curriculum choices

I’m trying to find ways to get my students involved in the curriculum that I teach them.  To that end,  I would like to ask this question:

Is there anything in your daily life that you think has something to do with math, but you don’t know what it might be?  Something that you’re wondering about?

The old way of using a question like this is to try and find matches between their interests and the planned curriculum.  That’s fine as far as it goes.  Teachers can also ask students about this kind of thing as the class progresses, which would be called “making it relevant to their world.”  I don’t think that goes far enough either, but at least it’s not me finding applications.

The danger here (danger!) is that the things they identify are over their heads.  That’s entirely possible.  So what’s the right answer to that?  You don’t know enough math yet.  Investigate that on your own (hah.)

And the challenge, if it’s completely unrelated to the planned curriculum, is to find time to address whatever part of these answers can be brought into their zone of proximal development.  Even assuming that they all have the same proximal zone is a huge error.

What to do…


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