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9-12 | Math | Video Production
Station KLCS in California
My Classroom Innovation
When our school became a Program Improvement School we began to analyze data to see where our students were struggling the most. We quickly discovered that we need to direct our focus in the area of math for both the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) and California Standards Test. Through discussions it became clear to me that students do not understand math’s relevancy or how it can be used in everyday life. In addition, math seemed to be the subject that students dislike the most. As the video production teacher, I saw an opportunity to make math both exciting and inviting. I met with teachers from all curricular areas and asked for their input. As a team, we realized that we need to design real life problems or scenarios that involve math. Working closely with my student creative team and math teachers we developed problems that focused mainly on the CAHSEE. Using technology and our current video streaming program we created a weekly video contest known as “Math in Motion” for both students and non-math teachers so that we can build buy-in from all stakeholders. Each week a problem was given to students and teachers through the form of a scripted scenario. Students are asked to work out the problem and turn it in for prizes. On the following week’s episode, both student and teacher winners were announced and showcased on air. I got the inspiration for this project from the PBS STEM Math Resources. I wanted to make something interactive that our students and teachers created which also made math interesting, exciting, and relevant. In my submission I have provided an example of the one of these video programs that we produced this past year.
How Students were Engaged
The first time we premiered we had about twenty students and only two teachers turn in answers. However, the fact that both students and teachers were doing math problems for fun was exactly what we aimed to accomplish. As the videos and weeks progressed we began getting hundreds of entries with both students and teachers running to turn in the answers. Before the winter break, as something fun to do before going on vacation, we ran a live show. We ran this show during homeroom and had everyone tuned in. Students and teachers were allowed to “text” in their answers to a Netbook so that we can see live on the show who got the correct answers. As the school administration supervised and observed during the lesson it was clearly evident for the first time, the entire school was engaged at the same time on a single event. The feedback from teachers and students was overwhelming positive asking, when could we do it again. We were able to take a subject matter that most students refuse to study or attempt but instead eagerly fight to work on. When the CAHSEE was administered this past March we had the highest participation rate ever. And for the first time ever, students took the entire testing period to complete the exam rather than finishing in ten minutes. Trying to take math and use is across the curriculum can seem like a daunting task. Yet with using my PBS resources, I was able to take my skills in video production to gain the interest of an audience and excite students about math, maybe some of them for the first time.
PBS Program/Content Used
PBS Stem Resources