Math teacher turns March Madness into a lesson on probability
A Wake County middle school teacher got kudos Monday on ABC Television’s “Good Morning America” show for using the NCAA men’s basketball tournament to creatively teach her students about math.
Alyssa Jackson. a seventh-grade math teacher at Durant Road Middle School in Raleigh, was the focus of a “Good Morning America” segment called “How math comes in handy during March Madness.” Jackson had her students study experimental probability by filling out tournament brackets and seeing how well the teams performed based on their seed.
Jackson wasn’t mentioned by name on GMA, but her photo was shown on air. Robin Roberts, a GMA co-host, called Jackson “this wonderful teacher in North Carolina, Raleigh, North Carolina” who used the tournament as a math challenge for her students.
Roberts asked her co-hosts if they had teachers like Jackson who applied math in a way that challenged them.
“I always loved teachers who take something in the real world, something you're interested in, something these kids hear about every day from their friends, from their family, from us and they turn it into something to learn from,” answered GMA co-host Michael Strahan. “They made it fun. It’s kind of like ‘Hamilton’ is to musicals.”
David Muir, anchor of ABC World News Tonight and a GMA guest host this week, brought up how Jackson adapted the lesson from how her math teachers at East Wake High School in Wendell incorporated March Madness into their classes.
“This teacher did it because she said a teacher had done it for her,” Muir said. “So this thing is a gift that keeps giving when you kind of take a class and connect it to something that’s happening in real time in the real world.”
Roberts closed the segment saying “it was a creative way and kudos to that teacher and others for finding ways.”