From gamifying popular works of literature, to pitching invention ideas in "Shark Tank" productions, school districts are rethinking how to get beyond homework and traditional lectures to engage students.

Teachers in Pennsylvania's Avella, Burgettstown, Canon-McMillan and Carmichaels districts have offered up how they're reworking class time to help young pupils value their education and take it beyond the classroom. Though it all can't be fun and games, even the nuts and bolts of mathematics can be made more captivating.

Joelle Cooper is right at home teaching geometry and calculus at Avella. A district graduate, the math teacher has been facilitating innovative team-building...

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