Thursday, July 30, 2015

Connecting maths to real world contexts.

How High is that Tree?

I am a believer in teaching maths within a real-life context. I teach maths in ways that connect with student's real-life experiences because I want them to see that maths is everywhere and it can be used in the realities of everyday life - it is simply a language, a way of making sense of, interpreting the world we live in. 

By placing maths in an authentic real world context, we make maths more relevant and purposeful, the students learn the mathematics knowledge and skills that they need and understand better the learning contexts that they see each day. They begin to see the learning about maths in ways that make the knowledge and understandings transferable and connected to other topics, subjects and their lives.

In this learning task, we are learning about angles by making a clinometer to measure the height of a tree, pole ....  and in doing so relating the maths concepts that we are learning about, such as right angle triangles (vs equilateral), degrees, units of measurement, interior angles, adjacent lines, side lengths etc  ... and the skills of using a protractor, a metre ruler, measuring accurately, using number knowledge, choosing operations & applying strategies, working together, communicating ideas ....and how to apply such knowledge and skills to do some basic trigonometry.

PART ONE:  sequence and a video snapshot of the learning involved in making a clinometer.

PART TWO: measuring the tree/pole in student blogs (coming soon!)

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