Monday, May 25, 2015

Gary Webb's reflection of 1st year teaching Meaningful Math Algebra

There are 2 other math teachers who have gone through IMP Meaningful Math Algebra with for the first time this year. I have mentioned them both from time to time in my blogs. One of them is Gary Webb. We were asked to write a testimonial about our first year's experience. I thought another teacher's perspective might be interesting. Here are his thoughts:

I really enjoyed teaching from the Algebra I Meaningful Math book this past school year. It was quite different than traditional math text books. The books have few examples, fewer problems, require deeper thinking, and don't have answers in the back either.

One takeaway I have is that your best students will do whatever you ask them to do. Some of the students are not going to do anything no matter what. These are the ones who complained most about the book. However, these are the same students who might do 5 traditional math problems in 30 minutes and complain about having homework.  The many students who are in the middle were the ones that I was able to reach. Students were more engaged because they were able to use their creativity in the math classroom, were in groups much more often, and were encouraged to discover mathematical concepts on their own.  I loved watching my students think and not be a robot and follow set procedures.

Gary Don Webb
Etowah High School