Tanya Noble’s Foundations of Mathematics 11 class is full of questions. Sometimes the questions are about quadratic equations and sometimes the questions are about mental health in adolescents, rising ocean levels and the economic impact of invasive species. After a few years of teaching Foundations of Mathematics at Killarney Secondary in Vancouver, Tanya wanted her students to feel more connected to learning math and to see math as a useful and necessary tool to answer complex questions facing society. She sought out an approach that would put student interests and passions first in her classroom. Inquiry is an approach Tanya feels allows her students to be at the center of learning and facilitates the development of a strong relationship between her and her students. Through the connections to their passions and their teacher, students feel empowered to wrestle with math that helps them form opinions about the big questions their generation will be addressing.
Tanya started inquiry in her math classroom the previous year but wanted more tools to support student research and questioning. Working with a SET-BC Educator, she used an in-class set of 8 iPads to allow students access to apps like Desmos and to complete research in-class. Tanya also collaborated with the librarian and her SET-BC Educator during the students’ research time. Scheduling library research time allowed Tanya, the librarian and the SET-BC Educator to work with the students to find high quality databases to ensure trustworthy data. As new math material was presented, students were asked to examine if the math concepts could be used to support their quest to answer their question.
Final projects were submitted during the Continuity of Learning phase in British Columbia using Microsoft Teams.
Check out interviews with Khang, Johanna and Sam and their associated projects to see what the students came up with.