Have you ever been frustrated that your students just don’t seem to remember what you taught them? I think all educators have run into this challenge- you’ve taught it, students have practiced it, heck, they even did pretty well on the test you gave at the end of the unit. And then… BOOM! Their scores tank on the semester final/district benchmark/state end of the year test. And you are looking incredulously at the answers they got wrong wondering why they don’t know now what they seemed to know before. Anyone else been there?
After having this experience more than once, I spent some time reflecting and trying to figure out a different approach. One that would get the students doing more of the mathematical thinking. One that would cement conceptual understanding into students’ brains in a more permanent way. What I found was a discovery math approach that got me fired up about the learning going on in my math classroom. Here I’ll share with you the story of the very first discovery lab I used with students, why they work, and how to implement discovery labs in your own classroom.