Edsger Dijkstra once said, “There should be no such thing as boring mathematics.” That may well be Secondary Math Teacher Kelly Sparks' motto. Ask any of her students and they will tell you how she looks for opportunities to make math fun.
“I do try to make the class fun. I love to laugh with them. They also think it is funny that I love math as much as I do,” said Sparks, "Sometimes, I get overly excited about some of the problems. I also play review games, but most importantly I let them know that I love them, and I believe in them!”
Math that Is Applicable to Real-life & Taught with Laughter & Love
Students were given a project based learning assignment that applied the concepts of the chapter to finding unit rates, quantity discounts, and shipping and handling to purchases from imaginary web based stores. “I wanted the students to truly understand unit rates and how they appear in our everyday life. It involved purchasing DVD's at varying quantities to figure out quantity discounts and how shipping, handling and tax can add up when ordering from the internet,” said Sparks.
“These young ladies answered the questions accurately, were creative and made these projects with amazing excellence,” said Sparks, “I am so very proud of both of them!”
“I try to always go the extra mile. I love drawing. Mrs. Sparks said we would get bonus points for making it creative and colorful. I love to make things colorful, and it makes it more fun,” said Margaret, “It helps me to understand if it is colorful and fun.”
Margaret admits that it is her nature to always try to go the extra mile as her parents taught her that--to always do more than expected. “Even with small tasks like unloading the dishwasher--they would say, don't just unload the dishwasher, load it up also,” explained Margaret.
She loves Cornerstone Prep’s schedule which she thinks is best of both worlds--on campus and off campus days. One of the things she loves about Mrs. Sparks is how she makes math more fun. “She is awesome,” said Margaret.
Aniston, also in her second year here at Cornerstone Prep, explained that Mrs. Sparks assigned the class three problems and told the class to summarize the info into tables. “I thought if I typed it out and put it on colored paper it would be easier to understand,” said Aniston, “I like to make things crafty and typed it out. Mrs. Sparks assigned us do the problems, and I thought I should make it pretty. I like to make things pretty.”
Aniston shared that Mrs. Sparks makes math easy to understand and her favorite thing about her is her laugh. “Mrs. Sparks thinks everything is funny--even if it is not,” said Aniston.
One of Aniston’s extracurricular activities is gymnastics. Cornerstone Prep’s University-Model® schedule really helps her not to feel rushed.
When asked about her future plans, Aniston shared she “would like to be a teacher. I love teaching supply stores.”