A universal constant across mathematics teachers everywhere is that they have a required curriculum to teach. The teachers at Locust Valley are finding creative ways to make that curriculum fun!  Locust Valley teachers use plenty of creativity in the classroom to keep students engaged and make learning more meaningful.

A recent example is the integration of creative arts, music and even cooking into the math curriculum. Ms. San Fillipo was teaching a unit that involved graphing and wanted her students to enjoy the lesson. She asked her Algebra 2/Trigonometry Extension class at the high school to select four or more trigonometric functions, graph them and then put their own spin on the project by coloring them in. “I was so impressed at the creativity that each of the students displayed,” she said. “They really demonstrated that math can be artistic.”

Teachers at Locust Valley Middle School also found ways for their math students to have some fun with the curriculum. They celebrated Pi Day on March 14. The numerals in that date - 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π in decimal form. Students participated in competitions including a song writing contest, a card making contest, and a poem writing contest. Contestants were required to use their mathematics skills, but also had to engage their writing and art skills to complete the songs, poems and cards. 

Additionally, students participated in hands-on learning activities exploring the mathematics behind the value of Pi and created posters to present their findings. Throughout their math classes students earned raffle tickets by demonstrating strong math skills, good teamwork and creativity for a chance to win a (P)i-Tunes card.  Some students created homemade t-shirts and baked circular pies, cakes, and cupcakes. 

“These activities allow students to have a little more fun in math class as they utilize the skills of the curriculum in various ways,” explained Middle School math teacher Mr. Lee. He said his students not only enjoyed the projects, but that the math skills were learned more easily because they were having fun.

These are just a few examples of many creative lessons being taught throughout the district. Robert Teseo, District Director of Mathematics said that our teachers are always finding creative ways to teach what is typically not thought of as a creative subject. “Our teachers strive to integrate the beauty and excitement of mathematics into their lessons,” he said. “Often these lessons help open doors to career paths which they would be shut out of without mathematics!”