Seventh-grade math teacher and WEA Member, Janie Denning is using a new method to get her Cody Middle School students to stay focused. She’s using black lights in her classes while the kids are graphing, because she said, “With a perfect circle, in the black light, with the fluorescent, it’s going to be real easy to see imperfections in the circles.” This new method forces her students to really focus on graphing, all while making math fun. Seventh grader Collin Housden said, “It’s a different experience from having regular lights to black lights, because it makes everything glow and look cooler.”
Denning said that working with 7th graders is an interesting age group, because everything is so social right now. The minute they come in the classroom, they think everyone is looking at everything they do all the time. “What is interesting about the black light, that I didn’t think of ahead of time – they can’t see across the room, so that element left,” Denning said.
Denning is also using the black light as incentive for her students to finish their homework. If students came to class and didn’t have their hone work done, they couldn’t do black light in the class. Another black-light math student, Sydney Pomajzl, says, “It’s hard, but she challenges you, and it’s really interesting, and it’s different.”
Collin said, “She brings us new experiences that help us with math, than with regular pencil and paper.” Denning said this first-year experiment is proving considerably more valuable than she ever intended. “They’re more focused on what they’re doing. It brought a real peace and a relaxed atmosphere that I didn’t expect,” Denning said.