Some of the parents of StartupWonder camps practice Agile methodology at their work as project or program managers. Here are some steps to teach math using Agile Scrum methodology. The best age range for this exercise is perhaps middle school but certainly you can try to employ this method with children as young as 4th grade. Start off by explaining what Agile methodology and Scrum are and that your child is in the driver seat and owns the process of learning and you are just a Scrum master helping them achieve their goals.
“Agile methodology is a framework that seeks alternatives to traditional project management. Agile approaches help teams respond to unpredictability through incremental and iterative work. Scrum is a subset of Agile. It is a lightweight process framework for agile development, and the most widely-used one. Learn more about Scrum at scrumalliance.org ”
Sprint Planning session
Start with creating a small list of math concepts your child has recently learned. In future Sprints you can choose more advanced concepts not yet covered in class. Initially we just want them to understand this planning process and therefore we can use it to review math concepts. This is a joint activity and as much as possible should be driven by them. Have them research the internet to find a list of concepts that are grade appropriate or they can simply pick a few from their books or teacher. Once they have found a list guide them to prioritize this list. This is a Scrum Backlog and you can call it a to-be-learned list or anything else your child prefers. Your child will have to decide how many of the items they want to complete, in this case learn, in a Sprint. As the name suggests, Sprint is usually a short window of time.
Now you have to set a time box for this exercise. You should suggest a Sprint, a window of time, no longer than one week to start. Explain to your child that you are breaking the process of learning into pieces and one week is long enough for them to Sprint towards better math and will result in tangible learning.
A Scrum standup meeting is held daily where teams will gather and briefly report on progress or ask for help. This math Scrum meeting can happen at dinner time and should not last for more than 15 minutes. Your children can talk about what they learned during the day and how that is helping them towards completing the list of to-be-learned items. They can ask you any questions they may have. You, as a Scrum master, may not necessarily have answers, but you can help them to find the answers from teachers or internet.
Hold a Review and a Retrospective
At the end of the week you can ask your child to show you what they have learned. If you want them to practice their presentation skills, ask them to write their learning down and present them to you.
Hold a Retrospective
and you can hold a Retrospective meeting to ask your child to evaluate how well the process worked in the past week. Ask them how they would do things differently in the next Sprint as well as what they would do more of. After this Retrospective, you can start the process all over again. If they do not want to or are not particularly excited, there is much more work to be done in modifying the process!
StartupWonder provides Bay Area Summer Camps in Technology, STEM, Coding and Business for kids and children in grades 2-12. StartupWonder was founded to encourage youth to practice their creativity in real life problems and determine viability of those creative solutions. We teach STEM and computer coding or programming in summer camp so students can invent a product or solution, learn to write code and design computer games or Apps. Student will then investigate how to bring their solution to life and productizing it by writing a business plan. Finally, they have to pitch their startup idea in the Convention contest where they get feedback and winners receive awards.
Any child can Start Wonder!