Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My New Job

I'm still teaching in the same school and hopefully that will never change, but after 14 years of teaching 8th grade math, I'm getting a new job. Beginning next year, I'll be teaching 7th grade math problem solving. What this means is that I'll have my own course pretty much outside of the normal curriculum, focused on solving more complex problems. I took extended coursework in problem solving several years ago, and developed a math laboratory at my former school. I'm looking forward to the challenge of writing a semester's worth of curriculum (the course is taught twice per year) and essentially designing a course from the ground up.

One of the great things I'm planning for this course is for students to go outside. Our school grounds are vastly underutilized and I want to make up for that. We are going to measure buildings, both directly and indirectly, and estimate the cost of painting them. We'll find the height of the flagpole by measuring its shadow and setting up a proportion. We'll measure off the softball field and use the Pythagorean Theorem to find out if second base is in the right place. We'll use the U.S. system. We'll use the metric system. Kids will write about the advantages and disadvantages of each, and it won't be some arbitrary writing exercise. They'll have practical knowledge of both systems to inform their opinions.

This is going to be fun!


Lowell Francis said...

Very cool Jim- I'm glad you're getting a chance to do work you're more excited about.

Martin said...

Jim, sounds like this will be a change for the good. Wish you much success with the new chapter in your teaching career.