Modern twist engages Knox Co. eighth grade math students

Pre-algebra and algebra students at Northwest Middle School have new technology to explore math concepts.
Modernizing Math for a New Generation
Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 1:44 AM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Pre-algebra and algebra students at Northwest Middle School have new technology to explore math concepts.

Workbooks tossed aside, an online program called Desmos, allows teachers to create lesson plans and use the white board, but students can answer online.

Caitlin McNabb, an eighth-grade math teacher said, “It gets my kids more engaged. They do not like the workbooks.”

In Kristen Rainey’s pre-algebra class, students can graph equations with the help of technology.

“The students can see things a little bit better than just having to imagine it for themselves,” said Rainey.

Students can see how their peers solve problems and the teacher can see how the class grasps concepts.

“Like if a person got an answer wrong it can help me figure out what they did wrong, or if they get that right and I got it wrong, it helps me figure out how they got it right,” explained Demiyeh Munsey, an eighth-grade student in Rainey’s class.

It’s a new kind of collaboration that fits these students’ generation.

“I was struggling for a little bit, but then how other people would talk, like how my peers talk about their problems and Ms. Rainey helps them and that helps me,” eighth-grade student Jesus Flores said.

Additionally a new math curriculum for all Knox County middle schools began fall 2021. It’s called Illustrative math and it gives students background information to see conceptually how to solve problems.

Caitlyn Hudson, a sixth-grade math teacher said, “It lends itself well to doing more discussion and collaboration with our students.”

“The idea is trying to get kids to discover math rather than just being taught what to do,” seventh-grade math teacher, Justin McConnell, said.

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