Case Study: Making Math Meaningful—GEMS DAA

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Students must be able to connect to learning for it to be meaningful. GEMS DAA math teacher Desirae Matthew conquered this challenge with a simple essential question: What do my students feel is important? Using the Fluencies, she helped them take responsibility for their learning and made math meaningful once more.  read more

Without relevance, there can be no learning. No matter how relevant the content is or the skills it builds are, our students won’t connect to what we teach if it isn’t somehow meaningful to them. Desirae Matthew, a math teacher at GEMS Dubai American Academy, knows this reality all too well.

“I’ve taught math at many levels throughout my career,” Desirae explains. “While our topics have real-life applications, there is somewhat of a disconnect in finding the applications that are relevant and meaningful to the students.”

To get her learners excited and engaged, Desirae knew something had to change. Her exploration of the possibilities began with the ultimate tool for fostering authentic learning adventures: an essential question. She asked her students, “What is most important to you?” From here, some compelling learning would begin to happen.

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Pages: 6 full colour

Language: English

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