Gabriela Dumitrescu “An attractive school for all”
Please read the success story
Gabriela Dumitrescu is a mathematics teacher having 35 years of experience in education, namely in secondary schools and working at School G. E. Palade for 10 years. She studied Mathematics at the University of Bucharest and School Management at the Faculty of Applied Sciences and she attended in-training courses, the last one being “Multimedia tools in school”.
Class VI-D (V-D last school year) to which we refer was and is still a challenge. Most students already use the Internet on a daily basis, and this way of communication is felt in their way of learning. Out of the 25 students, 5 had real difficulties in adapting to the requirements of lower secondary school cycle, caused by hyperactivity disorders, while another 3-5 students had a very good evolution from a very developed perception, the rest of 15- 17 appearing within normal learning limits.
The chapter on Geometry and Units of Measure created the most real difficulties. Thus, with small exceptions, their results were not in line with expectations
The teacher explains: “To remedy this situation I first thought of a few common practical activities, in which to use as a way of calculating applications on mobile phones. To bring a competitive side to the activities, we divided them into 6 balanced teams with one leader, who would coordinate them in their actions. For example we went to the park near the school, we made measurements, then using the application “GEOMETRY” they calculated the perimeters and areas of predetermined surfaces. The results were quantified, a ranking was made and rewards were given.”
The students participated with pleasure and interest in these activities and the tests that followed the end of the chapter confirmed the expected result, those in difficulty managed to meet the requirements, and the class average increased by 20% compared to the initial one.
Teachers should feel free to respond critically but at the same time creatively to new technological challenges and in no way can they ignore this aspect if they want to communicate with students. This type of learning – using technology and gamification – is an opportunity to create experiences that can meet the students’ learning styles, could transcend the formal borders of the countries and bring together groups of students from different cultures and meridians.
Questions for reflection:
- How often should digital tools be used for a better understanding of mathematics?
- What effects do interactive math activities have on students with poor math results?
- How do math games attract students with poor results?