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It’s Friday, just show a video: Math embedded in real-life in a Moroccan school

Marrakesh - olives, <em>by ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/goofball/497059788/##goofball12##</em>.

Marrakesh - olives, by ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/goofball/497059788/##goofball12##.

From average to perimeter to speed, students at a school in Morocco practice mathematics in the context of the school’s small olive grove. This 15-minute documentary — too large a file to embed here — shows the ways one Moroccan math teacher integrates math and real-life experience for his students.

“I need to know how many olives you think we’ll get from one tree,” the teacher asks his students, and they go to work making predictions in small groups. Later, they help harvest the olives, observe how they are processed, and even help sell them at market. Along the way, they put a variety of math skills to use.

The video left me with many questions about how this ongoing project fits into the school’s overall math curriculum, and how typical this style of teaching is for Moroccan schools (here’s an overview of education in Morocco). I also wonder what equivalent projects teachers in New York City are doing or would like to do, and how they would square with the current standards and curriculum. Math teachers, any thoughts?

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.