Weed-Out Math Classes Must Go
Promising tech and other STEM careers may continue being out of reach for many students if college math departments treat calculus classes as weed-out classes for math majors. A five-year study published in 2019 explores STEM undergraduate attrition and suggests a link between college calculus and students abandoning STEM majors.
Making Math Relevant
Recalculating math education strategies is essential to graduate more STEM majors and close the STEM equity gap. The California Education Learning Lab, created in 2018 to close STEM equity gaps, published a report about pilot projects at the University of California, Los Angeles, and UCLA that aimed to revamp calculus coursework to improve STEM retention. STEM faculty at these schools created cross-disciplinary science courses that weaved in practical calculus applications into biology coursework. Students in these classes went on to perform better than peers who took traditional weed-out style calculus classes.
Putting Project-Based Math Learning Into K-12 Classrooms
Making math relevant and activities-based should start at the K-12 level. Growing research on K-12 curriculum continues to show the benefits of computational thinking on math learning which explains the increasing popularity of coding robots.
Exploring math through coding
Bringing interactive math activities that bridge the gap between theory and real-world application doesn’t require teachers to do all the prep work. These two EdTech coding robot companies offer standards-aligned curriculum that now includes math activities.
Wonder Workshop offers a growing library of in-app puzzles and standards-aligned curriculum that now includes math activities for grades 3-5 for its award-winning Dash (K-5) coding robot. Educators can access over 60 standards-aligned, story-based challenges on Class Connect, a complete online learning platform. No Robots? Not a problem. With Class Connect, you can access Virtual Dash Robots so every student can participate in these math activities. Wonder Workshop offers a free 30-day Class Connect trial that lets you unlock Virtual Dash Robots. Click here to start your free Class Connect trial. And get started teaching math
iRobot Education also offers interactive math lessons for its popular Root™ Coding Robot. iRobot Education supports educators with standards-based curriculum through their expansive Learning Library. Check out fun activities, including their “Moxie, Mars and Math” lesson—what kid doesn’t like space?
We’d love to hear from you about your experiences implementing project-based learning in your math classroom. What coding activities do you and your students love the most? Thanks for sharing!
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