be used to determine the age of a find based on its depth in archaeology. That is awesome. I never knew that so I learned something.
In addition, many of my students found examples of real life examples of perpendicular bisectors. Not all the examples dealt with triangles but that is fine. One student found that the yard markings on a football field were perpendicular bisectors while another discovered that many windows have panes set up as perpendicular bisectors.
I admit, it was fun watching the students find ways systems of equations could be used in real life. Now I admit, the students haven't quite developed the ability to differentiate between math problems and real life examples but this is the first step towards learning.
On the other hand, I do not provide enough real life examples in class so this has been a bit of a wake up call to me. It tells me I need to take time to provide these examples and really discuss the in real life rather than making general comments.
Years ago, I received a call from a father of one of my students. He wanted to know the formula for finding the area of circle because he was going to construct a circular building. He told me the radius he wanted and I did the calculations. I also had a principal who measured the playground and asked me to find the area for it because he was applying for a grant to get the playground paved. It required me to divide the playground into smaller rectangles because it wasn't perfectly rectangular.
Perfect examples I could be using in my class.