Goodbye textbook. Hello life.

March. As much as I look forward to this month because of the promise of warmer weather, the Year 3 math plan offers me no such relief. If taught by the book or with worksheets, it involves many a frustrating moment of pointless rotations of different abstract images and magnitudes drawn on paper, marked (usually wrong) and filed away, never to be seen again. Ask a student what they know about rotation in two months time and I wonder if even the smallest few would remember what that even is, let alone be able to explain it in terms of its significance on their daily lives. Exit textbook. Enter life.

Life. The best teacher. Permeating memory. Creating it. This year March has been very different, full of wonder, questions, awe and discovery. And the weather isn’t that bad either. What began as a simple exercise of identifying a classroom object that used rotation to function, ended in a school wide rotation hunt. Teams of three roamed the school with their tablet handy to document their findings. Beware anything that rotated – you were going to be photographed! Suddenly it seemed that rotation was everywhere one turned, no pun intended. The direction of rotation was also noted, as were approximate amounts: full turn, half a turn, continuous. Finally, please explain how the object requires rotation to function. Sitting on our bean bags in the reading corner, an informal presentation ensued.

Perhaps in two months time, still only a tiny few will remember what rotation is. Which I doubt. But at least we had fun. When was the last time you forgot a good time?

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