Teenagers want math to be RELEVANT

Teenagers want math to be RELEVANT

‘When am I going to use this math?!’  Sound familiar? As a high school math teacher, I heard it repeatedly.  Students want to know that the work they are doing in class today is worthwhile – now.  

‘When am I going to use this math?!’  Sound familiar? As a high school math teacher, I heard it repeatedly.  Students want to know that the work they are doing in class today is worthwhile – now.  

They want meaning BEYOND grades and test scores

They want meaning BEYOND grades and test scores

A student asking explicitly for math to have a purpose — or simply checking out of math class, is sending a message loud and clear: ‘I motivated by things that have meaning to me. At the moment, grades and tests aren’t my top priority.”

A student asking explicitly for math to have a purpose — or simply checking out of math class, is sending a message loud and clear: ‘I motivated by things that have meaning to me. At the moment, grades and tests aren’t my top priority.”

When you reference goals that aren’t aligned with your teenagers’ goals, you are using more time and energy than is necessary.   It’s like two people speaking in different languages — the message isn’t getting across.   

When you reference goals that aren’t aligned with your teenagers’ goals, you are using more time and energy than is necessary.   It’s like two people speaking in different languages — the message isn’t getting across.   

Answer AUTHENTICALLY

Answer AUTHENTICALLY

Give your teenagers the means to align their math coursework with their personal interests.  This is the most direct answer to THE QUESTION: when am I going to use this math?!  Encourage teenagers to use the math that they learned last week to solve a problem about a topic they choose. 

Give your teenagers the means to align their math coursework with their personal interests.  This is the most direct answer to THE QUESTION: when am I going to use this math?!  Encourage teenagers to use the math that they learned last week to solve a problem about a topic they choose. 

Encourage 'DO-ING'

Encourage 'DO-ING'

Connect students actions today with the individuals they admire and/or aspire to become in the future.   Videos or written biographies are a common approach to building connections between math and students’ interests.  While they are a great beginning, you can provide a more powerful experience for your teenagers by giving them agency.  Challenge them to solve problems that will give them deeper insight into the complex challenges tackled in the past and present.  The best way to learn math is by doing math.

Connect students actions today with the individuals they admire and/or aspire to become in the future.   Videos or written biographies are a common approach to building connections between math and students’ interests.  While they are a great beginning, you can provide a more powerful experience for your teenagers by giving them agency.  Challenge them to solve problems that will give them deeper insight into the complex challenges tackled in the past and present.  The best way to learn math is by doing math.

PERSONALIZE math

PERSONALIZE math

You can tailor math experiences in a way that has eluded most math classrooms because pods / micro-schools / homeschool groups’ flexibility.  With an established small group that knows one another well and the convenience of video-conferencing, it is now possible to connect your learning group with math problems that directly address teenagers’ burning question:when am I going to use this math?!

You can tailor math experiences in a way that has eluded most math classrooms because pods / micro-schools / homeschool groups’ flexibility.  With an established small group that knows one another well and the convenience of video-conferencing, it is now possible to connect your learning group with math problems that directly address teenagers’ burning question:when am I going to use this math?!

Unleash INTRINSIC MOTIVATION

Unleash INTRINSIC MOTIVATION

Once your teenagers’ pod begins using the math they are learning in their coursework to solve problems they identify as meaningful, a they will start a virtuous self-fueling cycle of motivation.  After experiencing the satisfaction that comes from transferring their math skills and knowledge to a topic of interest, teenagers will connect their math studies with ability to continue pursuing interesting questions. 

Once your teenagers’ pod begins using the math they are learning in their coursework to solve problems they identify as meaningful, a they will start a virtuous self-fueling cycle of motivation.  After experiencing the satisfaction that comes from transferring their math skills and knowledge to a topic of interest, teenagers will connect their math studies with ability to continue pursuing interesting questions. 

Build SELF - EFFICACY

Build SELF - EFFICACY

Students need captivating, complex problems – and success in solving them.  To become better mathematicians, students must experience both the process of ‘doing math’ AND doing math well.  This repeated success builds students’ belief in their ability to  undertake and successfully navigate challenging problems.

Students need captivating, complex problems – and success in solving them.  To become better mathematicians, students must experience both the process of ‘doing math’ AND doing math well.  This repeated success builds students’ belief in their ability to  undertake and successfully navigate challenging problems.

Replace anxiety with CONFIDENCE

Replace anxiety with CONFIDENCE

The best antidote to math anxiety is setting students up to repeatedly experience success – knowing that mistakes happen along the way.   Who doesn’t love the feeling of accomplishment? Give your teenagers the opportunity to develop the hard-earned inner confidence that come from conquering worthwhile challenges.

The best antidote to math anxiety is setting students up to repeatedly experience success – knowing that mistakes happen along the way.   Who doesn’t love the feeling of accomplishment? Give your teenagers the opportunity to develop the hard-earned inner confidence that come from conquering worthwhile challenges.

How does MathTreks work?

How does MathTreks work?