School Center Hessen-Homburg visits MCM
In the ongoing development and optimization of MathCityMap, the direct impressions and experiences of students and teachers with the project provide important feedback. Accordingly, the MCM team is very interested in a lively exchange and testing of tasks.
On Wednesday, 08.11.2017, the MCM team welcomed Mrs. Nazanin Roushanaei, a teacher at the Hessen-Homburg school center in Hanau, with her graduating class R10a at the Campus Westend. The students in the class will attend the Final Examinations for the secondary school certificate next spring and are currently reviewing relevant topics in math lessons, e.g. the subject of body calculations, which was compiled for the students in a diverse trail. In this context, Mrs. Roushanaei sees not only the chance to repeat exam relevant knowledge: “MCM offers the pupils the opportunity to get to know body computations in real places and in authentic situations.”
For example, the volume and weight of cuboids were discussed through benches in front of the lecture hall center. In addition to various geometric bodies, slopes and angles were calculated as well. To do this, the students had to model the selected objects with the help of familiar bodies and through flexible use of the acquired knowledge of formulas. Before the trip could start, necessary preparations were made. Due to the high number of Android devices in the class, the participants were able to agree on gamification elements, a tool that makes it possible to compete against each other and compare the results. At the moment, this tool is also planned for the iOS version. The app as well as the trail were downloaded from the class in advance, so that the actual run of the trail does not require internet connection. With the necessary materials (smartphone, pen, calculator and formulary) and the consent of the parents the trip could start.
On the day of the trip, the group was confronted with rainy weather, which however could not dampen the mood. The students were divided into groups of three. This group size has been proven as there are three main functions when running a trail: navigate, measure, and record. In particular, Mrs. Roushanaei noticed a group of three, which has made up of three boys with different migration backgrounds: “Each student from this group has been totally in his role in this trip. One of them always had an overview of the tasks and could link them directly with a mathematical formula. Another boy had a very good orientation in mind and worked as a very good navigator. The third boy was able to change the required formulas correctly. Together, the three boys were able to solve most of the tasks and thereby achieve the highest score in the competition. Since that excursion, I’ve noticed that these three guys are much more motivated in math class than they used to be. I have the impression that the use of MCM and this trail could arouse the interest of these guys in mathematics.” In particular, the used gamification elements motivated the students to solve as many tasks as possible.
The feedback given by the students was very positive as well. One student with below-average mathematics performance stated: “This was the most enjoyable trip I’ve ever done with school.” Others said that through solving the tasks, they finally relate to the subject and understand what these formulas are all about. “It was fun for them. They would have liked to stay longer to solve all the tasks” says Mrs. Roushanaei.
In conclusion, Mrs. Roushanaei states: “MCM is great, not just for kids, but also for teachers. It offers the opportunity to experience mathematics outside and thereby make various calculations real. Although it is said that new textbooks have many authentic tasks; what is more authentic than having children measure real objects themselves? I can recommend any math teacher to use MCM for their own lessons and to make a project day or day trip for the class. I am convinced that, thanks to MCM, mathematics can be interesting for students even in tenth grade.”
The MCM team is pleased to receive the helpful and positive feedback from the class and wishes them all the best for their further exam preparation and participation. At least in the topic of geometric bodies, nothing can go wrong now!