Involve Me and I Will Understand


Connecting content to real-life application is the key to engagement – but in today’s high-tech world, making that connection in the classroom continues to be a challenge. Nevertheless, one Bloomington Middle School teacher is up to the task. On any given day, you will find Kalia Mancell’s seventh grade math students collaborating with peers, immersed in spirited discussions, and on occasion shooting hoops and making slime.

During one lesson, students were asked to “apply mathematical process standards to represent and solve problems involving proportional relationships,” as stated in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). As they were learning, Mancell’s students systematically rotated among five stations and engaged in content-specific discussions about measurement and conversions involving proportion, percent, distance, rate and time.

Students took their turns at calculating percentages of basketball shots made, measuring distance traveled via “crab walk” and identifying a proportional relationship between an original recipe of slime and its modified version.

“I like working this way because you can get help when you talk it out with your friends,” said seventh grade student Kamilah Stafford.

Mancell encourages her students to use the resources at hand to solve problems prior to requesting additional assistance from the teacher. “I plan lessons intentionally so that I can serve as a facilitator when we engage in these activities,” she said. “I get to see how well the knowledge transferred once we review their results.” For this particular lesson, 80 percent of her students mastered the corresponding paper/pencil assessment.

Ms. Mancell’s knowledge and engaging delivery style are helping her students make the connection that learning has a purpose – and that purpose is their foundation for success. #IAmTXEd