Like many high school math teachers, I often hear "when are we going to have to use this in real world?", "math sucks," and "math is boring." While I always research the practical applications of the topic being taught (anticipating the question), some students still do not see the applicability to "their" world. It is then when I talk to them about the importance of problem solving and thinking analytically. Companies value these traits in employees. Along with teaching the skills, my hidden agenda is to make students like math or at least understand it and not be "math-phobic," like so many Americans.
Here are the ways I try to make it fun:
*Computer program through Carnegie Learning, Inc. - provides them with opportunities to solve real-world problems
*Classroom Performance System - "clickers"; Every student gets a remote and a question is projected. They all click in their answer and immediate feedback is given on how many chose A, B, C, and D. This allows me to quickly fix any misunderstandings on the problem. You can also enter numbers for answers.
*Interactive Whiteboard - I use this to project PowerPoints and to write on it like a chalkboard. I know there are a ton of interactive features and virtual manipulative websites that would further enhance my teaching. Do you have any resources or sites you would be willing to share?
My questions to you are as follows: What do you do to make math, at the high school level, fun? How do you get your students involved and eager to learn? Students must be active in their learning, not passive. How do you achieve that? How do you balance the "fun" with the learning? What kind of ways do you review? Do you do math projects on certain skills? If so, how?
I look forward to reading your comments.