Math is one of the hardest subjects to make engaging for uninterested students, especially with Common Core in effect. But with a few tweaks to lesson planning -- and even having students bring their own iPads to class -- math can be fun!

Making math engaging

To beat the boredom, teachers are using creative strategies to keep students interested, even in spite of the strict Common Core Standards for Math. Fourth grade teacher Morgan Holmes from Central Illinois, for example, showed just how possible this can be! 

Thanks to a grant from Lowe's, Holmes helped her students overcome their fear of math. The grant allowed the school to buy new technology and learning tools, like iPads, and establish a special learning center for students of all grade levels.

BYOD: Bring your own device

Holmes had another idea, too: she suggested more classes introduce Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, to supplement the technology afforded by the grant.

Many schools can't afford to distribute iPads or tablets on their own, and instead rely on donations and grants. But even then, it's challenging to get every student the device they need.

By allowing students to bring their own devices, the school only has to obtain devices for the handful of students who wouldn't be able to afford one anyway. Students feel energized when working with technology, and this way, no one gets left out.

Students feel energized when working with technology, and this way, no one gets left out.

Bringing the innovation to your school

Holmes stated, "What I love about the Illinois Learning Standards is it gives students a great opportunity to explore and use their own thinking to solve a problem or find a way of doing something."

Since these new standards have been instated, the schools have seen an improved attitude towards math, while the use of technology has made the subject easier and helped students understand math in new ways.

Holmes herself has been described as tireless and dedicated by her leaders in the school district. But you can be just as amazing! The best part is that she's tapped into strategies that are broad enough to apply to other problems. Teachers don't have to try out a new method for every new problem, and students have different options for solving problems. 

Key Takeaways:

An Illinois teacher brought new teaching methods and strategies to her school for math.
Having extra tools for learning in the classroom such as iPads, can generate more interest.
Schools can implement a Bring Your Own Device strategy.

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