It's almost personal. It's almost something that I get emotionally obligated to do something about. Kids coming in and saying that "math sucks" is almost like taking a jab at my family. How dare you?! How dare you take something that I love and smear it with this campaign of disgust?
Instead of being disgusted and offended, maybe we should do something about it. Room 205 is a place where kids at my school can come in and feel successful with a very challenging concept- Algebra. More often than not, the enter with "math sucks" and leave with some rendition of "math is awesome". Recently, I got into a friendly discussion with @guster4lovers on Twitter and it made me think...
Could it be a YouTube video that the kids create?
Could it be a YouTube video created by an epic school?
Maybe it's a lesson that'll leave them wanting more?
Perhaps it's simply the redefinition of the way it's always been done?
Whatever it is, it needs to happen, and soon. To me, it means less worksheets and crossword puzzles and more applications of the math. It may not always be a "this is why you're going to need to know this later on in life". Instead, it may simply be "we're going to do something that redefines awesome, and here's what you're going to need to know in order to succeed".
Have students graph quadratic functions to find the zeroes. Boring. Math sucks. Formulas, definitions, practice, blah. Yes, this is all necessary,and I'm not opposed to doing any of it. The students need to have the base knowledge in order to move into the dynamic projects or 3-Act lessons. However, take it further.
Most schools have marble launchers from their 6th grade curriculum. Borrow them. Have battles with marshmallows, but only give the students 2 attempts to set their sights. This will force them to use quadratics (or a whole lot of semi-accurate guesses) as a way to check their aim. More on this later, but it's taking #mathsucks to #mathisawesome.
Creating the competition is great. Generating competition while requiring the foundational knowledge and conceptual understanding of key standards? Now that's #mathisawesome.
If your students create things, do things, or get involved with things that prove #mathisawesome, please send it to me or post it on Twitter. Let the #hashtagrevolution begin.