Mathematics teachers often struggle to motivate their students. One way to cultivate and maintain student interest is for teachers to incorporate popular media into their methodology. Organized on the subject strands of the Common Core, this book explores math concepts featured in contemporary films and television shows and offers numerous examples high school math teachers can use to design lessons using pop culture references. Outlines for lessons are provided along with background stories and historical references.
The idea for this book originated when I was writing a personal essay on what influenced me to become interested in mathematics as a female (the stereotype is still commonly held that males are better in math than females). Writing this essay caused me to reflect on my past and think about not only how I became interested in math, but also how I stayed interested in math. I had some of the typical influences, such as great math teachers and natural ability. However, one unexpected influence I recalled at this time was watching one of my favorite television shows called Byrds of Paradise. I remember one scene where the teenage son, played by Seth Green, was studying for a math test and he had to memorize the quadratic formula. He kept repeating negative b plus or minus the square root of b squared minus 4ac over 2a. I got so excited because I had also just learned the quadratic formula. Seeing the connection between what I was learning in the classroom and what I was watching on television perpetuated my interest in math.