Multifunctional Mathematical Mastery Desk

By Yuanjing

At early semester, we designed a math room for student to have a better math learning environment. Through the semester, I’m thinking about why we don’t have a specific math desk in a math studying room?

Therefore, I think about to design a math desk for middle school students.

The instructional product I designed, 3M Smart Desk, is a multifunctional mathematical mastery desk for middle school students to use in a classroom setting. It’s an integration of school desk and math-learning tools. It has a removable white-board surface which serves as an erasable scratch paper for drawing graphs, charts, creating models and calculating. Under the surface, there is a working section with scale lines printed on, and hidden storage sections which contain the calculator, ruler, protractor, compass and other geometric tools, markers, and pencils. It is also a height-adjustable mobile workstation as locking castors are under the desk. This desk is designed to improve and motivate effective and efficient math learning.

This Multifunctional Mathematical Mastery Desk is designed for middle school students, aged between 11-13, in a departmentalized-instruction classroom setting, in NYC Public Schools. Students of these ages, are experiencing social, emotional, and metacognitive growth. And there is a huge number of language learners, such as immigrants and refugees in New York’s public school systems. They require more developmentally appropriate practices and instructions, to achieve an engaged, independent learning, with self-accessible learning tools, as they are developing their social identity, which, according to Erik Erikson (1968) is psychologically the central task of adolescence, and academic ability. In public departmentalized-instruction middle schools, students travel to different classrooms for different subjects. In a common classroom, there will be around 25 students, sitting in their own desks, while the sitting might be arranged in rows or in groups. Students enjoy independent learning interwoven with group working. Math has always been a tough cookie, even anxiety, for American students, especially in middle school. According to the Common Core Mathematics curriculum published by New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE), math learning is moving onto a more abstract and advanced stage, compared to elementary curriculum, and it requires more appropriate tools to support math learning.

Source: Yuan Jing  

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