In the past 24 hours I have received my daily feeds in my inbox and two headlines caught my eye.

Should schools count coding as math? (eSchool News Today ) – There is the buzz right now on how to get more students interested in programming (coding).  The changes in the Math curriculum in my opinion took out a skill for coding.  I am referring to two column geometric proofs and the logical sequencing that was required.  Geometric proofs also gave Visual Arts students an opportunity to shine with their “minds eye” to geometric shapes.  This change to the curriculum had a side effect that was missed. Are transferable skills still in vogue for education?

Study: Millennials Spend More Than 3 Hours a Day on Mobile Phones (T.H.E. News Update) – The age group referenced in the article are the 16 to 30 year olds.  These are our high school students in front of us.  This article has me looking at my classes and how can I leverage this rather than shut it down? This is a change that is now rooted with us and not a fad that will wither away. The students have changed, how do I adapt and change to work with them? How can this help me with students’ deeper understanding and critical thinking?

I have questions but do not have a quick and easy answer. What needs to change?

If it worked for me as a student then..

My high school math experience was log and trig tables working with a slide rule.  Calculators were a year away and $100 to buy one.

Does my classroom today reflect the way I learnt Mathematics?  Does today’s classroom look the same as the one I walked into 30 years ago?  For my students, I hope not for their sake.

I as worked with my grade 9 and 10 applied students, it was obvious that they had a different mathematical background to the one I had. Imagine, set theory was part of my grade 7 and 8 curriculum.

As I changed to a problem based/inquiry style class so did the appreciation of my students.  Instead of “they know very little”, it is “what is it that they know?”  What are the gaps that each one has and how do I help fill in the gap. (Individual student program – novel). I now see students doing more than just enough and bored with another lesson but an engaged group of students.

So now with SSI, I was able to leverage what I started to be the evidence based strategy (EBS) and track what I was accomplishing.  Did I have to change because of this program? No but change has been part of my educational evolution.

Future posts will document the changes with the successes and failures I encountered.

Is the old way the best way, let your classroom tell you, mine did.