Fanny Nelson shows a student the basics of cedar weaving during a class on Dec. 20 at Prince Rupert Middle School. (Photo submitted by Tannis Calder)

COLUMN: More than a math lesson

Matthew Allen on School District 52 incorporating cedar weaving into math classes

One of the most important principals of teaching is that students can absorb information easier if it is put in terms that are relevant to their daily lives.

Lessons about percentages make more sense if applied to the amount of money to tip at a restaurant. Memorizing a new word in a different language becomes easier if you have to use it in conversation.

To quote the popular and recently remade Disney classic Mary Poppins, a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.

There was lots of sugar being served at Prince Rupert Middle School this week where learning algebraic algorithms was made fun by combining it with the Ts’msyen art of cedar weaving.

The teachers who developed the lessons are trying to find ways to incorporate local traditions in classroom lessons, and cedar weaving helps make abstract concepts tangible and real.

As someone who was raised on the old school chalk board method of math teaching, it was neat to see students so excited to learn about a subject that can often be intimidating at such a young age.

Even more inspiring though, was watching the way in which these lessons connected students, many of whom are First Nations, with their history and heritage.

As a part of the program, instructors from the Aboriginal Education Department brought Ts’msyen elders into the classroom to teach the cedar weaving that was the foundation of the lesson.

In this way, learning became more than just a one way dictation. Rather, it became a two-way dialogue between the old and new generation, with both learning lessons from each other.

At the end of the day, that is what real education is all about.



newsroom@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

How sweet it is: Sugar Shack is back for ninth year

On Jan. 23 the popular Francophone festival in Prince Rupert kicks off with a social

City of Prince Rupert to explore funding for Kwinitsa airport ferry

New roll-on, roll-off berth would be called “Rupert’s Landing”

RCMP asks again for public’s assistance to find Binh Tran

Tran was last seen around the 1600 block of Park Avenue on Dec. 11

Social media strains over Prince Rupert’s boil water notice

Resident forms Community for Clean Water, and Jennifer Rice responds to acting mayor’s comments

Bad weather delays next Prince Rupert/Haida Gwaii ferry

Stormy weather will delay the next ferry sailing from Prince Rupert to… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

RECALL: Salmon Village maple salmon nuggets

Customers warned not to eat product due to possible Listeria contamination

Most Read