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Ham It Up and Pack Them In

jonathan_winn-biggerSan Diego teacher Jonathan Winn has done what some would say is impossible: He’s inspired high school students to get excited about math. His AP calculus class is the most popular course in a school with a large number of low-income students for whom English is not their native language.

How does he do it? In part, through entertainment, Edutopia reports. He’ll enter class at Crawford High School dressed in a wig and a white ruffled shirt, playing 18th-century mathematician Gottfried Leibniz doing calculus in Paris. Later, he puts on a drum major’s hat and exchanges drum beats and claps with his students, to get them to feel the power of their unity.

One in ten of the students are native English speakers and 95 percent of them receive free or reduced lunch. Winn says his antics are part of a collection of proven techniques to get the most from his students. And according to Winn, they are beginning to see results: About 80% of seniors who have gone through the Crawford’s math program curriculum have received at least one acceptance letter to a four-year university.

jonathan_winn2Winn has also just been voted San Diego Unified School District’s High School Teacher of the Year. Winn has developed a high voltage classroom atmosphere that has done what some would say is impossible: he’s inspired high school students to get excited about math.

Originally published April 13, 2011 copyright Edutopia.org; The George Lucas Educational Foundation.

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3 Responses to “Ham It Up and Pack Them In”

  1. […] Academy coming in #27. San Diego’s Community Health and Medical Practices School, where Jonathan Winn, a math teacher profiled by eGfi, makes calculus the hottest course for the school’s largely low-income immigrant students, is […]

  2. […] Science Academy coming in #27. San Diego’s Community Health and Medical Practices School, where Jonathan Winn, a math teacher profiled by eGfi, makes calculus the hottest course for the school’s largely low-income immigrant students, is in […]

  3. I mean students not student’s

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