Teach The Class With Style
Preparing our next generation to cope with the hard realities of living is a process that requires much patience and dedication. Those who do so as a career are entitled to our gratitude and respect. In particular, we need to recognize their creativity and dedication when dealing with the constant changes that take place while they are charged with giving our youth the basic facts and techniques they need to survive. Spending days maintaining the interest of youths whose attention spans are frequently distracted by the continual diversions of everything from the latest styles available from Rue 21 to the newest games available on the Internet can be a challenge.
One tactic a popular mathematics instructor used to get his students to follow his curriculum was to get his students to use the subjects that held their interest. He designed exams that used questions like requiring them to calculate what an advertised discount came to in dollars. So a Groupon promo code 30% off of all items on the Rue 21 site would be calculated by students and they would announce to each other what one would save on the latest top or shorts now available. He then had them calculate how much that left them in their allowance for food and entertainment. These exercises made most of his class become quite talented in using percentage mathematics. Other class members would search their sites to find Groupon coupons offering similar deals for other products like sandals or swimwear. They were then taught to apply those methods to other areas in order to predict how they could save their family money by applying these techniques. His main effort was to make them to understand the principles that were the basis for all those deals they saw every day, and how they could apply them to their own lives.
These techniques had two advantages; they got the students to recognize that what they were studying had practical and immediate applications and value. Students also became interested in the way these and similar math topics affected their personal futures. The students were excited to learn the details about mathematical techniques they saw being used in their lives around them every day.