Families were invited into their children’s classrooms to participate in Mathematics activities with them. Students enjoyed teaching their parents and grandparents a variety of mathematical skills and activities including problem solving puzzles, addition and subtraction games using cards and dice, dominoes, Mabble (like Scrabble but making number sentences), making tessellating patterns using pattern blocks and measuring different lengths with pop sticks.
Many visitors commented on how differently Mathematics is taught today compared with when they were at school. They were impressed with the students’ expertise. The adults and students were engaged in Working Mathematically together. They were sharing an “understanding and fluency in mathematics through inquiry, exploring and connecting mathematical concepts, choosing and applying problem-solving skills and mathematical techniques, communication and reasoning”. (NSW Mathematics K-10 Syllabus)
An informative presentation, Teaching Mathematics, was also given at a previous P&F meeting. Parents were given an insight into the way Mathematics is taught today, improving values and attitudes about Mathematics and the importance of applying mathematical knowledge and skills to solving problems.
As well as the open maths classrooms, St Benedict’s held their annual –Athon fundraiser! In keeping with the mathematical theme, this year the students participated in a computer-based Mathathon. The aim of the Mathathon was to raise money for the school as well as to help students learn number skills, while getting excited about Mathematics.
Each class was allocated a mathematical skill to practise – subitising (identifying the number of dots), addition facts or multiplication facts. The challenge was to answer as many questions correctly in two minutes as possible. The Mathathon was essentially a personal challenge, but there was some friendly competition between students and teachers! All students improved their skills, increasing the level of challenge difficulty as well as achieving personal best scores. The funds raised from the Mathathon will be used to purchase maths equipment for the classrooms.
Teachers, students and families all had a great time sharing the marvellous teaching and learning that happens in Mathematics every day at St Benedict’s.