George Lucas Educational Foundation

What can we do?

What can we do?

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Online communities only grow if the members are engaged and actively participate. What can we do to build this community? I have a few ideas... (1) We can start an online "book club." We can select a book, read and discuss over a couple of months. I would be happy to organize & start late January. (2) Live webinars. We could organize live webinars with a brief presentation, followed by Q&A. I could find a scientist (or other expert) on a monthly basis. For example, I have a colleague at UWO that does research in China related to the late Permian mass extinction ( (3) Topic of the week. Members can suggest "high interest" focus questions to guide our discussions. I would say that 2 per month would be a good start... ---> Are you interested in any of these? If so, please leave a comment. If not, give us more suggestions!

This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

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Kelli Hulslander's picture
Kelli Hulslander
Charter High School Math Teacher & Community Outreach Coordinator, NM

Hi Carol,
I got tips on homework from two mentor teachers.

I assign work that can be done in class, when time, and then must be finished by a set deadline, which is usually the day of that unit's test. We collect the work as a packet. I give points for each assignment completed. To be considered completed, a student must list the page and given assignment; write down each problem; show work; and give an appropriate answer. HOWEVER, I don not check each problem for accuracy. I also make the answer key available to the students and work some problems at the end of class or at the beginning of the next when students ask for help. Students may also help each other. Homework packets make up around 25% of the overall grade for each class.

Kelli Hulslander's picture
Kelli Hulslander
Charter High School Math Teacher & Community Outreach Coordinator, NM

Hi Carol,

Any sports game, like kickball, can be done "inside". You group problems by difficulty. And, students choose a problem from a group. For example a hard problem when answered correctly may earn a home run or an easy question may only earn a single base.

Jeopardy is also a cool way to play math games.

Speed is like the card game speed but with flash cards.

I've even just used number flash cards and mixed them up - and taken out a handful - then had the students put them in numerical order for a time. The best time (speediest student) is the winner. Each card in the wrong position adds five seconds to the time. This is good with fraction cards too, or exponents. (The missing cards makes it a bit more difficult. It isn't as straight forward as the students think it will be.)

Kelli Hulslander's picture
Kelli Hulslander
Charter High School Math Teacher & Community Outreach Coordinator, NM

Hi Vera,

I haven't read the book you recommended. Thanks for the idea. : )

Kelli Hulslander's picture
Kelli Hulslander
Charter High School Math Teacher & Community Outreach Coordinator, NM

Hi All,

Does anyone teach Financial Math or Financial Algebra in high school? If so, what textbook do you use?

NM has just made it a creditable class for students...and we have to offer it. It used to be called financial literacy and taught in social studies.

I'm excited to be able to offer it because our students need this class. And, it gives them a class that is not too advanced but truly applicable in life. Unfortunately, most of our students get to us 4 to 6 grade levels behind in ability. Algebra 2 scares all of them.

However, our state has not made any recommendations for approved curriculum or textbooks.

One ed. director suggested Financial Algebra by Robert Gerver and Richard Sgroi. It looks interesting and it will be quite challenging for my students. (That part both excites me and makes me seriously nervous.) But, no one I know has used it yet.

Carol Hacherl's picture

Thanks Vera, Ron, Kelli for the homework ideas. (Vera, the book's on order.) I tremendously appreciate all of you sharing your "what works for me" experiences. As was mentioned in a previous post, that knowledge is incredibly valuable and very encouraging -- makes me feel motivated and eager to get to work instead of overwhelmed.
Figuring out how to teach math to high schoolers is considerably more complicated than many of the technical problems I worked on in my "previous life". And at least in my location I don't see much networking/benchmarking/best practice sharing going on between teachers -- very different from my engineering life. I wonder why that is?

Ruqaya Alhussain's picture
Ruqaya Alhussain
Lecturer, ETL student

Hello Eric,
The three suggestions you listed present a good variety for member, I find myself more interested in the third point were two topics will be assigned each month. The last comment was over year ago, so any changes and updates.

Thank you.

Faizul Zuraimi's picture
Faizul Zuraimi
I'm a Malaysian student who's currently studying A levels

Given the constraints of the public education system , I think one of those things we can do is to apply the flipped learning. Do visit my blog here :

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