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Teacher at East Uses Real Life to Teach Math

January 11, 2010

Mandy Goddard teaches PreAP and GT Algebra I and believes in applying math to real life to engage her students in learning.  She recently asked her Coppell Middle School East students the following questions:

1.   Your favorite math teacher has been participating in a project, and has completed 15 weeks of the required 40-week project. What percent of the project has she completed?  What percent has she NOT completed?

2.   Your favorite math teacher had a checkpoint on December 9th, with a measurement of 5.2 cm. Approximately how many inches is this measurement?

3.   On December 29th, another checkpoint revealed a special number.  5 * 2What is the number? 

Mandy Goddard and Family

Can you guess what her project is?  She’s growing a baby!  Goddard integrated in percent of pregnancy complete, Crown Rump Length, and heartbeats per minute to teach her students math and announce her pregnancy.  Then, she went on to explain the significance of each problem, how it relates to TAKS, and how it relates to their 7th grade Science class they took last year (which had human body in the spring semester).   All questions could be tied to TAKS objectives, which students take in April and must pass in 8th grade to move onto 9th grade.

And this isn’t Goddard’s first time to use this method.  With her previous pregnancy, they actually watched the sonogram in class where the sonographer measured skin behind the neck (a marker for Down’s Syndrome), chambers of the heart, and head circumference. Her class figured out diameter of head by working backwards from circumference.

Who says preparing for TAKS can’t be fun?  Not Mandy Goddard.

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