Brainstorming a Passion Project

When the “Passion Project” was introduced in my Tech and Innovation class, the first thing to pop into my head was, “Hey, I should write a math song”. This probably came to mind because I was terrible at math as a kid. Even as an adult, I’m still unable to recite several of my times tables. In contrast, I can easily sing along with every song on the radio (even when I don’t actually like the song). A little bit of melody goes a long way in helping me memorize, so I thought it might be a nice resource to have for future students. I also play a little guitar and piano, and enjoy singing, so I thought it might be a nice way to use a hobby to create a resource for later.

I began to second guess this idea after considering how much math pedagogy has shifted over the last few decades. When I was a child, basic math skills were still taught through memorization, but now there are a wealth of videos available on youtube that provide helpful “tricks” for students working on those early skills. These tutorials prompt kids to think more about the concepts behind multiplication, rather than teaching the answer without any outside context. I’ve included an example below.

While I haven’t entirely set aside the idea of doing something musical for my passion project, I recently started to consider some other resources that might be worth learning. In particular, introductory coding games like Tynker or Swift Playground. While I don’t actually own an iPad, I’ve been investigating similar programs that I could access on my laptop.

This week I focused on brainstorming for my passion project. For the most part, this didn’t really go beyond perusing what kind of resources already existed and considering what might still be worth adding to my “backpack” as an educator. My goal for next week is to choose a specific direction for my passion project and then outline several project goals in my next blog post.

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2 thoughts on “Brainstorming a Passion Project

  1. I think the idea of a math song is awesome! Something I considered while reading your post is the difference in approach to teaching math (and other subjects) then vs now as you mentioned. Thinking about youtube math tricks, I’m not so sure I consider them to be all that different from traditional memorization, with the exception of maybe being more fun to learn. The video’s trick is cool, but I’m still missing the “why” behind why the trick works. Using the trick is one thing, but understanding it is another!

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    1. I agree Genelle. The memorization issue occurred to me just after I published this post. I may look into wrestling with math on a more conceptual level in song form, but quite frankly I’m not sure where I would even start. I also forgot to mention that one of the reasons I don’t think I will focus on coding is because a few of my classmates will be already making some resources that I could refer to in the future (maybe once I have an iPad!). I also have another idea in mind that I’m currently looking into.

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