Most of Michael Patterson’s geometry students at the Advanced Technologies Academy in Las Vegas, NV, would tell you that their class really is fun and games. When Patterson created several lesson plans to teach geometry through board games, students were enthralled. So much so, that Patterson started an extracurricular board game club which sponsored three six-hour board game marathons a year. The club grew from 25 members to 160 in one year. Patterson’s teaching methods might be fun, but they are also very effective. One-hundred percent of students pass the Nevada math proficiency test, a feat for which Patterson is responsible as both an instructor and as the mathematics department chair.
A truly unique offering at the Advanced Technologies Academy brings geometry and Web development into one course. Years ago, Patterson created a Web site called e-zgeometry.com, which now supports the curriculum of 500+ teachers and thousands of students with interactive videos, glossary images, lesson notes, learning games and a problem of the day. Patterson teaches a specialized course for interested students to get behind the scenes of the Web site and learn how to maintain it and add new content daily. Patterson has brought a playful element into his teaching and a technological perspective that prepares his students for a bright future. He further embodies this by creating and funding the “Play it forward” grant which provides five teachers each year 500 dollars to enrich their classrooms through games and afterschool clubs. Through his exceptional teaching methods he is also “paying it forward” to many future generations of students.
1993 University of Alberta, B.S.