Putting the Problem First Can Create the Knowledge
As I blogged in my Apollo 13 video post, Watch Problem Based Learning in Action "While our students have been conditioned to 'learn the basics - then solve the problem,' that's not how life always works."
Here's a great 4-minute video by Dan Meyer that gives three examples of how to bring real-life problem scenarios into the math classroom. To paraphrase Dan, "In these examples student have to first ask the question - what information do I need to solve this problem? The textbook usually gives you that information. But here students build the problem and decide what matters. The question that's usually buried at the bottom - it's the last thing in the textbook problem - now becomes the first thing in the student's mind. I want to make that question "irresistible" to the student, so they have to know the answer." For more great ideas on how "math makes sense of the world" - go to Dan's blog dy/dan