Connecting Curiosity to College and Career Readiness in Math

Posted by Jessica Eisele on Aug 7, 2013 2:15:00 PM
You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.
- Clay P. Bedford, industrialist and engineer

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Think about the answers kids might give to this question: “I want to be a firefighter! I want to be a doctor! I want to be a computer programmer! I want to be a soldier! I want to be an engineer! I want to be a lawyer! I want to be a teacher!"

student curiosityStudents love to make plans and think of what they want to be when they are older. Because of this, teachers often experience a sparkle in the eyes of the young students when talking with them about their dreams and aspirations. As teachers, it is our responsibility to develop curiosity about what can be done beyond the K-12 years and equip all of our students with the characteristics and tools needed to be successful adults. 

The Wowzers Curriculum team believes for students to be able to fulfill and reach the levels of their post-school curiosity, we as educators must ensure they have the proper critical thinking skills and knowledge to be college and career ready. With this goal in mind, our writers use the eight Standards of Mathematical Practices to create lessons designed to foster versatile learners.

Making Connections to a Student’s Curiosity 

Wowzers creates versatile learners by guiding students to make connections between math and the real world. As writers and educators, it is so exciting to develop a vast and imaginative virtual world to use as a platform to present the Common Core math standards in fun and valuable way.  

“When will I ever need to know this?” Every teacher has been asked this infamous question at one time or another. Wowzers seeks to help educators make the connection before the students have the opportunity to ask. 

Many of the CCSS standards of mathematical practice focus on constructing viable arguments, problem-solving skills, and abstract thinking. The stories we write into the Wowzers curriculum guide the students to use these skills by actively becoming a part of the learning process. In turn, the stories help students create an open forum amongst themselves to talk about math and problem solving with each other in constructive means.

Taking Advantage of Vivid Digital Models and Manipulatives

Just like developing abstract, critical math skills, the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice also stress the massive importance of using models and tools to enhance each student’s learning. We write lessons making sure to use digital models as a vehicle to break apart different math concepts into separate parts. We believe (along with the CCSS) that method goes a long way in helping students build a conceptual knowledge of different mathematical topics. 

wowzers charactersAs digital curriculum writers, we’re beyond lucky that Wowzers has very talented developers. Without their amazing artistic and programing abilities, we could never pull off the amazing digital models found in every lesson. The writing team works closely with the development team to create virtual manipulatives and visual representations that help guide the students to a deeper understanding of the math.  

Carrying Critical Math Skills into Real World Situations

Our writing team strives to create lessons that make connections while creating critical thinkers. The Wowzers experience plants a seed of curiosity and intrigue that can create successful learners that reach their lifetime goals.

We need plenty of firefighters, lawyers, doctors, soldiers, programmers, and teachers in our future. It is the students that have a love of learning that will help us continue to grow as a society. Our goal is to given them the context and connections to take these great math skills from the virtual Wowzers world to the real world.

- Jessica Eisele, Wowzers curriculum writer
 


Download our "How to Select the Best Digital Common Core Content" eBooklet today.
 




More Common Core Articles:

New eBooklet: "How to Select the Best Digital Common Core Content"

Math Teachers Find More Rigor in CCSS Math Standards

The Importance of Teaching Digital Literacy to Students

Use Digital Content to Help Design your Common Core Lesson Plans

Topics: Common Core Content, Wowzers Tales

Wowzers is a comprehensive online math program covering all Common Core State Standards for grades K-8. The research-based program adapts to each learner and allows for an individualized path through the curriculum. Content is presented in multiple ways, and appeals to tactile, auditory, and visual learners. Assessments mirror those found on high-stakes achievement tests and provide teachers and administrators with the information that they need to personalize learning for each student.

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