Teaching high school mathematics for the last thirteen years I have been looking for ways to make the subject interesting for students. I have noticed that at the secondary level students seemed to be turned off from learning math especially at the higher levels. One of the reasons for this is because most of the time students do not understand the importance of some of the math topics throughout history or how the topics are used in the world. During the last three years I started researching the history of math and how mathematicians where able to change the course of human history. Also, while teaching geometry for the last five years and also owning a home that needs work done from time to time, I am able to relate a lot of the topics in geometry to the work around the house. For example, when teaching how to calculate the areas of parallelograms and trapezoids I use the example of when I had to replace my roof on my house. It so happens that the part of the roof above the kitchen is a trapezoid and if I did not calculate the area correctly I would have bought too much or not enough material to complete the job. This is only one example of what I like to do in my classroom. I feel that if students can make a connection to something that they can see or if there is an interesting story on how the history of mankind was changed because of math theories then it increases the students’ willingness to learn.
If you have an interesting story on how you are able to relate a math topic to the real world or if you have some story that you tell while teaching, please post a description on what it is or how you teach the topic. If you have a topic that you would like to see if there is anyway to make it interesting to the students, please post a question and hopefully myself or someone else will post a response.