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Week 1 Response: Fawn Nguyen

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Blog post: When I let them own the problem


This was Fawn’s latest post and so naturally I began to read it first. It caught my attention right away when I saw pictures of student work that had them drawing blobs on the page. The content of this post really hit home with me because this was an idea that I struggled with going into my teaching practicums. I think that one of the best ways to motivate students do math is to let them come up with the math themselves. This activity shows an excellent way to recreate the textbook problem in a way that students can show ownership over their work. This lets them become more invested in what they’re doing and they are more engaged in the activity. If you simply give them problem after problem to work on then the math becomes more procedural and memorization instead of active and engaging. By leaving math problems open like this then I also feel like it leaves the doors open for students to make their own connections between math and their lives instead of having me connect all the dots for them; because what I may find to be an interesting connection between math and the real world is not necessarily interesting or relevant to them.


About Nicole Bencze

I am an awesome newish math teacher who calls Delta School District her home. I'm crazy in love with math and there's no place in this world I'd rather be than in a classroom showing my kidlets how amazing it can be! Outside of teaching I'm quite the coffee addict and I live inside the fandom universe falling in love again and again with Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Mortal Instruments, Twilight, Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, Game of Thrones, Sherlock, Doctor Who, and a ton more. My cat is my best friend and I'm way too invested in TV shows!

2 responses »

  1. Just want to drop in to say Hello Nicole. I like the idea of keeping an online journal for coursework.

    • Thanks Fawn!! I’m so glad you read my posts! I’m honored; I love reading your blog. I used a lot of your visual pattern stuff when I was doing my practicum with my grade 8s!


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