Teaching Math with … Baguettes?

Baguettes: They’re not just for picnics anymore.

Vicki Mazur is a math and computers teacher in California, the type of teacher who sees a need in her classrooms and fills it.

For example, when she started teaching computer science after 15 years of being focused on math, she was dissatisfied with the available courses—so she wrote her own additional courses, including programming using Python, entry-level, business-focused object-oriented design, and game design.

When it comes to math, she feels the thing students most often miss is the hands-on experience that moves math from abstraction to tangible reality.

As one of 10 grand-prize winners in the WGU Loves Teachers sweepstakes, Vicki plans to spend her winnings on “augmentation” for her classroom. “As an example, when I teach ‘intervals,’ I bring in French baguettes so each student can experiment with the ‘slicing’ of a function,” she says. “Math is everywhere around us, and the materials needed to ‘play’ with learning math are not always standard school supplies.”

Through the WGU Loves Teachers sweepstakes, WGU and Scholastic are awarding 10 $300 grand prizes and 100 $25 first prizes to thank teachers for their hard work and help them build up their classroom libraries and supplies.

Congratulations, Vicki! Stay tuned to The Night Owl Blog for stories of more winners in the future.

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