Pictured is a slide from Dan Meyer's TASM (Texas Association of Supervisors of Mathematics) workshop that I attended today. Dan makes the case that 'real-world' isn't the cure to math education, and he does this by showing real world examples that are just as boring and irrelevant as traditional math problems. "Look....a whale! Wow, how about those triangles!" said no one ever. Dan makes the case that engaging kids in math requires some 'controversy', where kids get invested because their interest has initialized.
From there it's about giving out more information only as needed, not all at once, like textbooks do.
Through a series of examples, we all had the chance to work through these more engaging exercises and I plan to back this knowledge and share with my teachers.