Combine narrative writing, statistics, and observation/data keeping to tell the story of the students' lives. I am thinking David Copperfield (Dickens, not magician) meets Freakonomics, with a great deal of whimsy. Could also be a graphic novel.
Overview: (What’s this idea about? Try framing your overview using the questions below)
What’s the need we are trying to solve for?
Helping students to see the many ways that numbers and data are present and working in their daily lives.
What is the problem this idea solves?
Students who are not “into” math often don’t feel it is relevant to their lives.
What are the challenges with existing solutions?
Often attempts to make math “real” are still to theoretical and impersonal. We need to find a way to help students see how it connects specifically and personally.
Potential For Impact: (Why is this an idea that creates an authentic and active STEM experience?)
It provides students with a rich array of data that has personal meaning. It is also easily scalable for different mathematical abilities. Students who need more scaffolding can get it and students who need more challenge and autonomy can go more indepth.
Value Prop/Pitch: (How would you pitch this to other teachers in your school? Your principal? Etc)
My school values student centered cross-curricular exploration. I feel confident I could easily get one or more of the math teachers on board.
How’d I get this idea off the ground? What are the next steps?
I guess the next step is have a chat with math team.
Materials to get this idea off the ground: I think the single biggest obstacle is that not all students have a FitBit type device. It would be great if I could find a resource to get students the devices to wear for the duration of the project, All middle schoolers at my school have computers so that part of things is easy.
For a tech tie-in, I am pondering the idea of creating an avatar type thing that they can customize and that responds to their data. If they input data that relates to the health the avatar would get stronger/weaker as applicable, something in social media could make their heart bigger or smaller, something related to knowledge/learning could shrink/grow their brain. I don’t have the first idea how this would work, but that sort of visualization could be powerful.
This idea is still very much in development. Anyone who would like to join and help develop it is welcome.
Link to team doc is here:
Link to curriculum outline I am playing with is here: