Which Middle School Summer Academy Math Course is right for your student?

Rich Boschetti, Academy Director
February 15, 2019

One of the most frequently asked question about our middle school summer program is “what classes are you offering for my child that will help them better understand math?”.  

DPIE worked with middle school principals and teachers three years ago to develop a class for rising 8th graders entitled, “Bridge to Algebra 1.”  The class was specifically designed by DUSD middle school teachers to fulfill an identified gap by increasing a student’s depth of understanding of critical algebraic and numbers sense skills.

 This year, DPIE is introducing a new enrichment course for 6th and 7th grade students entitled “Project Based Math.” Fallon Middle School math instructor, Ms. Megan Wasson, has been instrumental in designing the course and was recently interviewed about the new course of study.

Project Based Math Based on Real-World Applications

Ms Megan Wasson, Fallon Middle School Teacher

What inspired you to develop and offer the Project Based Math class for 6th and 7th grade students?
“The course is designed for students who have struggled with math in the past.  It will allow them to practice math skills in meaningful ways. In what we consider to be normal math courses, there is not enough time to incorporate project-based activities into the program because there are just too many standards to get to in a year.”

What is the benefit for a middle school student to take this kind of class and why do you think it’s important for students to learn math in this way?
Students learn best when they have a purpose for what they are learning.  In a Project Based Math course, students will apply math concepts they have been studying to real-life situations.  If students understand why they need the math skill, then they will remember it better.  Also, it is a fun way for students to use math, making the concepts less intimidating and giving students the confidence to succeed in a class (math) that society has deemed as difficult.”

You’ve described the course as one where students will learn how math is applied in “real world” situations, what do you mean by that and why is it important?
“We use math everyday as adults without always realizing it.  Going to a store and figuring out the best deal for the dollar, understanding sports statistics, calculating a sale price, baking or cooking, and creating products are all real-world situations that apply math skills that are taught in 6th and 7th grade.  Therefore, in this course, students will be learning how to apply the math they are learning to similar real-life situations that adults face all the time.  If students have a purpose for the math, then they are more engaged, more motivated, and therefore more successful in learning and remembering the essential math skill.”

The Project Based Math class promises to be an exciting and hands-on way for students to learn math concepts and how they can be used it in the world around them.  Click here to learn more about the course and read the complete course description.