Hi Everyone, I am currently a college student at St. John Fisher and we are using the problem-focused math lesson template. This template, if you dont know starts off with a realistic problem that can be solved using the math you intend to teach.Then you have the students can into groups or work individually to solve the problem in any way the makes sense to them and tell them to find a solution and different ways to solve the probelm. After you bring the class together as a whole group share their ways of doing it and then as a teacher share your new way (if it hasnt come from the students). I was just wondering how many teachers out there actually use this way and if they do how often? Also does it really work?
I had a student teacher last year who wanted to do this. It sounds like a neat idea (and I think that's how they do it in Japan) but with the kids I deal with on a regular basis it won't work. The kids have to be really interested in the math and discovering how to do the problem for them to want to work. My kids (I'm at a good school and have some really bright students) aren't interested enough to try and figure it out themselves. I switch the order - I teach them the math before giving them the real-world problems so that they can see how the math is applied.
My student teacher wasn't happy with this but soon came to see that expecting the kids to work on their own with a topic that they're not familiar wasn't going to fly. Aside from that, it takes a lot of time that usually you don't have because of the content we're expected to cover.
Good luck - I hope you can find something that works for you!
Kristen
Thanks! I actually found out that I do like this topic, but you are right it all depends on the type of students you have and whether or not they are going try and solve something of their own. I hope in the future I will have time to do this, but I know as teachers were always pressed for time. Have you ever tried the inquiry-based science template? its sort of the same thing.