Maddie was a student who “got it done” in my 8th grade math class.
Clearly she would ace the final test, so why give it to her? Instead I proposed a project analyzing data about global clean-water access and life expectancies. Her subsequent presentation blew me and the entire class away. Instead of a paper, she brought posters—instead of duty, she brought passion.
“Mr. Denton,” my 8th grade students declared, “We can’t just live with this, we want to do something. We want to bring clean water to these places in Africa!”
Thankfully, I was lucid enough to recognize this accidental opportunity and began to formulate a plan for my next algebra unit to center around a water fundraiser.
As I looked ahead to the next unit I found a math problem…
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