The way education has changed

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dance and math don’t seem to have a whole lot in common, but a group that visited Clanton Elementary School had a way to integrate dance with the school subject that you either hate or enjoy. The group’s name was “Math in Motion,” and they found an interesting way to involve kids in mathematics.

Now, you’re probably thinking that this group just got up on stage and danced around with number cutouts or had numbers and mathematical signs on their shirts. That wasn’t the case. They danced to form shapes and even used other shapes to create new shapes.

It was a very entertaining program, and I know the kids really enjoyed it. It is interesting how teaching has changed over the years. When I was in elementary school, which was a good while ago, I don’t think our school administrators or teachers would have ever thought to bring a dance group to the school to encourage the kids to get excited about math.

Almost all of our elementary school time took place in the classroom at our desks. We always got P.E. for half an hour each day, but other than that, we stayed in the classroom.

There was always that “fun” teacher in each grade that let her classes do stuff outside the traditional classroom setting. That was the one that everyone wanted to be in. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy my classes, but I always thought I learned things better when it was fun.

Today, the elementary classroom setting seems to be more oriented to that. Wouldn’t you learn the shapes of clouds better if you had made them out of shaving cream? I think most of us would.

Wouldn’t you enjoy math more if you played a game using addition and subtraction? I think so.

Schoolteachers have a difficult job. I should know that because my mom, sister and brother are all teachers. Teachers have been developing ways to better educate our students. They are adapting to a different generation than what we were when we were kids.

I really like what I see in our classrooms today.