The math department is collaborating on "MARS tasks": Tasks and assignments aligned with the new Common Core Standards for Mathematics. Teachers are teaming up and teaching students how to problem solve situations that require mathematical thinking. Students collaborate with each other and discuss how to solve real-life problems using the algebraic expressions. They then convey their ideas to the class. There is not one way to get the answer. Students work together to look at the many ways to look at a mathematical problem.
Math teachers started this process in October. At first, students were very hesitant to express themselves, but they soon caught on and were willing to risk being wrong since they were told "there isn't only one way and we are more interested in your thinking at this point in time".
Students are now loving math and think it is FUN!
This clip shows students talking about how to determine what materials to buy to build shelves. Ultimately, they will create an algebraic equation.