A teacher at George Mason High School in Falls Church, VA is using a very interesting way to teach math. Poker! The school sponsored a poker club earlier this year and it has been a great success.
The rules are that no real money can be used and the game is strictly educational. This strategy has been used in universities before, including Harvard and other elite colleges, but never implemented in a high school before.
The goal is to teach data analysis and probability in the real environment, at a poker table in this case. Another objective is to teach students to play responsibly as it is known that high school students may already be playing poker outside the school.
There are groups and anti-gambling activist opposed to the idea to use poker in high schools as a teaching tool for students. The school remains assured that the goal of engaging students in their math education is being accomplished.
At George Mason High, the club’s leader explains the game and how is played to the new club members. They use fractions and other basic math on the board to analyze their odds at the game.
Finding innovative ways to teach data analysis and probability is always a challenge for teachers, especially in higher grade levels. The educators at George Mason High have found a way to engage students and expose them to a real life environment.
Picture by joelogon
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