For one of my math education classes, we had a project of creating a math trail. Most of us had never heard of a math trail before and once we started to look into the idea of it, I wondered how this was ever going to be of use to me when I teach. Boy, was I wrong. As a collective group, we had to come up with someway to have questions throughout the university and a way to present it to our future students. We chose to use the mathematical concept of proportional reasoning (except for Ben, he decided to use spatial reasoning). Each of us took a grade (5-calculus) and made a question based on the proportional reasoning outcomes. We then made videos of our questions and put together a little map. We decided to go along with a story-that our friend, Mitch, had been captured by the Math Pirate and it was our duty to follow his map and answer his questions. Once we tweeted him our answer, he sent us a letter which we then had to rearrange to answer a riddle.
When we took our professor around our math trail, we were all laughing and having a great time while talking about math. Wouldn’t that be unreal if that is how math classes really went? If students could apply math concepts to the stairs they are walking down, or to the angles in the building? I believe the math trail is an amazing way for authentic learning as it allows students to have fun, get out of the classroom and see that math is everywhere. I would definitely recommend a math trail for your classroom and I know that I will be using it in mine. You can make a math trail for your students to embark on, or I think it would be really neat to have students in groups and have them make their own math trail that the rest of the class gets to go on. Below is the map we made, along with the links to each video.
Shauna from the Faculty of Education also came on our math trail to take pictures and videos of what we were doing. Below are the youtube links to the videos and to the pictures. Enjoy!
Video of the Math Trail
Math Trail Pictures