Robert Frost Middle School math teacher Anthony Tannacore combines his passions in life with lessons in mathematics. Mr. Tannacore’s teaching philosophy is focused on fun and relevancy. He uses unique techniques to spark student interest and participation. Interactive lessons pull from a variety of sources allowing students to see math in everyday situations.
Using the analogy of a video game, Mr. Tannacore describes the student learning process as starting at the lowest level, gathering all the necessary information, asking the correct questions, and developing clues before advancing to the next level.
“As a student, I have always learned best when the lessons were fun, but more important, relative to the real world,” he said. “As a teacher, I try to accomplish these two principles in my lessons to make math come to life.”
For example, referencing the popular game show The Price is Right, Mr. Tannacore taught students about the probability of items being priced at certain values based on the number of multiple choice guesses a contestant was given. To teach students about algebra he introduced jumping jacks; for every set of jacks a student performed the student was given 2 pieces of candy. With the number “2” being the constant and the number of jacks being the variable (in this case, variable j) the class learned algebra in a more quantifiable, fun and tasty manner. He also draws correlations to the left side/right side of the brain when teaching about place value of numbers and uses a chant from the movie Remember the Titans that references football plays. In the movie, the team shouted out “strong side” when running to the left and “weak side” when running to the right. In similar fashion, students are asked to chant “strong” in a deep tone when identifying place value to the left, and “weak” in a softer tome when identifying values to the right.
As a result of Mr. Tannacore’s techniques, students are not only gaining a better grasp of the material, they apply their knowledge to their own lives. His approach has undoubtedly engaged and motivated them to learn and succeed.