Today I did a lesson. A real lesson. I started class by talking about soda and a disagreement that my husband and I are having. My husband and I really never had said conversation, but I'm a great actress. The students played along for a while in each class, then at least one student said, "Why are we talking about this?" That's about the same time I felt sad about my teaching.
Why is it that when I talk about something real, in my students minds, it has nothing to do with math class? Oh, I know. Because I haven't been making these connections with them. It's not math class if the students are not doing worksheets or practicing mindless procedures, right?
Here's the good news. I'm making that shift and I know you are too. One day the students will walk into math class, I'll talk about something "real", and they'll be hanging on my every word.