Adding STEAM to Georgia Middle School Math Instruction

Target 3. Flexible Learning Environments – FWSU will maximize flexible learning environments by redefining the school day, promoting learning experiences that extend beyond the school classroom, and fostering creativity, innovation, and differentiated learning opportunities for all.

Action Step – Develop opportunities for students to collaborate, innovate, create and conceptualize in all learning settings.

Students in Mr. Hardy’s 7th grade class have been blending their artistic abilities with the math skills called for in the Common Core. Recently these students were challenged with the task of scaling a picture in a collaborative poster project. Each student was asked to scale a section of the drawing to an agreed upon scale factor. Doing so required making a reference grid, taking several reference measurements, and then working to problem solve with their partners who were completing other portions of the poster.

poster 1

Student posters were a collaborative effort of 4-6 students. It was an interesting way to infuse collaboration and an artistic component into math class. The poster project provided a lighthearted and graphic illustration of mathematics, collaboration, and artistic flair of a group of students.

poster 2

…waiting for the fourth partner to add the final piece

Educator’s recent conversations have focused on STEM instruction and ways can we integrate the learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Other FWSU blogs have highlighted the STEM work of younger students.

More recently, the discussion has shifted to STEAM – which adds Art to the mix. The big question: Can we design instruction in ways that encourages students to integrate the visual arts, creativity and aesthetics into their thinking about mathematics, engineering, and problem solving?

GEMS teachers are beginning to build STEAM into their curriculum!

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