Here’s a blog and Twitter meme idea: What is one of your favorite lessons from elementary, middle or high school? Post your lesson memory to your blog and share it on Twitter with the hashtag #favlesson. For ‘extra credit’ include a related Creative Commons image in your post. Here’s mine.

One of my favorite lesson memories from middle school was in 7th grade math. My teacher, Mrs. Allen, gave students an opportunity to create math word problems for extra credit. We would work on these word problems the start of class each day as a bell ringer activity. I remember these would be put on the overhead projector. We could earn extra credit in her math class by submitting these problems, but we only got credit if she used them in class I think. I remember making different word problems that involved rock climbing and mountain climbing, because those were things I was interested in. The problems had to do with distances for rappelling, lengths of rope, distances between base camps, etc. I remember it was a good feeling on the days when she used one of my problems and my classmates would work on figuring out the answer. I really enjoyed these learning opportunities because they gave me an opportunity to be creative, use math, and connect math to a topic I was really interested in. I remember including drawings that accompanied some of the problems. I really loved creating these problems and having them used in class. This is one of my favorite memories of a lesson from middle school. Remembering this makes me wonder if someone has already created a website where students can create and submit their own “math word problems?” I think this would be great to do, encouraging students to creatively apply math and share their problems with others. I think it is great to find ways to help students “come up with the questions” for a lesson, especially math, rather than always just solving problems / answering questions that other people have created.

'Treadway Mountain' photo (c) 2011, Andy Arthur - license:

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2 Responses to Creative Math Word Problems about Rock Climbing & Mountaineering #favlesson

  1. […] progress and communicating what the teacher did. While on his blog, I also read the article, Creative Math Word Problems about Rock Climbing & Mountaineering #favlesson. Something many of my classmates in math class would complain about was doing word problems. I […]

  2. Greg Kolmer says:

    It seems this idea has spread to higher learning as well, but with a less favorable reception. One of my friends in his first year calc course told me how all of the students were required to submit five problems of their own creation to the teacher every class. I wonder what sort of rock climbing problems you could create using calculus.

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